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Izzy, Willy-Nilly quotes Izzy, Willy-Nilly, litcharts Izzy, Willy-Nilly, symbolism Izzy, Willy-Nilly, summary shmoop Izzy, Willy-Nilly, Izzy, Willy-Nilly e258fc3e One Moment Can Change A Life Forever Fifteen Year Old Izzy Has It All A Loving Family, Terrific Friends, A Place On The Cheerleading Squad But Her Comfortable World Crumbles When A Date With A Senior Ends In A Car Crash And She Loses Her Right Leg Suddenly Nothing Is The Same The Simplest Tasks Become Enormous Challenges Her Friends Don T Seem To Know How To Act Around Her Her Family Is Supportive, But They Don T Really Want To Deal With How Much She S Hurting Then Rosamunde Extends A Prickly Offer Of Friendship Rosamunde Definitely Isn T The Kind Of Girl Izzy Would Have Been Friends With In Her Old Life But Rosamunde May Be The Only Person Who Can Help Izzy Face Her New One


10 thoughts on “Izzy, Willy-Nilly

  1. says:

    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.


  2. says:

    Izzy, Willy Nilly is pitch perfect emotionally That s where I d start There s a lot 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 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 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 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 YA like it.


  3. says:

    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 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 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 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 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.


  4. says:

    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.


  5. says:

    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.


  6. says:

    rating 3.5This isn t action packed or suspenseful nor is it a romance It s told from the point of view of 15 yo Isobel who s life changes radically following an automobile accident A young teen, sensible but still feeling the need to fit in, which is why she got into trouble She went to a party with a HS senior who drank too much When it came time to go home, she hesitated but got in the car with him and lived to regret the decision.Starting with denial, she gradually comes to realize that much about her life has changed not only the obvious adjustments of learning to maneuver w o a lower leg, but also the way she views herself, her family, and her friends In some ways, it s a coming of age story, but it s than that it urges the reader to think about what s important in life.


  7. says:

    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.


  8. says:

    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 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.


  9. says:

    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 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.


  10. says:

    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


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