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Friday, June 24, 2011
Book Review: Cut
Patricia McCormick ★★★☆☆ Reading level: Young Adult Paperback: 151 pages Publisher:Front Street imprint of Boyds Mills Press 2000 Fifteen-year-old Callie has a rare problem. She's not anorexic, she's not on drugs, and she's not bulimic. She cuts herself. She finds herself at a "residential treatment facility", Sea Pines- or "Sick Minds", as she calls it- and her hurt shows its face when she refuses to talk. I really expected this novel to be different. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, I just didn’t love it. I thought it would have been more…profound? I knew when I picked it up, it was not going to be a fantasy/fiction filled with witches and fairies (which I usually like to read) but I really expected more. I enjoyed how Callie's family life and her reasons for "cutting" were slowly explored and explained in a very natural and empathetic way, without being contrite. It presents a hopeful ending that leaves us with the feeling that Callie has emerged from her treatment stronger, wiser, and able to overcome the temptation to cut herself.
However, Cut is not a novel about the issue of cutting. It’s just about an adolescent girl’s stay at a psychiatric ward. With very little effort, this book could be rewritten as a story of a girl with an eating disorder or a substance abuse problem- to me the type of mental-health issue is unimportant to the plot. It was just a reason for her to be there- which is why I say it can easily be rewritten.
Still, it is a well written novel that presents us with an author who has an interesting voice.