Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Scars Hardcover – March 24, 2010
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—Fifteen-year-old Kendra is being stalked by someone who wants her dead, and she is overwhelmed by the compulsion to cut herself. She is dealing with shadowy memories of sexual abuse from her early childhood and wonders why she cannot recall her rapist's face. Kendra is a tough, vulnerable, troubled teen, a survivor who will win readers' hearts as she struggles to deal with her life. While her biggest challenges may be extreme, there is much that any teen can relate to: frustration with a clueless mother, delight as her friendship with Meghan grows into love, and the struggle for identity and self-knowledge. Watching, guiding, and caring for this emerging young woman are three adults who offer emotional support rather than answers: a gay mentor, a therapist, and a teacher who knows true artistic talent when she sees it. Particularly well written are the scenes with Kendra's therapist; there's no miracle working here, just the long hard slog through pain and uncertainty. And when the revelation comes, there is no cardboard villain in the shadows, but rather a complex person whose cruelties and self-deceptions are believable and deeply sad. The excellent resource section covers widely respected books, Web sites, organizations, and help lines for youth seeking information on extreme abuse, cutting, same-sex attraction, and dissociation. This book will be a particular comfort and source of insight for teens facing any of these challenges, but whatever their life experience, they will be on the edge of their seats, rooting for Kendra to unravel the mystery that shadows her life. This is one heck of a good book!—Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The scars that crisscross 15-year-old Kendra’s arms are not for public consumption. Her cutting is kept secret from her parents, her friends, and even her beloved therapist. But things change when she meets Meghan, a classmate whose promiscuity with boys belies her budding romantic interest in Kendra. Like other books and movies on this topic, Kendra’s story isn’t really about cutting—she was sexually abused between the ages of 2 and 12, and the resulting trauma has blocked out her rapist’s identity. What sets Rainfield’s story apart is the stalking element: her rapist is still hounding her, giving her frightening reminders that she will be killed if she tells anyone the truth. Sophisticated readers may very well roll their eyes at melodramatic clichés (“It’s only my utility knife that releases the screams inside me”) but that same sense of overwhelming emotion might appeal to teens wrestling with similar issues. The book becomes most enjoyable near the end, when it makes an implausible hairpin turn into the realm of psychothriller. Rainfield’s closing research guide is unusually extensive. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Scars doesn't pull any punches. Kendra's cutting is described in detail: what it looks like, what she feels or doesn't feel, how she hides it. There's flashbacks of her abuse, which are heart-wrenching and disturbing. Then there's her paintings, which depict her feelings in dark tones that worry her mother. Although her mother's worry is more because those kind of paintings don't sell, and not over what's going on with her daughter. The mother-daughter relationship also has a strong focus, because Kendra doesn't feel like she can talk to her mother about what's going on with her without being criticized or having her mother turn it into being about her her. Or getting the whole "don't worry your father, don't make him look bad" speech. Horrible.
While Scars is by no means a light or easy read, it's not all darkness. There is a very sweet romance between Kendra and the one person her age who she feels gets her. Meghan's life isn't all hugs and happiness either. She puts on this tough girl act, but Kendra sees her underneath that. Meghan also doesn't judge Kendra or push her to share more than she's ready for. Likewise, Kendra doesn't push Meghan about her home life although she makes it clear that she's there for her despite her own problems. They're just very sweet together.
Of course, one of the main plot points is who abused Kendra. It's frustrating for her to be able to remember everything but his face, so everywhere she looks it could be him. I did figure out who it was early on, but that didn't change my reaction when it all came out. It really is sickening that he could do this to her, and his explanation...just ugh. I felt so sick.
Scars is a very intense read. The only reason I didn't give it a full five stars was because I felt like it was too short and like some things were rushed. There is a lot of detail and depth here, but it felt rushed at the end. It was resolved too quickly and suddenly, even though Kendra has been dealing with this for months. I guess I just wanted more of Kendra's story, perhaps more of what happened afterward. Especially with her relationship with her mom, because as much as I hated that woman, I believed her totally off responses and hope she was able to put herself aside to really see her daughter.
Cheryl Rainfield has written a novel that exposes a real problem, giving a face to cutters. To sum it up in one word, this book is raw. Scars is easy to read in the sense that it's well-written and the pages seem to fly by because of the riveting story, but at the same time it's not easy to read because I felt uncomfortable with certain scenes. This debut is powerful, gripping, and suspenseful.
Throughout the course of the book, the bulk of which spans what feels like only a week, Kendra relives her abuse, through flashbacks that hit her out of (almost) nowhere and with her therapist, as she tries to remember the identity of her abuser. She also cuts herself, repeatedly, to cope with the pain and the panic that these memories bring on. Rainfield portrays all of this realistically and sensitively. She lets us inside Kendra's head to see her pain, shame, insecurities, fear and more. More importantly, she shows how much Kendra appreciates and depends on those who support her, even if Kendra doesn't always show it herself. It is Kendra's chosen family, her therapist, her art teacher, her mentor, and her girlfriend, that make it possible for her to face her abuse and ultimately her abuser.
There were some moments in the book when the dialog seemed less than authentic. Using Carolyn, Kendra's therapist, Rainfield can realistically work phrases like "you're not the one who deserves to be hurt, Kendra. He is," into a conversation about Kendra's self-injury. Instead when Meghan, Kendra's girlfriend of a day, says it, it can be a bit jarring (139)*. However, it is the right things to say and important for readers to, well, read. While the few exchanges like this between Kendra and Meghan pulled me momentarily out of the story, they are easily outweighed by the cute wow-you're-pretty moments that these two more often share. Their budding relationship adds the happiness that Kendra so desperately needs and the normalcy that the average reader will need in order to relate to all the Kendra is going through.
Cheryl Rainfield has also included an annotated bibliography of web resources, help lines and crisis support, books, articles, and videos for victims of sexual and ritual abuse, those who self-harm, teens thinking about suicide, and teens in the process of coming out or dealing with homophobia. She also highlights resources specifically for friends, family, and other vital supporters of people dealing with these issues.
Book source: Review copy from publisher.
*All quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof. Exact wording and page numbers may not match the final copy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For anyone who doesn't understand self harm.