Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Genre:  YA Contemporary

Description (taken from Goodreads)::
Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences.

We enter Kendra's world where she is an abuse survivor and can't find the support she needs.  Her parents are too self-absorbed in their own worries to give her the support she needs.  Not to mention that there's a big communication block between parents and daughter.  So, Kendra finds the support she needs through friends and a therapist.  She meets a girl named Meghan who she can relate to and begins to fall for.  All the meanwhile, her memories are coming back, she copes with them the only way she knows how: by cutting.

This book made me super depressed.  I'm not sure I can handle books like these.  They're sad, and they make me want to cry.  With that being said, there were some issues I had with this book.  As with parents getting too absorbed with themselves to pay attention to their daughter's cries, I believe teenagers can do the exact same thing.  But a teenager (sometimes) does not have the maturity to recognize this.  I felt like this book put too much blame on the mother for not paying enough attention.  And I want to point out that not all parents are like this.  Reading this book can give the reader a generalized view: if a victim cuts, then their parents are bad parents.  And that's not true.  You can have teenagers cutting who have parents trying their hardest to support their kids and trying to keep the communication open.  But something happens that creates a communication barrier between the two, and I believe teenagers can't be held 100% blameless when that occurs.

Now back to the book (after I get off my high-horse rant).  This book did take a turn that I was slightly expecting, and I'm not sure I liked it.  I don't know how to rate a book that made me depressed enough to not want to read it (or made me think about my own past teenager issues).  And the fact that this book points out that there are coping mechanisms to help you stop cutting, but they're never brought up.  We don't really see Kendra's healing process, just that it happens.  I would've liked to see more of that.

Who would I recommend this book to?  People who have a personal interest in the plot might like it.  That's why I picked it up, but it definitely did not leave me with a good-happy feeling (more like a 'this world's depressing' feeling).

Thanks goes to WestSide Books and Netgalley for my review copy.


  1. Great review. I don't mind emotional reads because I don't want to read book that always make me happy. I enjoy reading books that make think about how others live good or bad. I will have to check this out.
    Janiera @ Books & Beauty

  2. Great review! I've actually been looking for a sad book (I know, somethings wrong with me!) and I can't believe I actually managed to find something LOL. But I definitely don't want anything that overdoes it.


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