young adult book reviews & more

Cut by Patricia McCormick

CutCallie cuts herself. It’s never that deep though; the point isn’t to irrevocably harm herself. Sometimes, she doesn’t even know why she cuts, but usually it’s just to feel the pain and the accompanying release. But cutting is the reason that she’s at Sea Pines, which is a nicer name for the loony bin. She’s surrounded by girls with problems of their own. Callie would rather just be on her own. She’d rather have as little to do with these girls as possible. She’ll do what she’s told, but she refuses to even speak. Does Callie even want to get better? After finding her own voice, she’ll see that maybe that’s just what she needs.

Cut is a very short book that is packed full of some very serious topics, including issues with confidence, dysfunctional relationships, and, most notably, self harm. I didn’t read this Cut for its characters or plot, though these were well done, but rather for its discussion of these serious topics. This is without a doubt a very serious novel that delves into some of the reasons that can drive people to such extreme behaviors. Yet McCormick manages to handle these issues delicately so as to not overwhelm the reader. Some of the emotions that Callie deals with are horrifyingly deep and painful, but I never felt like it was too much. I am very grateful for that, because otherwise, Cut would have been a very difficult book to get through. I’m not saying that this is a breezy read either, because Callie’s story is such a sad one, but McCormick tells it with such sensitivity and grace. It’s also nice to see a positive, or at least not overly negative despite the treatment facility’s nickname of “Sick Minds”, portrayal of the mental health system. Cut is one of those few books that so clearly states that it’s okay not to be okay, and that there are always people who want to help.

Cut is a fantastic novel for any reader who has ever felt not okay. Readers who felt that Break by Hannah Moskowitz and Purge by Sarah Darer Littman really resonated with them will also want to check this book out.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from Big Honcho Media

3 munch(es) :

Helen's Book Blog said...

Patricia McCormick is such a wonderful author. I have enjoyed Cut (as you say, such important issues are dealt with well), Sold (amazing book that my students have loved), and Purple Heart (a wonderful look at an American Soldier in Iraq)

Ms. Yingling said...

This is very popular in my library. Levenkron's The Luckiest Girl in the World and Carlson's Blade Silver are the other two about cutting that my students read.

Zoe said...

This seems like such an interesting book and I for one can't wait to get my hands on it

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