Will & Whit
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Will & Whit

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  793 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Wilhelmina “Will” Huxstep is a creative soul struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy. She crafts whimsical lamps, in part to deal with her fear of the dark. As she wraps up another summer in her mountain town, she longs for unplugged adventures with her fellow creative friends, Autumn, Noel, and Reese. Little does she know that she will get her wish in the form o...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Abrams (first published May 1st 2013)
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Will & Whit is a book that falls into my Stand By Me category of stories—that is, where there’s some sort of thing motivating our characters (Let’s go find a dead body! Or in this case, Hey there’s a storm a-comin’!) but the thing basically fades into the background as the characters instead do a lot of Talking and Thinking and Having Emotional Moments and Hanging Out Doing Average Day To Day Stuff Of Life.

Which isn’t bad—I enjoy many Stand By Me-ish books—but plots like that tend to be hard...more

3.5 Stars

“You know, in the dark, people see what they want to see.”

Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge is a very sweet read. A graphic novel filled with darkness, grief, light, and healing. The black and white illustrations and pages with deep, deep black borders somehow still radiate warmth and light. A story that shows how the light can cut through the darkness and pain with a little help and love from friends and family.

Wilhelmina“Will” is a warm, creative “old-soul” trying to keep busy ove...more
Laura Lee Gulledge quotes Doctor Who and references Firefly in this book. I could almost stop there, since that's how the author fully won me over. But the truth is that she didn't need the references. I like this book, and especially the characters, well enough without.

This is the sort of quiet book where not much happens. At least, there aren't many big events. It's just about the characters, and how they change over the course of the book. We see the most change in the main character, Will (s...more
I read this one right after Friends with Boys (catchin' up on my realistic GNs) and I felt like this one was also not quite the book its cover & title wanted me to think it was? I again assumed it was a teen romance. (Maybe I just assume everything is a teen romance?) But it's much more of a story about one girl facing her fears and grief through the power of art and friendship. It was also remarkably funny, with a lot of currently-timely pop culture references that I enjoyed, and that I thi...more
(Intermediate) Will and Whit

1. I did enjoy this book as the main character is overcoming a difficult event in her life. However, I would not add this book to my personal library. This book deals with loosing a family member and I feel that this is a topic that needs to be approached cautiously with primary children-all children for that matter. This book is also intermediate for my preschoolers. I would recommend this book to my media specialist to add to her collection for 5-6th grade students....more
Well, I knew I was going to read this one, since I loved her previous (Page by Paige) - and also I knew this one had some local scenery in it. And boy did it! Every couple of pages I saw a familiar scene - look, there's Lee Park, and the library, and the free speech wall! And Chaps and she mentions Clark Elementary! (One local quibble: a girl who grew up here would KNOW the Ix Building.) So, like a rock band mentioning the name of the town they're playing that night, she automatically gets the h...more
As a huge fan of Page by Paige, I was super excited to see that Laura Lee Gulledge was putting out a second graphic novel! I was a little sad to see that her second book had less of a visually metaphoric style (since that was one of the things I LOVED about her first work), and a little sad to see that it's not in color (color is actually kind of important in this book, as it was in Page by Paige), BUT...overall, I was not disappointed.

The story in Will & Whit is much more memorable than it...more
Samantha Schakosky
Since I read Paige by Page, for my graphic novels unit. I was interested in reading the authors latest graphic novel as well. I personally think that Paige was slightly more touching, but this was pretty good as well. One thing I found similar was the use of metaphors in this book. Which in this case was used by shadows to contrasts Will's light and to show her fear of the dark. While Paige drawed her metaphors out. Which I thought was pretty interesting. If you liked Page by Paige. I recommend...more
Language: Damned & badass on first two pages and more peppered throughout book (bastard, douche, etc.) Doesn't detract and actually works as characters are seniors in HS, but beware before handing book over to younger audience.

Another effort from Laura Lee G that I found better than her Page by Page, has more of a storyline (main character Will is afraid of the dark), arc and quirky touches: Will likes older/antique things in a modern age, introduces people with 3 things you should know abou...more
Diane S.
Graphic novels are so not my thing. This, however, had a very quirky character. Liked that she was afraid of the dark and chose to makes lamps. Had many kooky friends, things jumped from on the thing to another. Too much was jammed in but it was easy to read, not one of those graphics were the bubble words are all over the pages and so much is put on a page that it makes one dizzy to look at. No, I still do not love graphics but I didn't hate this one. That is the best I can do.
Shannon Grieshaber
A very sweet story about a very interesting girl - Wilhelmina, Will for short. She's a teen with an old soul who likes old things. Lucky for her, she lives with her aunt who owns an antique store. Will can feed her old soul with old things every day. She can also find material for her art, which is creating lamps (although she'd be the last person to call herself an artist). Sadly for Will, she lives with her aunt because her parents died a year ago. Ever since then, Will has been followed by sh...more
Gulledge explores one teen's experience dealing with grief, fear, art, and friendship over the course of the summer before her senior year. Will lives with her Aunt Ella - at first all we know is that's because they don't have anyone else, but the details are slowly revealed as Will herself comes to term with them. In some ways this felt too perfectly whimsical to me, but it was so FUN (especially for a book about grief) with its likable characters and explorations of art in many forms - includi...more
Will is haunted by shadows; troubles that she would rather avoid. Her grandparents are gone, her parents are gone, and all she has left is the supportive aunt whom she lives with, and her friends. She is trapped by her life, and especially the darkness that scares her. To counter this, Will re-purposes items to create lamps. Not only do they chase away the dark, but this creativity allows her to express herself in a way that she can't with people.

Her metaphorical shadows take on a physical form...more
Sarah Rosenberger
Will is an old-beyond-her-years teenager who makes lamps out of discarded antiques to cope with her fear of the dark, but when Hurricane Whitney knocks out the power to her town, she is finally forced to confront the shadows that surround her every time the lights go out.

Like in Raina Tegelmeier's books, there's not a great deal of plot, with Gulledge instead focusing on the emotions and interactions of a small group of family and friends. The art is really powerful and well-done. Will and Whit...more
Will (Wilhelmina) is dealing with a lot. Her parents died in a car accident last year and she’s developed a fear of the dark that she combats with a creative hobby – creating lamps out of nearly anything. Living with her aunt, and helping her run an antique store, Will is looking forward to a summer of hanging out with her friends. But when Hurricane Whit comes to town and causes a massive blackout, Will has to face her fears, and herself, without the aid of her lamps.

This is a far more “girly”...more
Alissa Bach
Ever since the accident that killed both her parents, Will has been afraid of the dark. A talented artist, she combats this fear by creating quirky lamps out of repurposed items. Then a major storm hits the area, knocking out power to the town for several days, and Will can no longer hide from her fears. At first, she deals reasonably well, throwing herself into a talent show being put on by a group of local teens. But sooner or later, Will must face her fears. And, with a little help from her a...more
Nice graphic novel about Will (short for Wilhelmina) and the summer of Hurricane Whitney ("Whit"). Will works for her aunt in an antique shop and is trying to enjoy her summer. She and her friends get involved in an art carnival and then the hurricane hits and they're without power for several days. Normal teen drama ensues, with crushes and hurt feelings.

The friendships, old and new, are portrayed nicely and I found Will to be likeable. Underlying Will's witty nature and involvement with her fr...more
I never read graphic novels. The only time I ever do is for class, so when I had to pick a graphic novel to read for my YA lit class, I thought this one sounded cute. And look how adorable the cover is! In the end, though, I just couldn't get into the graphic novel genre and didn't enjoy the story as much as I wanted to.

Will has always loved making lamps as a way to fight the shadows of darkness that have haunted her ever since her parents' death. Now, she's living with her eccentric Aunt and t...more

Okay, first of all, the cover of this book totally tricked me. Not in a bad way, probably in a good way. If you are looking for a book about two people named Will and Whit who fall in love and sit on a log and cuddle, do not read this book. You will be sorely disappointed.

Will and Whit is about a girl named Will and her life before and after a storm named Whit strikes. (Yup, that's not them on the cover.) One thing you need to know about Will is that she is afraid of the dark. Rather, she’s afra

2.5 stars!!

The story was just OK. I have read much better YA graphic novels recently and I am surprised this was a winner of the YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2014. Not only did I feel it jumped scenes, but I feel a few simple changes would make the book more appealing to readers, especially teens. The title and cover are misleading, which by itself is not a bad thing...but the story is not only about Will & Whit, but all of Will's friends AND they are definitely not in a relationship...more
Samantha Tai
Seventeen-year-old Wilhelmina "Will" Huckstep isn't your typical teenager. She has an old-fashioned soul and loves making old things into new ones, especially lamps, which helps keep the darkness at bay. Will is afraid of the dark and the shadows that haunt there. When Hurricane Whitney (Whit) causes widespread power outages, Will must learn to overcome her fears.

I really wanted to like this story and for the most part I did. I really like Will's character as well as her Aunt Ella. I also really...more
I loved this black and white graphic novel about Wilhelmina, who is called Will for short, loves art and puns, but is afraid of the dark since both her parents died in an accident the year before. Whit is short for Whitney, the storm that blows through town and changes the lives of several tees who learn about themselves as they creatively face the challenges and inconveniences of living life "unplugged," during the power outage. Will and Gulledge tell you "three things" about several of the cha...more
Gulledge is definitely honing her craft. I really liked how she integrated visual metaphor into Page by Paige, and here it's even more seamlessly integrated into the story. It feels more like a manga convention than a gimmick (masterful though PbyP was).

Still have one major complaint, though. Amulet SERIOUSLY needs to start publishing Gulledge in color. Gulledge's work (all two books) seems to always have an Art theme, but more than that, color is often mentioned/a plot point in her stories. Gr...more
Will (Wilhelmina) Huckstep is a smart and funny young woman who tries to avoid thinking about a family tragedy. She doesn't talk about her feelings with her aunt or her friends, but she is afraid of the dark and creates lamps out of found objects to try to chase away the shadows she fears. When Hurricane Whitney comes to town, Will has to find a way to keep the darkness at bay.

This is a beautifully done graphic novel with a focus on character development rather than plot. Will gradually learns t...more
Katey Thompson
WOW! Now here's a great, fun, thought provoking, beautiful book. Laura Lee, count me among your fans. Your book made me laugh. And cry. That is what I look for and love in a story. Do yourselves a favour people: read this book!
Apparantly, it's being converted to a play. I am eager to see the results.
Angela Critics
I definitely enjoyed this book. There were a couple of things that really stood out for me. I liked the way Gulledge used stippling for shadows that were part of Will’s imagination, as if they were the shadows in her past haunting her. I thought it was a very effective technique. As someone who lives and works in Charlottesville, VA, I enjoyed the fact that the book is set there. I recognized the Freedom of Speech Wall, the downtown mall, Chaps, and the fondness for cupcake shops. Overall, the s...more
Jul 21, 2014 Dawn added it
Last summer I read Page by Paige and thought it was one of the best graphic novels I'd read. I decided I should read a few more graphic novels this summer. I thumbed through the shelves at the library and picked this one - only to later discover it was the same author as Page by Paige.

This story is about an adolescent girl struggling with the death of her parents. She admits she is afraid of the dark. In the dark there is no hiding. It is just you and your thoughts. Her shadows all through the s...more
To start off with, and I don't know why, I was annoyed with the drawing. It was too bubbly for me. I think it's well drawn, just not preferred style. Then, there are these shadow things that follow Will around. She is afraid of the dark so she sees these weird things all over. At first, I thought this was going to be a ghost story but that's not where it went.

Basically, the story is about Will, a young girl who is dealing with the loss of family. She lives with her aunt and has a close group of...more
Delightful graphic novel full of likable characters, realistic situations, and tender feelings.

I loved the characters. They are all realistic and likable. They act like normal teenagers, with good days and bad days.

Will lives with her aunt and helps run the family antique store. She fears the dark, but her grandfather taught her to create lamps and that dispels her fears.

There are beautiful, age old themes of family, friends and dealing with loss and fear. It's a lovely story that anyone woul...more
Elise Edie
A gentle, sweet story about a teen's first summer vacation after the death of her parents. The story focuses on moving forward--finding new friends, engaging in new activities, making self discoveries--but doesn't neglect the process of grieving. I found the world and characters very engaging--everyone is creative, specific and attractive. I was reminded of the L'Engle books about the Austin family--not that the Austin's were anything like Will and her friends-- but more that it was a simple sto...more
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