Read Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt Online


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. But every day, Izzy faces the hard fact that things will never be the same again....

Title : Izzy, Willy-Nilly
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780449702147
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Izzy, Willy-Nilly Reviews

  • Melissa McShane
    2019-04-26 01:29

    I remember now what my original reaction to this book was, years ago when I first read it:WHY IS MARCO NOT IN JAILHE SHOULD BE IN JAILIZZY’S PARENTS SHOULD HAVE SUED THE HELL OUT OF HIMThank you. Now I will continue with the review.Cynthia Voigt’s great skill at characterization comes through beautifully in this book, which is one long character piece about a girl who makes a stupid decision like so many other people have, but is unlucky enough for that decision to horribly, irreparably change her life. Izzy was nice, polite, friendly--unobjectionable, perhaps--and thought her life was perfect until a car accident WITH MARCO THE DRUNK DRIVING JERK caused her to have her right leg amputated below the knee. Izzy soon realizes that everything in her life has changed, not just the obvious physical challenges but her social life, her friendships, her relationship with her family, and her self-image. Through the course of the novel, she navigates these changes and--I can’t say she comes to terms with her new life, but by the end Izzy is certainly prepared to move forward.A reader today coming to this for the first time can be forgiven for thinking Voigt is treading old, tired ground here, but I think it’s important to remember that the book is nearly thirty years old and at the time of its publication was a different kind of problem novel for teens. Izzy in particular is remarkable for not being remarkable--not incredibly beautiful, not incredibly smart, slightly popular, a cheerleader but not the captain, friendly to everyone but with only a few good friends. Voigt doesn’t create tragedy by striking down someone extraordinary; this is the story of a relatively small life that catastrophe forces to grow bigger. The structure is maybe a little obvious (people Izzy thought were friends are really shallow, odd girl turns out to be a real friend) but I think the point of the story would have been lost if Izzy’s old life hadn’t been completely altered, and that structure is part of that.What I like about the book is how completely convincing everything is, particularly the moments after the crisis is long past and people have begun to move on, all except Izzy, who can’t just stop being an amputee. Izzy goes between wanting everything to be normal and being desperate to have her pain acknowledged. And I also like that the ending comes not when she’s completely reconciled to her fate, but when she realizes that she’s not half a person just because she only has one-and-a-half legs. She still has to deal with stares, and awkwardness, and physical challenges, but there’s going to be a day when people see her and not her handicap. It doesn’t feel neatly wrapped up, and I appreciate that because what it does feel like is acknowledgment of the struggle where a tidy ending would have felt like an insult. I can’t say this is my favorite Voigt novel, but it’s deeply satisfying. I like to imagine Izzy marrying Tony Marcel someday, and Rosamunde eventually going out with Izzy’s brother Jack, and all those people going on with their lives EXCEPT FOR MARCO WHO SHOULD BE IN JAIL.

  • Beth
    2019-04-25 04:32

    Izzy, Willy Nilly is pitch perfect emotionally. That's where I'd start. There's a lot more to say about this book: there's a lot of nuance, a lot just under the surface - and the reason it's all so powerful is because it feels so real. And it feels so real because it's pitch perfect emotionally. This is a book that doesn't pull any punches. It's the story of the immediate aftermath of Izzy losing her leg in a car accident, and it's lonely and painful and exhausting. And difficult. Really, really difficult.Izzy's new reality springboards a personal growth journey. And the great thing is that you're allowed to see Izzy growing and changing - becoming more introspective, thinking about racism and classism, skin color and disability - and while that's presented as a result of Izzy's disability, and the idea is certainly floated that she might not have changed had she never been in the accident, the person Izzy was before is never vilified. She would have missed out on a lot; the narrative makes that clear. She never would have been friends with Rosamunde or Adelia; she'd have gone on thinking Lisa was people smart and Suzy was smart and a good friend and Lauren was missing that boyfriend. But she's never depicted as evil or shallow or worthy of condemnation, just as having a narrow existence.That lack of vilification is very refreshing, because it represents a degree of nuance missing from current YA fiction. There's more nuance in the way Izzy is unlucky and knows it - that she never made it home safely, that she wasn't one of the 75% who doesn't need amputation - and in the way she is lucky and knows it: in her parents and her doctor and her charge account at the Treasure Trove. And there's more nuance in the way she starts seeing vulnerability: hers and her parents' and Lauren's and Rosamunde's. And, notably, Francie's and Adelia's. This isn't only the story of Izzy's new insight, though: it's the story of the tremendous amount of pain and loneliness and adjustment now in Izzy's life. The way everyone tries to understand but mostly doesn't quite manage to, the way their attempts to understand are complicated by their own pain or guilt. Izzy's emotional responses are interesting. She occasionally recounts sleepless nights, but she mostly projects onto a small mental Izzy, which suggests an emotional distance. I think it ties into Izzy's examination of class: there's Jack, whose anger is discomfiting, and Rosamunde, whose tears - in a hospital! - give Izzy's mother cause to comment. Because reacting violently or bursting into tears - or leaning on car horns - is Just Not Done. And so Izzy appears to cope, and only cries at night when no one can see her. And is commended for adjusting so well. There's also Shakespeare commentary (no way I wasn't going to mention that, right?) which I loved. Rosamunde points out that Shakespeare's had a great reputation for centuries, so it must be due to something - and then she and Izzy try to figure out what it could be. And while I will always support personal interpretations of works, I also love the idea of considering others' opinions, too. Of looking outside yourself and searching for validity in other people's points of view. Which strikes me, while I type this out, as a fitting microcosm of Izzy's personal journey. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Tony and Deborah and Izzy, Willy Nilly's treatment of ambition. There's Deborah, who gets into Stanford and is elated, and Tony, who misses her already because he doesn't have ambitions to leave. There's Izzy, who originally wants to go to college, get married, and have a family, just like her mother. And there's no judgement in the narrative. No sense that Deborah is an overachieving career woman, no sense that Izzy is a failure because she doesn't want a career. There's just the sense that characters are given space, not censure. Even Rosamunde, whose sharp eyes and tongue miss nothing, isn't bitter, just keenly observant. And then there's the cherry on top of the social commentary, which is Izzy's final anecdote: when she faces Marco and does what she points out no one did for her. It's the beginning of change, and it can be started, she realizes, even by someone missing one leg. And it's her insight - her power - that forces Marco to see past the disability to the person she is. It's the same with Tony, who forgets her crutches, and the same with Izzy herself, who sees that mini Izzy in a long skirt: missing a leg, still a whole person. This is a great story, and a rare story, and I'm so happy so many of you read it. I wish everyone would. We need more YA like it.

  • Dorothea
    2019-05-09 20:30

    It's always a bit strange re-reading a YA book that I first read in middle school or perhaps the first year of high school, because when I was 12-14, a 15-17-year-old character seemed so adult! Even more so when the character in question is conventionally attractive and popular -- all through my teens those characteristics seemed unattainably remote. So my old impression of Izzy, Willy-Nilly was of a tragedy befalling an exotic, sophisticated life. I don't think I related at all.This is pretty funny now because now I'm able to see what Voigt was going for -- she made Izzy pretty and popular because that let her emphasize the social stigma of visible disability; she made Izzy's personality so bland and dependent on her social status partly to make Izzy's emotional growth more apparent and partly, I think, to allow readers to insert themselves into Izzy's story. Heh.And Izzy's not sophisticated at all. She's the kind of naive that comes from being safe and privileged; other people's good assumptions about her have always allowed her to get by smoothly without having to think about what she, herself, really wanted to do and be. Now I think Voigt did a good job showing this, but when I was a young teenager (even though I had a lot of that kind of naivete myself), I didn't pick up on it at all -- I just went from "pretty, cheerleader, goes on dates" to "not like me" and missed out on basically all of Izzy's real personal growth. Oh well.Anyway, of course, Izzy is a popular girl who defines herself as "nice" and never really has to think about it, who is driven home from a party by a kid who was drinking, doesn't wear her seatbelt (don't do that, kids!!), and has to have half of her leg amputated after the resulting car crash. So the story is about how she reacts to that -- about her physical healing and adapting to her disability, of course, but mostly about her emotional and social recovery.Voigt actually has a pretty light touch with the drunk-driving part, I think. What's a lot more uncomfortable is Izzy's internal ableism. I can believe that it's exactly what she's thinking, and I can also believe that the people around her respond in the ways that they do, but I wish Voigt had included some more positive angle. I agree with what Colin says in this review -- in some places Izzy's pessimistic thoughts (e.g. that romance is now out of the question for her) really do seem to be validated by the narrative.This is pretty bad and I would like Izzy, Willy-Nilly much less if it weren't for one important factor -- Rosamunde. She is a dorky girl from Izzy's Latin class who liked Izzy when she was popular, but didn't try to be friends until after Izzy's accident. Rosamunde is blunt and brilliant and truth-telling, and she has her finger on exactly what's truly good about Izzy. Learning to appreciate Rosamunde, in turn, makes Izzy figure out what's really important to her. They remain very different people who delight in each other's quirks.Frankly, I know it's way too much to expect of a YA novel published in 1980-something (I can just imagine the publisher saying "This is a book about disability! One issue at a time!"), but the development of Izzy and Rosamunde's relationship easily reads like a romance plot. This is really adorable to contemplate. Minus that, though, at least we've got one really good female friendship.

  • Mireille
    2019-05-15 23:47

    (I read this book for the YA/MG book battle, and the following review is an excerpt from the post I wrote over there.)Izzy, Willy-Nilly is an important book. Its depiction of a teenage girl coming to terms with being disabled for the rest of her life is realistic, touching, and the event is shown as heart-breaking but not life-destroying either. It also touches on important issues of racism/classism, without being in your face about it. Of course, all the ~issues~ wouldn’t matter if this was a bad book, but it’s well-written, and it gets you to feel for the main character, even in her darkest moments.My favorite thing in this book was Rosamunde becoming Izzy’s friend almost despite Izzy. I liked how she didn’t tiptoe around Izzy but instead helped her in a very real way that Izzy’s other “friends” didn’t. (I also liked that her previous friends ended up being bitches – I mean, it was nuanced, but still bitches – because that felt true to life, or at least life as a popular teenager.)I was also a fan of Tony, and I kind of want a second book with Tony/Izzy. And Jack/Rosamunde. Jack being super into Rosamunde despite himself was pretty great.I like that not everything tied up neatly, that Marco is still a jerk who runs free, that nobody tries to pretend it will all be fine from there. I liked that it was hopeful but let itself be dark too. I liked the blast from the past when they considered if they should buy a VCR, haha.All in all, this was a really lovely book, and one that I'd recommend to every teenager.

  • Katie
    2019-05-19 21:38

    I REALLY liked this. I liked seeing how Izzy dealt with anything and the vast spectrum of people and their reactions.BUT I WANT MORE. ALL THE COMPANION NOVELS.

  • Kate
    2019-05-06 22:45

    Izzy wakes up in the hospital, groggy and confused. Finally she remembers what happened: she had gone to a party with her date Marco, and when the time came to leave he was drunk, but still attempted to drive her home. After they crashed into a tree, both of Izzy's legs are broken, and one of them has to be amputated.At first Izzy avoids even thinking about her leg. She's a nice girl, and she doesn't want to cause anyone any trouble or make them feel uncomfortable around her. Too bad her friends barely talk to her. Then Rosamunde, a girl from Latin Club, shows up. Izzy never would have hung out with Rosamunde before... but there is something about Rosamunde's direct way of confronting Izzy's new handicap that helps her through it.I was excited to read this due to my love for the Tillerman books by Cynthia Voigt (A Solitary Blue is one of my favorite books). This wasn't quite as good as those, I thought, mostly because Izzy is just too damn nice. I doubt many teen readers will be able to identify with her unless they've actually lost a leg themselves. She starts out as the nice, perfect, popular girl, and even after the accident and everyone is being weird around her, she never calls them on it or tells them that it makes her feel like crap. Many of the details were also very old-fashioned, the way it was unusual for Rosamunde to want to be a lawyer and Izzy's desire to meet a husband (perhaps at college), and be a housewife. I also found lacking the parts where Izzy believes she will never get a husband now - there is no hopeful resolution there except one small incident. I think back in its time, Izzy, Willy-Nilly would have been a great heartwarming young adult novel about a girl struggling to deal with a disability, but in the world of YA publishing today I'm not sure it holds up. Shark Girl, for example, was a much more interesting and modern take on the same idea. There are a couple of minor swears, so this is not an entirely clean read, but it's very close.

  • Meera K.
    2019-05-18 22:50

    For Marco, Izzy's accident could ruin his life if she chose to tell. He would have a criminal record, no college acceptance, and most importantly, no girlfriend.For Izzy's group of friends, her accident is a tragedy indeed, yet disgusting. Nobody wants a cripple around, and certainly being friends with one would lessen their status on the high school popularity pyramid.For Izzy's family, Izzy's accident is horrible and embarrassing... but could be dealt with. Izzy was a nice girl, so she wouldn't need trauma counseling and she couldn't keep hiding at home. Everyone at school would understand, and the accident would not change her life dramatically.For Izzy herself, the accident exploded her world. Her family is unable and unwilling to pierce the bubble of despair around her. Her friends don't want to be around her. Boys won't date her. And nobody understands.. no one at all.And for Rosamunde Webber, Izzy's accident is an opportunity. An opportunity for herself to make a friend.. and to help Izzy start her journey to self discovery.. and find out what more there is to what everyone believed to be just a "nice girl.".. I realize how hard it is to end a book. Hell, it takes me forever to find a decent ending to my essays. But WHY start a book SO FREAKING WELL.. build up the characterization and plot so well.. and so intricately, but then completely blow the ending.SO CLOSE.An okay book. For preteens-teens. Even old people. And people who have lost a limb.. who can either sympathize.. or laugh about how easy everyone thinks it is to "deal with it."For the record, I haven't lost a limb.I am a completely limbed person. And yes, limbed is a word.

  • Colin
    2019-05-01 23:32

    I'm a bit torn on this one. On the good side, Cynthia Voigt is extremely good at characterization. She writes in a compelling, interesting way; I am invested and interested in her characters. Now for the complicated/I'm torn parts: On one hand it seemed a pretty realistic story about how someone might deal with suddenly becoming disabled. There was a lot of spewing of internalized ableism, she loses all her shallow "popular" friends, and has to make new ones. My problem with the book is that nowhere in it was there any character that challenged her ableism or any internal realization on the protaganist's part that some of this ableist shit might not be true. Izzy is fifteen and a pretty, athletic cheerleader. Then she gets in a car with a drunk date and loses her leg. (That was a bit of heavy moralism, as an aside). Then she's like, oh, no one will ever date me, and i can't do anything ever again, because I'm a cripple. And she doesn't. Oh, wait, she takes up needlepoint, and the hot guy she wanted to date before the accident wants to be her buddy. But only because he "forgot" she was disabled, according to Izzy. The book ends on this note that was like, I have to accept this, I guess, but it's probably not going to be okay. Basically, I thought it would be a lot better book if some guy that she was too shallow to notice before was interested in her, or if she joined a disabled dance company or something. Alas.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-28 01:24

    Ok so this book is a little outdated for the YA market today, but it has such sentimental value I had to read it again. Some good points are that Izzy is a genuine character. She offers no pretenses to having the right answers or being a model for how to be an amputee. She is just a girl who deals with this problem in her own way, even if in our times it may not be the best way. This book deals with several underlying themes such as drunk driving, responsibility of the person driving, social status, and popularity. Despite the fact Marco walks free in the end I think this might have been a representation of the era and supposed to challenge others to see that Izzy made a mistake by not standing up and pressing charges. On some level she realizes that by not standing up to him she has allowed him to continue hurting other women albeit in different ways At least this gets readers talking about what's right and what's fair. The same principle goes for finding a boy at the end. This book tells it straight and leaves the reader with a handful of questions for what's right or wrong. Some draw backs are simply that it is outdated and would need a critical reader to cut through some of the social and non-feminist passivism in it, but this could lead into some great discussions. So yay, for Izzy pulling out her sewing kit and staying friends with Rosamunde even though she's different from her!

  • Magda
    2019-05-04 01:44

    This is my second time reading this book. I remember Heather talking about reading it in junior high, but I only read it for the first time within the past year. I don't know that it would have helped with my own hospitalization when I was in high school, but it's funny and clear, and provides a good example of how to conduct oneself in that situation. It's still a sort of good advice, as the cold weather is keeping me creaking around.

  • Ms. Sorock
    2019-04-21 23:44

    I read this book when I was a teenager and still remember it! This book is about a teenage girl who gets into a horrible accident that completely changes her life. There are important lessons in this book about good making choices, but there are also a lot of lessons about friendship, survival, and other issues that teenagers face. Some students thought the title of the book was a little strange, but when students looked beyond that and read the book, they loved it!

  • Sarah
    2019-05-18 22:51

    when visiting your parents, you should always reread your teenage books, to see what holds up. this one does.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-20 01:47

    This book was originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically AmazingCynthia Voigt has been one of my favorite authors since I read her Tillerman Saga in elementary school. After those 7 books, I was eager to read more, because that's what you do with an author you love, right?! I read several more of her books before I lost interest in a lot of my old favorites in favor of Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie. Real life drama, trials and pain didn't hold a candle to trying to figure out the mystery before someone else died. However, as I've gotten older, I find myself drawn more and more to those stories I loved when I was younger- stories of people facing terrible obstacles and learning to overcome.Izzy, willy-nilly by Cynthia Voigt is a novel I skipped over as a kid that I now wish I had not. It was painful, gritty, realistic and honest. How is it all of those things you ask? Because of Izzy (Isobel). Izzy is a great character. Although the book begins with her in the hospital after her car accident, we learn through interactions with other characters and Izzy's own thoughts that before the accident she was a nice, well-liked, intelligent person. She was one of three sophomores on the cheerleading squad and learning Latin, she gets along well with almost everyone and has a lot of friends. So really, she was your average high schooler. Can I just add that I loved that Voigt gave us a genuine person for a cheerleader, and not those flat, stereotypical, petty awful girls most stories seem to portray cheerleaders as?! (Sometimes, a cheerleader is just a normal person too...)Anyway, back to Izzy. She accepts an offer for a date to a party from a senior she isn't interested in simply because he's a senior, and really, how cool is that?! Turns out, when said senior is over-confident in his driving abilities while under the influence, not so cool at all. Before I get into the real meat of Izzy's struggles, I want to address one more thing- At the party, when she asks her date to take her home (she's conscious of her curfew!) she notices that he's a little bit drunk. Another senior (one she actually has a crush on) offers to take her home. Her date takes issue with that, and, not wanting to seem any lamer than she already does for needing to make it home for curfew, she blows it off as no big deal. She acts like everything will be fine, and leaves with a boy, knowing that he is too drunk to be a safe driver. Turns out- he drove the car into a tree. What bad things have happened to you because you wanted to 'save face' and what bad things have you managed to avoid?Izzy wakes up in the hospital, broken. They try to stabilize her leg, but as another fever comes on, and the infection spreads, they are forced to amputate her right leg, removing everything just below the knee. A previously active, healthy, lovely young girl is suddenly rendered basically immobile and completely unable to do many of the activities that previously felt completely natural. At first, she doesn't realize just how serious things are. And then, she uses her walker for the first time. Izzy slips into a deep depression she tries desperately to hide from those close to her. Her family tries to be supportive and they are there for her, but they don't know how exactly to treat her. Her mother tries to act as if Izzy will go right back into the life she left behind- all her same friends, all the boys calling, everything. It's hard for Izzy, because she knows that nothing is ever going to be the same again. Already her friends are drifting off. None of them really know how to talk to her anymore, and it's obvious every time they talk to her, or come to see her that they are deeply uncomfortable with the situation, until, for the most part, they just stop coming. Enter Rosamunde. Rosamunde is a girl in Izzy's grade who doesn't seem to care what other people think. She dresses to be comfortable, and speaks exactly what she's thinking. There is very little guess work involved in a conversation with Rosamunde and this comes as a relief to Izzy. Everyone steps lightly around her, careful to avoid any subject that might upset her or make her aware of her new disability. Instead of tiptoeing around, Rosamunde laughs at the line of left shoes, all lined up together in Izzy's closet, missing their mates.Izzy has never had to struggle with self image before. She really had everything going for her. Popularity, a loving family, an active and healthy body, etc. Right after the accident, she isn't truly capable of dealing with these changes, because anything related to this has always been so far out of her realm of experience. I don't know how Voigt manages it, with this and every other book I've read, but Izzy was so real. Her voice was powerful and authentic. I felt almost voyeuristic watching her suffer at night when no one was around, suffering in silence with all the lights turned off, so no one would suspect she was still awake. Because her suffering was so realistic, it was incredibly empowering to watch as slowly, day by day, she faced awkward situations and learned how to deal with them. Rosamunde was there for her the whole time, sticking around to push, pull and prod her into life again, and sticking around long enough to help her up when she's down.I don't know how I would handle something as devastating as loosing a limb. It changes every part of your life and is something that never 'goes away.' It's always there, and will always remain a part of you that you need to learn to live with and accept. While I definitely hope that I am never forced to deal with something as traumatic as losing a limb, I hope that I handle it as well as Izzy. It isn't easy for her, and it takes a long time to get there, but Izzy learns how to accept her new life. And, once she stops thinking of herself in terms of 'crippled' she finds that it's easier for others to overlook that as well.

  • Kendra Merritt
    2019-05-11 04:28

    Full Review: wise this book was a little slow. Not a lot happened. And yet, I loved it. I loved Izzy’s journey, her realizations. I loved the way she learned more about herself and her relationships with her family and friends through her trials than she ever had before. Sometimes it’s only through struggle that we can really know ourselves.Cynthia Voigt did a fantastic job portraying Izzy. So many of her feelings and her reactions echoed my own. And Izzy is a teenager, only fifteen, so she’s already a mess of uncertainties and crises. She’s still trying to learn who she is and who she wants to be when the process is interrupted by tragedy.That was one of the things that made Izzy feel so real. Her emotions were not simple or straightforward. Most of the time, she didn’t know what she felt or thought, and that’s so true of life. What goes on in our heads is not black and white. I loved the line: “I was wishing I could leave the table, because – because my being there, in the family, was making demands, and they were acting like I wanted to make them or had no right to make them.” Voigt puts words to a feeling I’ve never been able to properly express. How do I give voice to such a confusing mix of emotions? Even when people try to anticipate your needs and accommodate them, or try to do something nice for you, you still feel like you’re in the way. Even when they’re nice about it and you know it’s no trouble to them, you still feel like you’re an imposition. And being an imposition is not a comfortable feeling.Although, Izzy was really good at hiding what was going on inside. When someone asks “How are you?”, it’s so much easier to say “I’m fine”, even when you’re breaking up inside and absolutely nothing is right. And that’s where someone like fellow outcast, Rosamunde, makes all the difference. You need someone to counteract both extremes. Someone who won’t pretend that nothing has changed but also won’t coddle you. My someone wasn’t as perfectly tactless as Rosamunde, but he was a lifeline. He knew and acknowledged that my life had changed, and at the same time, he was there beside me the whole way.Also, I thought Voigt had some interesting things to say on how disability can change the nature of friendships. In reality, disability makes most people uncomfortable on some level. I know. I used to be one of them. Being uncomfortable isn’t a crime, but the real friends are the ones who stick around despite the awkwardness. The ones who try to make the effort, and who occasionally screw up and say the wrong thing. I’ve realized how blessed I was during my recovery to have the friends I did. And do. Thanks guys.

  • Amy's Book Reviews
    2019-04-25 22:47

    Izzy's leg has been amputated below her knee and she must learn to cope and reevaluate her vision of herself, het friendships, and her priorities as she learns to walk again.This book was written almost 4 decades ago, so judging by today's standards is difficult. As a middle aged woman, I was taken back to a simpler times, before electronics and computers. Teens reading the book today should view this novel as a period piece, appropriate for its era when deciding whether to read this novel. Middle aged adults will remember their high school days and muse about how times have changed,What might surprise young readers:I first read IZZY, WILLY NILLY as a teenager, in the late 70s, enthralled with the struggle. Cynthia Voigt's use of words like 'crippled", offensive by today's standards, were used to describe disabilities. The first time I heard the word "handicapped" was in college, when specialized parking spaces were first instituted. Additionally, drunk driving was a bad thing to do, and those who were caught usually got tickets, especially minors, but when this novel was written MADD had yet to be formed and the awareness and prevention was minimal. Parents were stricter, but we also had more freedom. We called all adults Mr, Mrs. or Miss, or if a woman was particularly modern, Ms. In rare circumstances, when an adult asked us to use a first name, we felt reluctant, as if we were being disrespectful. The only disrespectful kids were the really bad kids, and you had one or two in a grade of 200 kids. We asked our parents if we could have friends visit, we would never think of inviting a friend for dinner if we hadn't asked for permission first.Izzy's mother's judgments and superficial priorities about appearances and "our kind of people" were not uncommon and tacit prejudice, even racist, were so common most people didn't see a problem always referring to Adelia as "The Black Nurse" and other nurses by their names or just "the nurse" . We never learned Adelia's name until halfway through the book.

  • Ashley
    2019-04-26 20:34

    This book should be required reading for every high school student. Izzy is a normal fifteen year old girl. When a popular senior ask her out, she is thrilled. Who wouldn’t be? Most people want to impress others, whether they admit it or not. Middle school and high school are the hardest times to stand up for yourself. Besides, it couldn’t happen to you, could it? So Izzy goes out on a date with this senior and has an okay time, but he drinks too much. She knows he is drunk and gets in his car anyway. When he slams into a tree, he walks away with a few scratches. Izzy lives through the accident too, but she loses one of her legs. Voigt is a very talented writer. She creates dynamic characters to fill her stories. You care about them from the minute they are introduced. Everyone is so real. She paints scenes in such a way they unfold as though you are there. However, her most exceptional quality as a writer is her willingness to tackle difficult topics. I read this book in middle school and several times since. It will make you think twice about who you ride with.As a side note, it is really funny to look at the different covers this novel has gone through. My copy is yellow and Izzy has 80’s hair. This cover is much more contemporary. Some of the ones in between had a totally different look.

  • Julie
    2019-05-09 23:36

    Dated and even uncomfortable in a lot of ways, this is a strong, compelling account of grief, loss, and coming to grips with a physical disability. It's not a happy book, though it's a hopeful one. I was struck by how far we've come in the way we think societally about disability, and also how far we have to go in how we individually react to someone with a disability.

  • Holly
    2019-05-13 22:29

    so i found this one in the free book bin at my local 2nd and charles bookstore. there was a ton of awesome free books that day so i really scored. but anyway.... i heard the name of this book in passing many times over the years but i never really paid much mind to it or considered reading it or even looked up what it was about. so i took a chance. i had a hard time getting into it at first because the way the author starts it for a bit was kind of odd to me and kind of hard to follow. but once i got along in it and things "smoothed out" so to speak, i really liked it. one of my family members is a double amputee so i thought of him often while reading the book and what it must have been like. izzy is a real trooper. this is definitely a good book to read for anyone experiencing something similar, knowing someone who is an amputee or even if you just want to read a good book.

  • Kristen
    2019-05-04 20:33

    i read izzy willy-nilly back in HS and saw it at the library & decided to revisit it. the book was pretty much as i remembered it. i still enjoyed reading it as an adult. it makes me realize that YA has come a long way - while this book can stand on its own in my memory as a book i enjoyed in HS, it's a differnet kind of writing from YA of today. surprisingly, this book didn't seem as dated as i thought it might be, which is pretty cool considering it was published in 1986. i think it's a great story and it's one that we could all benefit from reading. i wish that izzy's family weren't so shallow and focused on appearance but i guess that is where her new friend, rosemunde, comes in - helping izzy to see that appearances aren't everything. i like cynthia voight books. i have homeocming checked out and i'm planning on reading that one soon, too!

  • ♥Mary♦Sweet♣Dreams♠Are♥Made♦of♣This♠
    2019-05-03 04:26

    I may have been too generous with the two stars. Izzy is not a good role model whatsoever. She didn't stand up for herself... Ever. She is a soft and weak character. The whole book was a boring depressing read. I read it once as a preteen and I really don't plan on reading it again. Save yourself the trouble.

  • Kate
    2019-04-26 00:25

    I had to read this book for school and hated it. Izzy is a terrible role-model and is very stuck-up. This book was not well writen.

  • Hallie
    2019-04-26 04:44

    Still keeping book secrets!

  • Anna Hepworth
    2019-05-21 00:54

    It is many years since I've read anything by Voigt, and while I recognise the name of the award winning book mentioned on the cover as one that I've read, I've no memory at all. This one is about 15 year old Izzy, who is allowed to go to a party with older kids from school, and who stuffs up the judgement call as to whether or not to let her date (who has been drinking, but she doesn't know how much) drive her home. One car accident later, and Izzy's whole life changes. The story doesn't glamorise any of what has happened, but neither does it apportion blame - it is not her fault that she gets hurt, it is not her parents fault for letting her go out. There are some pointed things implied in the story about the boy who stuffed up (he never calls to see how she is, he pressures one of her friends to pressure her to never mention what happened), but there is no 'just desserts' no 'revenge', and surprisingly in an American book, no-one is sued. As Izzy's mother says 'if it could get her leg back, I would'. And I was fascinated by the way that everyone around her completely misses the depression that she is feeling - I'd really like to remember this as a story to recommend people read if they ever say 'but we/they should have noticed that they was depressed'. Again, not one I'm going to seek out, but if I find it second-hand I'll definitely pick it up. And I'd recommend it to teenagers, simply because I know that I really liked Voigt's stuff when I was one, and this is at least as good as I was expecting

  • Enyonam
    2019-04-30 04:31

    This book is extraordinarily marvelous and breathtaking. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading in general because I feel as if this book can be appropriate for most ages. Although the story starts off with a very dreadful tragedy, it gives hope. Hope to people who are inadequate or lost in some point in their lives. Izzy-Willy-Nilly is the most compelling novel that I’ve ever read so far.Not all problems are resolved by the end of the book ,but by then Izzy is left equipped and is more dependent to to do things on her own. This novel really apprises you that more likely the friends that you associate yourself with now,will probably not be seen in your future. The one thing that had made me pay attentive attention to was the moral of the story;the moral of the story is to be very cautious of the descisons you make,and not to judge an individual by their cover.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-14 03:28

    I recently bought this as a gift and re-read it to see if it was still relevant- it was. While the perspective is somewhat able-ist I also think it is authentic to Izzy as a person, and ultimately her views evolve much as current discourse has. The other themes of friendship, popularity, loyalty, growing up, and consequences are still powerful. I remember the impact this story had on me as a young reader and hope it continues to resonate for future generations.

  • 711Shayna
    2019-05-03 00:37

    A really good read in terms of character changes. I would definitely recommend it for a intense somewhat sad book about true friendship.

  • 710Juliette
    2019-05-07 03:52

    " Izzy, Willy-Nilly" was a very good book. Although, the beginning was a little too slow for me.

  • Maddy Gutacker
    2019-05-23 00:48

    I hat to read this for school and it was good but not my favorite.

  • 710ella
    2019-04-22 04:47

    This book was amazing. I felt like i was in the book, and i witnessed everything that happened in the book. I totally recommend this book!

  • Elisa Vangelisti
    2019-04-26 02:34

    Mi era piaciuto molto la prima volta che l’ho letto, ma la rilettura non regge alla prova del tempo. Bei messaggi, adatto agli adolescenti, scritto bene e con senso logico.