Monday 12 December 2016

Book ~ "Scars" (2010) Cheryl Rainfield

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Kendra is fifteen and was raped from the time she was a toddler until she was twelve but she can't remember who her abuser was.  She had suppressed the memories and they just started coming back about six months ago.  She copes by seeing a therapist and by cutting herself.

Her mother, according to Kendra, is self-absorbed and doesn't understand her.  Her father is getting downsized from his job so has enough to worry about.  They may have to move to a cheaper hourse outside the city which will take Kendra away from her school, her therapist and her new friend, Meghan.

This is the first book I've read by this author.  It's an intense story and they weren't easy subjects to read about.  It is written in first person perspective in Kendra's voice.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.  I thought the writing style was just okay.  The writing seemed a bit juvenile (ie directed at teens) but I wasn't sure given the content of the story.

There is a lot going on in this book (too much, I thought) besides Kendra's abuse and cutting.  Kendra is gay (her last girlfriend turned on her because she couldn't handle the cutting) and her parents wonder if it's because she was abused by a man when she was younger.  Her mother is homophobic even though she has a friend who is gay but doesn't trust him around Kendra.  Kendra and Meghan (who sleeps around with guys and has a mother who abuses her) meet at school and are in love within a week with Meghan forsaking all others ... I didn't find this realistic.  I figured out who the abuser was pretty quick and found the wrapping up at the end too neat and tidy.

So I wasn't crazy about this book ... maybe it's because I'm not the target audience?

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I didn't realise that she's Canadian: good to know! I didn't love it either, but as you've said, we're not even close to her target audience. My teenage step-daughter responded very positively to it. (And as much as I wish it was otherwise - I do believe that kind of insta-attachment is realistic, but certainly not always lasting. "Kids today": right?! *grin*)