When Saved By the Music opens, Willow acts both snobby and bratty about her new living situation. She most definitely does not want to spend her summer helping her aunt fix up a broken-down barge in a slummy town. At this point, I thought Willow was a spoiled brat, but it turns about I was completely wrong about her at-home situation which was a pleasant surprise (though Willow’s home life is anything but pleasant). Although still upset about the lack of some very basic amenities, Willow’s opinion about her summer in exile starts to change when she spots a neighbor who looks a lot like her idol, Jim Morrison. But Willow and Axel (the Morrison lookalike) are each dealing with some pretty heavy issues that manifest themselves in physical ways. These issues aren’t revealed until Willow makes a bad decision regarding Craig, who Willow’s aunt hired to help fix up the barge.
Since the subject matter is so heavy, it would've been nice if Selene Castrovilla had avoided the quick happy ending that comes on the last page; however, it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. The characterization of Willow was well done, though some of the minor characters like Craig were a bit stereotypical.