Sep 12, 2011

Review | Cut by Patricia McCormick

Title: Cut
Author: Patricia McCormick
Genre: Young Adult - Mental Health
Publication: 02.01.2002 by Push
Pages: 160
Source: Swapped

Summary: "A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next."

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...

Cover: Simple and to the point, like the book.

Thoughts: I was quite surprised when I saw how short Cut was when I got it in the mail. I couldn't imagine how writing a book about such a tough subject as a teen cutter could be created in such a short amount of pages. As soon as I started reading though, I was able to see that not only was it well written in second person so that the reader feels like Callie is speaking to us, but it is also written in what I found to be an almost poetic way with only Callie's thoughts and emotions as narration.

Callie is sent to Sea Pines, also known as Sick Minds, because she cuts herself. We don't know why she does it, and Callie doesn't speak, so there's no real way to know until she decides she might want to share her problems. Slowly, Callie begins to open up and as the story unfolds we find out how the cutting started and if she really wants to be helped.

Callie is a quiet character. She doesn't speak at all, but we know what she is thinking. It was easy to connect with her because she was so simple a character, but I also grew easily frustrated with her as well because she wouldn't say why she was hurting herself. It was hard to tell if she really wanted help since she thought about cutting often, but once she started opening up to her therapist and group members, we got to see more.

Callie's group members are equally important for the story since it is more about Callie's stay at Sea Pines. The girls also harm themselves in different ways and it is sad to see, but most are willing to get better and trying to get help. It was easy to like the friendship they had with Callie and I was emotionally drawn to the group as a whole, hoping they would all get better.

As mentioned, Cut is written in second point of view. Callie "speaks" to the reader like if we are the therapist she is seeing at Sea Pines. This helped me connect with the book a lot more than I expected since I expected to be confused. The story was simple, but emotional and compelling and I couldn't stop reading until I was done with it. I couldn't help noticing that it was a little similar to Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, but not enough to bother me. I loved Speak and because of its similar features, yet unique ones, I also enjoyed Cut as well.

I didn't know I would be drawn into the book the way I was, and I am glad I picked it up to read. Cut is a raw and emotional story that gave me an insiders look and an understanding of a world I knew nothing about. McCormick's take on such a tough subject left me a little unsettled and I look forward to reading more on this subject in the future in more heavy and in-depth books on self-infliction.

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