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Cut Paperback – Color, May 1, 2011

480 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Burdened with the pressure of believing she is responsible for her brother's illness, 15-year-old Callie begins a course of self-destruction that leads to her being admitted to Sea Pines, a psychiatric hospital the "guests" refer to as Sick Minds. Although initially she refuses to speak, her individual and group therapy sessions trigger memories and insights. Slowly, she begins emerging from her miserable silence, ultimately understanding the role her dysfunctional family played in her brother's health crisis.

Patricia McCormick's first novel is authentic and deeply moving. Callie suffers from a less familiar teen problem--she cuts herself to relieve her inner frustrations and guilt. The hope and hard-won progress that comes at the conclusion of the novel is believable and heartening for any teen reader who feels alone in her (or his) angst. Along with Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and E.L. Konigsburg's Silent to the Bone, McCormick's Cut expertly tackles an unusual response to harrowing adolescent trouble. (Ages 14 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This first novel combines pathos with insight as it describes adolescent girls being hospitalized for a variety of psychiatric disorders: "The place is called a residential treatment facility. It is not called a loony bin," states Callie, the narrator, with characteristic grit. Callie does not speak aloud for most of the story, but directs her silent commentary chiefly to her therapist. Through this internalized dialogue, readers become aware of Callie's practice of cutting herself and, more gradually, how her cutting is a response to the dynamics of her damaged family. Similarly, the other girls' problemsDanorexia, overeating, substance abuseDcome to seem (both to themselves and to readers) like attempts to fight off parental or societal obliviousness to their needs: "It's like we're invisible," says a girl during a climactic scene. While running the risk of simplifying the healing process, this novel, like Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, sympathetically and authentically renders the difficulties of giving voice to a very real sense of harm and powerlessness. Refusing to sensationalize her subject matter, McCormick steers past the confines of the problem-novel genre with her persuasive view of the teenage experience. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Push; Reprint edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545290791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545290791
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (480 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patricia McCormick is a two-time National Book Award Finalist whose books include "Cut," "SOLD," "Never Fall Down," and the young readers edition of "I am Malala." SOLD, based on McCormick's research in the brothels of India, has been made into a feature film due out in fall 2014.

Her debut novel, "Cut" is a sensitive portrayal of one girl's struggle with self-injury; it has sold nearly a million copies. "SOLD," a searing novel written in vignettes, and "Never Fall Down," based on the true story of a boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia, were National Book Award finalists. Her other books, "My Brother's Keeper", and "Purple Heart" have received numerous awards.

She worked recently with Malala Yousafzai, on the young readers' edition of "I am Malala," the story of the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for her right to an education.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 96 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had expected more from this book when i bought it. After reading the summary on the back cover, i was hoping to read a serious novel that truly confronted the issue of self-injury (SI). Instead, i found the book to be lacking in depth and using SI as a gimmick to establish the lead character, Callie, in the setting of the book.
"Cut" is not a novel about the issue of cutting. It is a novel about a girl in an adolescent psychiatric ward. As written, the book is a very diluted version of "Girl, Interrupted," describing Callie's stay in the ward and some experiences with her therapist and with the other patients. With very little effort, this book could be rewritten as a story of a girl with an eating disorder or a substance abuse problem--the type of mental-health issue is unimportant to the plot.
If you are looking for a story about life in a psychiatric ward, written at a middle school level, this book is perfect and very readable. If, however, you are looking for a book for older teens or adults, or for a book specifically confronting the issue of self-injury, you will likely find "Cut" very disapppointing.
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65 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Terrence Ibarra on February 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Look, i don't want to be really mean or anything. I just feel I really have to write a little review of this after seeing all these good reviews. I cut myself for four years, from 14 to 18. I know what it's about, I know why people do it. I have talked to so many others that have gone through the same things. Almost the only thing i found affirming, empowering in this book was the thought, about half way through, that I, too, could be a published author. And one with a little authenticity as well. Maybe I'm the only one, but I just got the feeling, from start to finish, that the author had never watched blood seep up through her skin, never waited those moments between the cutting and the release. Additionally, there are at least three jokes in this book taken almost, if not, word for word from "Girl, Interrupted." This book, "Cut," was about as genuine as the episode of 7th Heaven that dealt with the same subject. If you are struggling with this, if you are looking for some understanding, a little illumination, or, if you are a friend of someone who cuts themselves, or even if you are just looking for a book on this subject, look somewhere, ANYWHERE else. You will find no help, you will be unable to GIVE any help based on anything in this book. I'm not sure who was involved in letting this thing out, but perhaps they should reevaluate their criteria, not to mention their careers. As for the author, if in fact she never has cut herself, I would suggest she look, in the future, towards her own experience, rather than co-opting a serious issue that afflicts so many. It is already misunderstood enough. Cutting does not need this sort of false publicity, this pseudo-understanding, this ingenuous "creativity."
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Recovering from self-injury myself, I greatly know the struggles that you are faced with in inpatient treatment and in giving up this coping mechanisim. This book protrays self-injury in a way that the non self-injurer can understand and breaks some stigma, which I give it credit for. But it doesn't really "show" you what trully goes through a persons mind- a person who would actually hurt themselves for temporary relief. And although the protrayal of the residential treatment program DOES show some resembalence to most residential treatment programs, but not a lot. Normal residential treatment programs are unpleasent having just-out-of-college staff who don't know what they're doing and the extreme, almost sickening, structure of a treatment program. It also doesn't go into the normal parrels of quick revolving door inpatient treatments which USUALLY happen before someone goes to the extreme of a residential treatment facility. It also goes so much more into the graphics of self-injury instead of the EMOTIONS of self-injury. It's not a book I would recomend for someone in recovery, but I would recomend it to someone who does not have a history of psychiatric problems or self-injurious behavior.
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66 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Allyn on July 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Fifteen-year-old Callie has a rare problem. She's not anorexic, she's not on drugs, and she's not bulimic. But she cuts herself. Soon she finds herself at a "residential treatment facility", Sea Pines (or "Sick Minds", as she calls it) and her hurt shows its face when she refuses to talk. Nothing seems to break the silence coming from Callie, and sometimes she just gets the urge to slice her skin, to see the blood...and it's like she's determined never to talk to her therapist. This book is a masterfully written story chronicling (in detail) the thoughts that whirl around in Callie's mind. It is filled with vivid and poignant emotions, and Patricia McCormick develops her main character well. Callie's relationships with the other girls at the treatment facility add subtle insights about human nature and the universal need of friendship. I enjoyed how Callie's family life and her reasons for "cutting" were slowly explored and explained in this novel-in a very natural and empathetic way, without being contrite. But the best thing about this book was its hopeful ending that leaves us with the feeling that Callie has emerged from her treatment stronger, wiser, and able to overcome the temptation to cut herself. I hope to see more from this author.
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