Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield


Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself—before it's too late....
An edgy, realistic, and hopeful novel about a teen survivor of sexual abuse who uses self-harm to cope.
Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail – her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. SCARS is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.
Many teens secretly self-harm; it is often a painful, hidden issue. Cheryl Rainfield has drawn on her personal experience of self-harm, sexual abuse, and trauma/dissociation, to offer an insider perspective in SCARS.
She shows Kendra cutting for many of the same reasons that she has — to relieve unbearable emotional pain; to escape or suppress abuse memories and related overwhelming emotion; to not kill herself; to shut herself up; to try to feel better; to silently cry out for help; and to punish herself. Although cutting hurt Cheryl, it also helped her survive.


I like YA books that talk about things other than boys and school. Teenagers go through more than that and it's always refreshing to read books that have a message that helps others.

Scars is about Kendra, a rape survivor who is undergoing therapy. She doesn't know who raped her and she's trying not to remember because this person is threatening her.

The book was slow-going at first, as the story was set-up. The pace sped up in the second half, though.

Kendra annoyed me every now and then, but when she's in her happy place, she's a quite pleasant narrator.
The romance is told well also. It's a lot more believable than all the insta-love stuff that you see in some of the more popular YA novels.

Overall, this book is a bit disturbing but you can tell that it comes from a real place so if you're looking for a book that will make you think, this one's for you.

Thanks to NetGalley and WestSide Books for the e-copy.


  1. It's a realistic look at cutting and abuse.
  2. The romance is believable and not cheesy.
  3. It makes you think.


  1. Some people may find it disturbing at times.

But I know if I show her my paintings, she'll critique the joy right out of them, the way she did with my oils.

  1. You have been abused.
  2. You cut.
  3. You are looking for a book that's not your typical YA.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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