dreamingbear (dreamingbear) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book #13: Cut (Another MIARC entry)

Written by:Patricia McCormick
Narrated by:Clea Lewis
Genre:Fiction, Drama, Young-Adult

Fifteen-year-old Callie isn't speaking to anyone, not even her therapist at Sea Pines, the residential treatment facility: where her parents sent her after discovering she cuts herself. As her story unfolds, Callie reluctantly becomes involved with the other guests at Sea Pines, other young woman struggling with problems of their own. Although their issues are different from hers, Callie is drawn into the group, finds her voice, and gradually, confronts the family trauma that triggered her destructive behavior.

Cut is a compelling and compassionate look at a young woman's struggle to overcome the impulses that lead her to inflict harm on herself.

What the Critics Say
  • "In this extraordinary first novel, Patricia McCormick gives us a painful glimpse into adolescent mental illness...[that] is sensitive and wise. (AudioFile)
  • "[Clea] Lewis imbues her reading with the cynicism and pain of the book's troubled 15-year-old protagonist, Callie." (Publishers Weekly)
  • "Actress Clea Lewis does an excellent job of portraying the different characters with her voice inflections. Listeners are drawn into the girls' despair." (School Library Journal)

I agree wholeheartedly with the critics. McCormick's work, despite being a work of fiction, is amazingly honest, straightforward, and moving. Lewis' performance of it is compelling and real. I really enjoy how the book is written as if the main character were always talking to the psychologist to whom she was assigned at the treatment facility. It gives the piece a more personal feel to it.

The story discusses a whole gamut of illnesses: food issues, substance issues, behavioral issues and our lead is part of that last category. Unsurprisingly, she self-harms by cutting. McCormick displays the typical, knee-jerk reactions to this illness as well as more caring and understanding reactions. And it's subtle and gets blended into a number of things occurring, but she even discusses the basis for this character's behavior. (It's hard to write this up and not give too much away... ;-) Suffice it to say, I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

13 / 75 books. 17% done!

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