Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cut by Patricia McCormick

Copyright: 2000
Publisher: PUSH, Scholastic Inc
Genre: young adult
Pages: 151
Author's Website
My rating: 3/5

Simple Description:
Callie is a young teenager who has been admited to Sea Pines because she cuts herself.  Treatment isn't going so well though because she refuses to talk.  She doesn't talk at all, zip zero nothing.  The other girls in her group class don't even know why she is in therapy.  The counsler doesn't know what is bothering Callie and can't help her.

Callie isn't even completely aware of why she cuts or how things got started.  It isn't until things with another girl take a turn for the worse that Callie finally starts talking to the therapist and starts getting the help she needs. 

This quote from page 125 really spoke to me:

"I may not want to get rid of my scars," I say finally.
You nod.
"They tell a story," I say.
"Yes," you say, "they do."

My Thoughts:
I'm torn on this one.  I think the author did a great job of deliverying the story in such a short book however I'm unhappy that the cutting wasn't given more time.  We know Callie cuts but we don't get to learn more about it or an explanation on why she or anybody would do this. It's almost like the cutting wasn't important. Yet I know the cutting is a huge deal.   In fact, the quote I mention above is pretty much one of the only times where it is really addressed.  It's mentioned, but it's never really addressed. That's the issue I have with the story.

Aside from the cutting aspect I think the story was very well told. So in that regard I do think this was a decent book.  It doesn't go into any great detail but it touches on how people react to events differently and when put in a situation where they are forced to get help, they withdrawl and don't interact. It's how they cope.  This was an incredibly quick read so I actually do recommend it as it's a way to be introduced to this without having to devote a ton of time.

One of the groups I belong to had this author chosen as the Author of the Month for January 2012. I just happened to find this book at a used book sale last year for $1 and am interested in the subject matter so I bought it.  This is the main reason I read the book this month. A few years ago many of you might remember that the book Willow by Julia Hoban was getting a lot of glowing reviews.  This book also deals with the subject of cutting.  In fact, after reading a review for the book on BermudaOnion's Weblog and leaving a comment back in 2009, she was kind enough to send me the book. It's been 2 years and I haven't managed to read it yet.   It's not because I don't want to read it, I actually stare at this book over 50% of the time I'm in my library selecting my next read.   The issue is that I was/am a cutter.  I'm not sure it's something you ever get over and while I had a very very long streak of not doing it, I have to be honest and say I've had a recent set-back.  So the subject matter is very emotional for me.  Once I had the book in my possession I wasn't sure how I would react to actually reading it.  It took a lot to read Cut and to not have the cutting be addressed as I wish it would have been just disapointed me.    Now that I've read this one, I feel like it's time to read Willow.  I doubt I'll get to the book this month, I hope to get to it within the next couple of months though.  Once I read that one I'm going to work on a post regarding cutting. I think it's an important subject matter. It takes a lot for me to open up to people yet I'm going to open up about this on the internet where anybody can read it.  I have a feeling that a lot of people don't realize that cutting happens or what it's really like or why it happens. I feel that once I read Willow it would help to explain what it was like for me so that others can have a real example and not just a fictional example.


bermudaonion said...

I read this a while ago and seem to remember that Callie cut for relief from all the pressure she put on herself. She blamed all of her family's problems on herself.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I think this was a good book for those familiar with cutting & why people cut, but I agree it's probably confusing & not very informative for someone who doesn't have a clue about cutting.

One of my closest friends is a cutter & I totally understood most of the book & there were some parts that I was like "Oh now I get it." I think in the 1st person 99% of the time, so it's hard for me to see things the way others might.

Kris Meyer said...

Bermudaonion - exactly..she internalized all of it and the cutting helped, I'm just disapointed they didn't really go into that.

Veggiemomof2 - You're right, If you are familiar with it then it's good but if you aren't I think it leaves a lot unsaid.

Stacy at A Novel Source said...

my daughter was a cutter and it took so much for all of us to get over it. . .she's 19 now and mentally healthy ~ have you read Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler? It's a totally different look at the cutting epidemic.

Kris Meyer said...

Stacy - It's a hard thing to deal with and understand isn't it? Thanks for the recommendation, I'm going to look it up.