As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

May 22, 2012

IZZY, WILLY-NILLY, by Cynthia Voigt, 1986

Izzy's never been one to complain. Izzy's the nice girl, from a family that believes good manners and a stiff upper lip are key to facing any situation. Even after a car accident leaves her disabled, she's determined not to show how much she's hurting. It takes Rosamunde, a girl who seems to care nothing about good manners, to forcibly disrupt Izzy's life and help her face her changed existence. (Goodreads)

Review by Kim Harris Thacker, writer, mommy, and Bookshop Talk Host

My mother-in-law bought this book for me at a used-book store, and I’ll admit that I was skeptical. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when I saw a picture of a girl with feathery bangs and a perm wearing a pink mock-turtleneck sweater and sitting in a pensive pose in soft glamour lighting, I thought, “This is going to be too 80s for me.”

Though there were plenty of “terrifics!” and other words that seemed a bit dated, the story is anything but dated. In fact, if I were a drivers’ education teacher, I would require my students to read this.

The characters in this book were so believable, from Izzy, the sudden amputee, to her new friend, the slightly-dumpy-but-wonderfully-supportive Rosamunde. I find it ironic that I almost didn’t read this book because of its cover. One of the themes of this book is to get to know a person before you judge them. While there were plenty of opportunities to get frustrated with Izzy or her parents or siblings or “friends,” I also believed the characters would act the way they did, because of Voigt’s strong writing.

IZZY, WILLY-NILLY isn’t what I would call an action-packed book, but I literally couldn’t put it down. The final scene is completely satisfying, even though it is no epic battle scene. I closed the book with a big grin on my face. I very much recommend this book!

Market: Young Adult, realistic fiction
Language: Mild
Sensuality: Mild (more implied than anything)
Violence: Moderate (There is a car accident, and while it isn’t described outright, its repercussions are the theme of the book.)
Mature Themes: drunk driving; permanent injuries resulting from riding in a car with a person who is driving under the influence of alcohol; loss of friendships; developing new friendships outside prior comfort zones...I could really go on and on, because this is very thought-provoking book

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1 comment:

Amy Finnegan {} said...

Thanks for the awesome review, Kim. I've heard so many great things about this book. I really need to read it!