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Cut Paperback – February 1, 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 491 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-Callie's first-person account of her stay at Sea Pines, a mental-health facility, is poignant and compelling reading. Through flashbacks and anecdotal accounts, the teen describes group therapy, her anger and fear, and, after digging deeply, the circumstances that contributed to her need to cut herself. Callie closets herself with silence and cover-up clothing. Her astute observations resonate with reality: the lack of privacy; "guest" control; the constant smell of vomit; and the other teen residents' anger, sadness, and fear. Personalities and addictions are woven subtly into the story: anorexic Becca and Tara; Debbie, eating everything, unable to control her smothering maternal instinct; Tiffany and Sydney, addicted to tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, railing at incarceration, but afraid to go back to the streets. Then Callie's Group has a new guest: Amanda, scarred from self-abusive cutting. Exposure of her own behavior is Callie's first step in breaking free of her mental bonds, but first she has to face her fear and guilt, real or imagined. McCormick's first novel is powerfully written. Not for the squeamish, the young women's stories avoid pathos and stereotypes. Shelley Stoehr's Crosses (Bantam, 1991) and Steven Levenkron's Luckiest Girl in the World (Viking, 1998) dealt with cutting, but Cut takes the issue one step further-to helping teens find solutions to problems.
Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.

From the Back Cover

"Refusing to sensationalize her subject matter, McCormick steers past the confines of the problem-novel genre with her persuasive view of the teenage experience."--Publishers Weekly, starred review --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Push; Edition Unstated edition (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439324599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439324595
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (491 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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."
8 Comments 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Format: Paperback
I read this book a few years ago. At the time I was 15 and had over a year's experience with self-mutilation. Starving for the ability to relate to someone else, as most people do, I found this book and then began to voraciously read it. When I put it down an hour or so later, I felt betrayed, misunderstood, and completely insulted. This author cannot completely understand what it's like to hurt oneself or be institutionalized for it. The narrative does not portray at all what it's like to be locked into a place for weeks that's trying to reshape your entire self nor does she understand the desperateness of self-mutilation. If it's Mccormick's literary skills, or lack thereof, that hamper her characterization then she may need to rethink her profession; if it's her lack of experience that destroyed this book, then she needs to not attempt to vocalize someone else's struggle. I appreciate that someone is trying shed light on a new "problem," but as a person suffering from said "problem," I feel only ostracized and angry.
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Format: Paperback
15-year-old Callie has been institutionalized for what she's doing to herself. She cuts her wrists, arms, and hands and she doesn't know why. It could be her parents who don't know how to deal or her brother who is very sick or maybe something else. She doesn't know. But she's not willing to ask for help. In fact she's not talking at all. She doesn't say a single word in therapy, or group therapy where both girls with eating disorders, and drug addictions talk about their problems. As Callie starts to come out of her shell and speak in therapy a new girl comes to the clinic who cuts herself and shows off her scars with pride. Cut is amazing book about an issue that is rarely dealt with in teenage literature but is often dealt with in real life. If you enjoyed books such as Girl interupted and want to learn more about self mutilation and mental hospitals, or just read a great YA book, this is for you. I reccomend this to anyone who's a fan of realistic teenage books.
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