Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Powerful. I think it's brave and amazing that Cheryl used her own scars for this cover.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Westside Books
Page Count: 233 p.
Kendra was sexually abused. She can't remember her abuser, and she can't remember when it stopped. All Kendra can recall is a rough hand here and a deep voice there. She can't piece it all together. This makes her weary of the men she knows. This might not be why she's a lesbian though. She's just more attracted to girls. Her abuse is why she cuts though. She needs to cut to get away from the memories, to get away from the pain. She needs to remember even though she doesn't want to. Maybe if she has enough support, she'll be strong enough to put the pieces together.
Wow. This book was intense. This is not a beach read. Not a light-hearted funny romp. This is real. Kendra was such a real character and you can feel how bad she feels inside. When I read about her cutting her pain away, my skin itched for release for her. My stomach was in knots reading this. I can't imagine having to go through life with only the worst memories of this abuse. Enough memory to be scared, but not enough to know who to be afraid of.
I felt like the adults in this novel were sort of cookie-cutter. I didn't see a lot of depth or soul to them. They seemed necessary, but secondary in every way. The dialogue between them and Kendra seemed forced and clunky.
Like Kendra's art bared her soul, this novel is such an intimate look at Cheryl's core. Cheryl Rainfield let herself be completely open and poured out this novel. There is so much raw emotion in this, and that's what might make it hard for some readers. There is so much feeling in this novel and I don't think it got resolved as much as it could have. This is probably realistic, but not very inspiring. Luckily Kendra is a strong girl though, and her brave face makes this book really stick out and stand up. This might not be a great read if you have been through cutting, or abuse. I felt like it struck a deep nerve, and it might break you a little inside. It's terrible the kinds of people that are out in this world. This book is brutally sincere and will leave you smiling through tears.
"'Someone is following me,' I gulp air, trying to breathe."
"His words rip through me like shrapnel."