Friday, June 14, 2013
Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Young Adult literature
Reading Level: Young Adult with the caveat that this addresses serious issues; readers should have someone to whom they can turn for assistance with any issues that it brings up. Some of the abuse scenes are very graphic and very disturbing.
Recommended for: Anyone who can read it
Trigger Warnings: Child molestation/incest (very graphic scenes), cutting (graphic), homophobia, suicidal ideation, child abuse and neglect, assault with a deadly weapon, ritual abuse
My Thoughts: Wow, this book is brutal: absolutely brutal. Not only is Kendra trying to survive the memories of her abuse as a child, but she's also coming to grips with being a lesbian and dealing with the ignorance of her family. They try to be accepting, but keep saying things like, “If you choose to be a lesbian, you're choosing a hard road.” People just can't seem to understand it is not a choice! I mean, who in their right mind would choose to live with the sort of hatred and discrimination that people in the QUILTBAG have to deal with? No, it's the way a person is born, nothing to do with any choice. The only correct thing about that statement is the “hard road” bit. I was very happy that a) Kendra figured it out so young and b) she had a friend of the family who was gay that would support and encourage her.
Cheryl Rainfield has said, “I write the books that I needed as a teen.” She also writes the extremely hard and brutal truth. She digs so deeply into the head of the abused Kendra that I felt like I needed a shower after reading some of the things that poor child went through.
While the book is brutal and disturbing, it's also very well-written. I just realized, after finishing it, that I didn't notice a single editing error. I couldn't tell you if that was because they weren't there or I just didn't notice them; I was absolutely enthralled by this story. It was hard to read, but … I really can't recommend it enough. If you can stand to read it, you really should.
Disclosure: I picked up this book from Amazon during a free promotion. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: 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. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.
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