Friday, August 19, 2011

Review of Cut by Patricia McCormick

"A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next." Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside. Now she's at Sea Pines, a "residential treatment facility" filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn't want to have anything to do with them. She doesn't want to have anything to do with anyone. She won''t even speak. But Callie can only stay silent for so long...

I remember seeing Cut in the library as a young teen and thinking that it might be a bit too dark for me. Lately I’ve become more open to reading darker contemporary stories, so when a review offer for Cut showed up in my inbox, I figured it was time to finally give it a try. Although the length may not make it look like much, I found Cut to be a moving and relatable story.

When we meet Callie, she is in Sea Pines (or Sick Minds) because she cuts herself. I thought the plot progression in this story worked really well. McCormick gives the reader closure, but doesn’t tie up the story so neatly that it’s unbelievable.

Callie’s narrative voice has just a hint of snark, but I also loved how sympathetic she was. As I turned the pages, I found myself thinking of times when I had felt emotions similar to Callie’s. However, I think McCormick makes Callie realistic without sensationalizing or diminishing her tough subject matter. I love that this book is in part about learning to cope with negative emotions, because that is a major part of growing up.

I admit that I was a little unsure of Cut going in because I wasn’t sure if I’d feel any connection with the character. McCormick expertly blends universal themes into an honest story and a likable main character. I’d definitely recommend this one to those looking for a tough but ultimately uplifting contemporary read.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

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