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The Hippie – Snowflake Obsidian

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Learning to love yourself and others can sometimes be a difficult process.

Publisher: iUniverse (self-published)
Pages: 252
Type: Non-Fiction
Age: Young Adult
ISBN: 978-1-4502-6554-6
First Published: 2010
Date Reviewed: 20th May 2011
Rating: 3/5

Willow, aged 19, has always been a bit different but she has a good group of friends. Not so good is her relationship with her father and her life with her family in general. When she meets River she sees in him someone she can truly love but River has his own issues. As Willow starts to see the flaws in her world she becomes bogged down by it and must find a way out.

Written like a novel, Snowflake Obsidian, provides an important message. But it is not narrated in the way you might expect from a book that one would describe as important. It is not a literary masterpiece, but then it isn’t supposed to be. The writing style is such that sometimes there is extreme colloquialism, and there are times when you feel yourself questioning the grammar. However the grammar does illustrate the mindset of the person in question; although the memoir is a story of the past, and of self-harm, The Hippie tells her story with as much feeling as though she were going through it at the time of writing. The writing style would appeal to the target audience, and considering The Hippie is looking to help young people rather than win over a bunch of critics (I realise that my writing this review is thereby somewhat funny, but this book will go nowhere without being spoken about) it is okay.

Unfortunately, style aside, there are a lot of errors that detract from the writing because at times one must read over a sentence a few times to work out what it should really say. This can make reading it frustrating in a way it should not be.

Because so much of The Hippie’s focus is on her love life, quite understandably given her age and how awful heartache is in general, it can be easy at times to overlook the other problems and wonder why she let herself become depressed. Personal experience of her issues would definitely help – again the targeted reader of the book would likely share at least one of her issues – but reminding yourself of the nature of them would suffice. The way in which the author describes her relationship with her father might make a reader wonder what the problem is until you put yourself in her shoes. That the decent into depression seems rather sudden is actually incredibly understandable.

The Hippie makes good use of the advice given to her. While one of the elements, a monkey being obsessed with trying to get a peanut, can become repetitive, after a while you can see why it is appropriate and indeed you might be able to apply it to your own life.

One thing that I would say most people would struggle with is why The Hippie stays with her destructive boyfriend. It seems obvious that she should leave him, but in time she does address this. Indeed a lot of her thoughts could be applied to many people’s opinions of their partners, the most prominent being that you can’t change someone and that wanting to change them reflects the unhappiness you have in yourself.

Due to the subject one can’t really comment on whether it is a good book in the usual sense, but rather if it fulfills it’s purpose. On that this reviewer would say that it does but it could use some editing in order to fulfill it’s purpose to perfection.

I received this book for review from the author thanks to Pump Up Your Book.

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