Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Stained

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre:
Reading Level: Young Adult
Recommended for: Those who need to learn to be their own hero
Book Available: October 1, 2013 in Hardcover, Kindle, and Audiobook formats
Trigger Warnings: bullying, kidnapping, sexual assault, rape, attempted murder, reported murder

My Thoughts: “Sometimes you have to be your own hero.” That is the lesson Cheryl Rainfield has said she tries to show in all her books. I'll admit to being a Cheryl Rainfield fan—I have liked all of her books I've read to date, and was very excited to find this one among my Vine offerings this month. I was also incredibly happy to note that my ARC has the original cover, the one deemed “too harsh” by some retailers, leading to a new cover being designed. That's fine, but I liked this original one, which really brings home the situation in which Sarah finds herself.

This is an incredibly difficult book to read, on multiple levels. First of all, the content is difficult, especially for anyone who has experienced any of the traumatic events reported in the book. Also, most of this book is thinking about things, talking about things, discussing things, and the internal dialogues of Sarah and Nick. There is not a lot of action, because the book is about the drastic changes that Sarah goes through as a result of her experiences. So people who prefer a more plot-driven book may have difficulties going through this. There also tends to be some repetition, but that's to be expected in this sort of book.

Most of Cheryl Rainfield's books have at least one or two characters who are part of the QUILTBAG, which is also true in this book. None of them are main characters, but they are there, living their lives, and loving whom they please. I love this about her books. This one is also about learning to live for yourself, accept yourself for who you are, and not to spend so much time worrying about the opinions of people that have no control over your life, and I think that is a lesson well learned by younger readers.

Sensitive readers should take note of my trigger warnings, and be braced. While not necessarily explicit as other books I've read, the events are nonetheless raw and difficult to read. However, it's a very moving book, and one I think a lot of people should take the time to read and think about. And definitely check out Cheryl Rainfield's other books as well, as she has some really great stories to tell. Recommended.

Disclosure: I received a paperback ARC from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

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