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Scars Paperback – May 31, 2011
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(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I don't talk about it very often because I have problems discussing these topics, but I do read a lot of writing about both subjects. And, very often, I find that the fictional books aren't very realistic. They try to gloss over the bad parts and make everything hunky-dory at the end. Not so with this book. The author doesn't gloss over the pain and, while things do end on a more positive note, I wasn't given the impression that Kendra's life will just be A-okay now. She still has problems on the road ahead of her. She still has good days and bad days, but she's going to get through them because she's a survivor. And I love that ending because it gives hope to people like me. So I have to give the author kudos - she did something very rare and I hope this book helps other kids who find themselves in a similar situation.
Too often, the people around me have a hard time understanding what I'm going through - from now on, I'll recommend this book to them and let it show them.
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.Read more ›
Anyway, the main focus here is Kendra's sexual abuse when she was younger and the cutting she does now to help with the pain and trauma as a result of that abuse. She has no idea who her abuser was, but as the book goes on, more memories come to light and we see the finger being pointed in several directions. It's a hard mystery to solve, and the last 50 pages were read in one big gulp because the climax and reveal were so compelling. I was honestly really shocked at who the abuser turned out to be.
The romance in the book was handled really well too. It starts off with them being friends and growing closer with each interaction and the secrets they let each other in on. I thought Kendra and Meghan made such a cute couple and I loved the scenes they had together. I also loved seeing Kendra's neighbor Sandy, a gay man, and their interactions, as well as those that involved Emil, Sandy's boyfriend. It was nice to see that she had that kind of support system outside of her family, due to her mom being a bit of a bitch and her dad being barely home.
Overall, this was a great, powerful book that featured a compelling, haunting yet hopeful story and some well-written, fleshed out characters. I did have a small complaint (though I guess it's really more of a thought than complaint) about it but it's pretty spoiler-y so if you want to discuss it with me, send me an email.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been sitting here staring at my screen trying to figure out what to say and I'm coming up blank because words can't accurately describe how I feel about this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Melissa Burke
I connected very much with this story. It kept me intrigued throughout and I have read it 3 times by now. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Emily B.
This is a powerful story that tackles some difficult subject matter: sexual abuse and self harm. I have worked with adolescents in past years who could have been Kendra. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Micki Fryhover
Poignant story that is beautifully tragic. Well written and a true page turner. A story that speaks not only of rape or cutting but the dark places some go to after such... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tessa Sanders
picked up this book because i was looking for a short read and the booked appeared raw and surprising so i decided it was the fit for a school read. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer