Review: Patricia McCormick – Cut

Patricia McCormick
Callie doesn’t talk about what she does. In fact, Callie doesn’t talk at all. At Sea Pines she is expected to reveal all about what she does. What she does should be obvious to you! The book title says it all.

So this is yet another angsty teen novel I have read lately. And sadly, I found it lacking in a couple of ways. The storyline was very predictable, thin and unsatisfying. There wasn’t enough fleshing out even of the environment. I couldn’t imagine anything except the laundry and the bathroom, and even then there wasn’t enough detail to satisfy me.

In a way, I found it pathetic. Each of the characters, although they tried to support each other, I just found it a bit lacking. Especially Amanda. Her character is so much in opposition to everything that is trying to be achieved by Callie and the other girls. I wanted to know more behind each of them! Just giving them problems and names wasn’t enough.Yes, this book did touch me. I felt some shivers. It did disturb me a little. For a book written by someone who has never cut, it’s not bad. I guess I’m comparing this book to Scars (Cheryl Rainfield) and The Burn Journals (Brent Runyon). Those books are built on true stories, and the sincerity really shines through to make a well-rounded and developed character.

Some things I find absurd, such as the therapist visits. I find it hard to believe that the therapist could lie so blatantly to Callie about Becca. Also, the whole thing about her scars fading – that’s something that Callie could have worked out for herself – no they won’t fade completely, but there is makeup! I guess for a 13 year old girl willing to believe anything she is told, it’s ok.

This book is very female biased. There are no men, except Callie’s brother, Sam, who is very sick and so understandably sympathetically portrayed. In contrast is Callie’s father, who she doesn’t talk about. It seems like there is a deeper issue there – I was hanging out for it to be rape, or something serious – but it was simply something else. Callie did a great job with the situation she found herself. I can’t give too much away, or I’ll ruin the little suspense the book had.

There is something about the show Rescue 911. I’ve never watched it. But apparently everybody loves it! And of course it has relevance to Callie’s situation. It’s not a subtle reference, and I guess that ruined it for me. This book is going to be dated within a couple of years for sure, and it doesn’t even make any attempt to be universal (not that it necessarily should, just an observation).

I was particularly dissatisfied with the ending. Arg! Would it have killed McCormick to give Callie a decent ending? Sorry, but I know how cutting works, and a on eoff idea that you’re going to stop isn’t necessarily going to carry on. And I didn’t have much faith in talk therapy like that (with no cognitive behvioural therapy) fixing a problem. No wonder some of the girls were still sick.
The bonus of this book was that it was short and cheap! So I don’t feel like I wasted too much on it. I’ve ripped it apart, but surely there are other people that like it. The cover is surprisingly attractive to my mind.

I’d recommend this book for teens. It’s not a great insight into how Callie’s mind works (and certainly not how all cutters’ minds work), and I think maybe it could be negative for some other people who have never thought of the idea of cutting before. The idea of a residential facility fixing all mental problems is absurd, and out of reach of most people anyway – they’ll never be able to relate.

Find it on:
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Review Update: 22nd December 2021 – Wow. I didn’t remember that I only gave this two stars. A reread mostly cemented this for me though, it doesn’t deserve a place on my shelf. I still hold true to a residential mental facility being unnecessary and not helpful. Also, that cutting is not necessarily a problem in itself, it is more the trauma that needs to be dealt with responsibly by a trained psychologist to do any good.

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