Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge Book Review

Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: May 7, 2013

Wilhelmina, or Will for short, is struggling to cope after her parents both died in a car accident. Living with her aunt, Will creates beautiful hand-crafted lamps to stave away her fear of the dark and to provide extra income for the antique shop they run together. When she meets some new friends who are putting on an arts carnival, Will quickly jumps on board, helping in any way she can. However, hurricane Whitney has other plans and Will is forced to face her fear of darkness and the darkness that lies within as well.

Despite the cover, I can assure you, this is not a romance. Instead this is the story about loss and grief and how people deal with it. It is about strength amidst tragedy and how it is okay to mourn. Like her first book Page by Paige, Gulledge uses a lot of metaphors and symbolism to get her points across, some working more successfully then others. The references to Will being afraid of the dark and that being in direct correlation with her parent's deaths did not work for me because the story mentions that she had this problem for years. Her grandfather is the one who taught her about lamp making. Perhaps I didn't understand the timeline correctly, but in the story it seemed like her grandfather had died a while back and her parents the year before. If it was the other way around then I would be curious to know why Will didn't also greatly grieve for the loss of her grandfather too.

However, the story had good pacing and fantastic illustrations that I fell in love with while reading Page by Paige. In the end, I cried, which means the characters really captured me. I just wish the story had not ended so abruptly. Just a few pages more would have made me happy.