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...
And here is what I thought!
Cut by Patricia McCormick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's been a tremendously long while since I've written a review, so bear with me if my thoughts sound a little disjointed. I just read this for the YA class that I'm taking, and I'm still trying to make sense of everything I feel about this book and everything that we talked about today.
I'd say that this book is a 3.5 because of its readability, but I'm rounding down because of some other issues that I have with it.
Let's start with the things I liked about it.
This was such a quick read for me, not only because of its easy reading level, but also because I was so curious to find out what was going to happen to Callie and the rest of the girls at Sea Pines.
Also, I think this is an important book for young adults to read, whether they cut themselves or not. This is a banned book (surprise!) because of the "chicken and the egg" problem. People are afraid that teens might read something like this and start cutting themselves. They want teens to grow up with this picture perfect ideal of life: parents are always together, mental illness does not exist, sexuality is never questioned, and everything is hunky dory. They don't want kids/teens contemplating anything other than a "normal" life. But this is where the chicken-and-the-egg theory blows up in their face, in my opinion. By banning books that touch upon social issues and by presumably only making available rainbows-and-butterflies kind of stories, teens will start to question themselves and their own lives. Think about it. Kids internalize everything. So what happens when their parents get divorced and all of the books they read tell them that this is not "normal"? They will think of themselves as "abnormal," and the perpetual cycle of self-blame/loathing/questioning/uncertainty continues, thereby completely refuting everything book banners were trying to accomplish anyway.
::sigh:: End rant. Back to the book.
This is why I think it's important for this book to be read. It lets the reader (and especially teens) know that they are not alone. Whether you cut yourself or not, everyone has at some point felt lonely and misunderstood, and this type of book will let readers know that no matter what they're going through, there are people who care and who can be turned to for guidance.
Besides that, I really enjoyed Callie. Although I didn't have a very clear picture of her in my mind's eye as I read, that could have something to do with the fact that she's telling the story. She was a good character, and I could relate to her. She's got a lot of stuff overwhelming her in her life, but she breaks the stereotypical image of a cutter, which was refreshing.
However, while Patricia McCormick does a really good job at telling the story through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old, I'm conflicted as to whether or not I think it's a good idea to tell the story that way. On one hand, it helps us to literally put ourselves in Callie's shoes and thus better understand what she's going through, but on the other hand, it limits the character development of the other girls, and it also brings a thirteen-year-old girl's slightly narrow/stereotypical view of the world into the story.
Overall, do I consider this literature? No. Will I ever re-read it again? No. I think Girl, Interrupted does what this book tried to do in a much better way. But it was a good book to read for a rainy afternoon, and it addresses important social issues that need to be talked about. Plus, it's a banned book, and those are always the more interesting/thought-provoking ones to read!
View all my reviews
Well, that's all I have for now! Back to doing some homework. Yay for tomorrow being Friday! :)
Happy reading and until next time,