Scars

( 89 )

Overview

Kendra hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she can't remember the most important detail: her abuser's identity. At fifteen, Kendra believes someone is always watching her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. 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, ...

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Scars

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Overview

Kendra hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she can't remember the most important detail: her abuser's identity. At fifteen, Kendra believes someone is always watching her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. 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, including Meghan, the classmate who may be more than a friend. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling consequences.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Lynn Evarts
Kendra is frightened. She knows the man that sexually abused her is now stalking her. She finds a note from him in her backpack, and then an MP3 player with a warning recorded on it turns up. As Kendra tries to keep herself together, the only thing in which she seems to find solace is cutting herself. Even her counselor does not know about how badly she harms herself, but when she begins to trust and fall in love with Meghan, another student at her school, she begins to share her secrets with her. Suddenly Kendra realizes the identity of her abuser, but will she be able to save herself from him? Rainfield writes with great empathy and compassion as she tells Kendra's story. Kendra's pain is palpable, and the descriptions of her cutting are graphic. Rainfield delves into the area of ritual abuse, when abusers train victims to self-harm rather than talk about what is actually happening to them and unmask the abuser. Kendra's relationship with Meghan also is very well done. As Kendra begins to trust Meghan and fall in love with her, she begins to open up and share more with people who can help her. It is clear that Rainfield has firsthand knowledge of these topics, and she handles them deftly. There are many resources in the back of the book as well. Reviewer: Lynn Evarts
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Fifteen-year-old Kendra is being stalked by someone who wants her dead, and she is overwhelmed by the compulsion to cut herself. She is dealing with shadowy memories of sexual abuse from her early childhood and wonders why she cannot recall her rapist's face. Kendra is a tough, vulnerable, troubled teen, a survivor who will win readers' hearts as she struggles to deal with her life. While her biggest challenges may be extreme, there is much that any teen can relate to: frustration with a clueless mother, delight as her friendship with Meghan grows into love, and the struggle for identity and self-knowledge. Watching, guiding, and caring for this emerging young woman are three adults who offer emotional support rather than answers: a gay mentor, a therapist, and a teacher who knows true artistic talent when she sees it. Particularly well written are the scenes with Kendra's therapist; there's no miracle working here, just the long hard slog through pain and uncertainty. And when the revelation comes, there is no cardboard villain in the shadows, but rather a complex person whose cruelties and self-deceptions are believable and deeply sad. The excellent resource section covers widely respected books, Web sites, organizations, and help lines for youth seeking information on extreme abuse, cutting, same-sex attraction, and dissociation. This book will be a particular comfort and source of insight for teens facing any of these challenges, but whatever their life experience, they will be on the edge of their seats, rooting for Kendra to unravel the mystery that shadows her life. This is one heck of a good book!—Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934813577
  • Publisher: Westside Books
  • Publication date: 6/15/2011
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 63,840
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 89 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(72)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    This is not a book for self-harmers

    I stumbled upon this at the library when I was struggling with my own self-injury issues, and hoped that through reading it I could find strength, or at least a bit of companionship. In that respect, I was disappointed.
    The book is beautifully written. A bit choppy, maybe, but Kendra's emotions, her artwork, and most of all her cutting is described viividly- often disturbingly so. That's what made it so hard that her recovery was not described at all.
    This book describes just why a person would want to self-harm and forgets the part about why, or how, to stop. The sexual abuse storyline was finalized, but the self-injury was not. I was triggered very badly, and then there was no conclusion to tell me that things could be okay. There was a big fat book about how good cutting felt, and then a single sentence of essentially "Oh yeah, I stopped". For this reason, I would not suggest it to someone struggling with cutting. Sexual abuse, maybe, but cutting? It almost felt insulting, the way the ending went.
    I'm dealing with my issues much better now, and in hindsight I can appreciate some of the intense writing more, but it's still not a book I would recommend for anyone related to self-injury. It hurts too much, and it's not honest about getting better, and those are the two worst things you can tell someone who cuts.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Must Read!

    Great book. Best book I have ever read. I would love to have it on my nook, so i can have it at hand where ever!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Powerful, Emotional, Healing

    Scars is by all mean a powerful book. I normally don't read books about cutting - the thought of people hurting themselves scares me - but the description on the back of the book drew me in. I sat down and read it all in one sitting, and I was not disappointed. It's fast-paced, suspenseful, educational, and most of all, emotional. The pain and struggles in the book are real, but so is the triumph.

    Through Kendra, the main character, Rainfield creates an emotionally real world of family, friends, and role models. I held my breath along with Kendra as she tried to uncover the mystery of her abuser, and felt her relief and hope at every victory, no matter how small.

    This book is for survivors of abuse. It's for people who self-harm. It's for LGBTQ kids. It's for people who don't understand self-harm, or the turmoil that victims of abuse go through. It's for people who have felt alone in their struggle. It's for anyone who has felt pain.

    Scars is painful. It hurts. But it also heals, and I think that anyone's who has ever suffered silently could find solace and comfort in Kendra's story.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2012

    I read this book on my eReader while sitting in Starbucks. It ri

    I read this book on my eReader while sitting in Starbucks. It riveted me to my seat. And released me only when I'd finished. I felt as though I was holding my breath as I flew through this book. It's a powerful story, written in an evocative style of language. Scars tells the story of pain, of pain so horrific that no language exists to describe it. I loved the author's use of art as a language, a medium for Kendra to purge her soul and reach for the truth of her past. I love also the mystery surrounding the stalker/perpetrator, and the way Rainfield pairs it up with Kendra's recovery of her suppressed memories. This book is about a teenage girl finding herself as much as it is a gripping, page-turning kind of book. It's quite clever that the stalker stalks and secretly threatens Kendra in order to prevent her from further recovery and disclosure, which only ends up nudging her closer and closer to the edge of memory recovery.

    I loved the characters, and wished the book could have been a little longer so we could explore the characters some more. I found myself mildly annoyed with Lori, Kendra's mom. She seemed ingenuine, or naive. Or more like an ostrich ~ head in the sand. She went to such great effort to make her paintings postcards perfect. I wondered if this was over-compensation. I kept trying to see the story from the mom's POV, trying to tell myself that it sucks for moms in her situation. She may have seemed one-dimensional, but I think that's not the case, I think it seemed like that because we are inside Kendra's head, seeing things from her perspective. As far as Kendra and Meghan's relationship goes, it did seem to happen so fast, but the book is a short one. I will say, though, that of all the girl on girl GBLTQ YA books I've read, this one treats the subject matter the best. There's tenderness, softness, expressiveness and vulnerability, all the qualities I want to see in a girl on girl romance. In fact, I would like to see a second book, one which tells Meghan's story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    SCARS

    This is a must read. It is heartwrenching. It will never leave you.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Total Emotion

    The fact that author Cheryl Rainfield is a former cutter and an abuse survivor makes Scars even more chilling than it would have been otherwise. Kendra is a victim of sexual abuse but she has repressed her memory of her abuser. She does remember him telling her that he will kill her if she ever tells what happened. He is now stalking her as well, occasionally dropping off little 'presents'.

    To ease the extreme emotional pain, Kendra, a talented artist, draws. Her drawings evoke the sharp emotions she is experiencing. She has also begun cutting. She must keep all of this a secret. Her life depends on it.

    Her mother has always been critical of Kendra and her art. She talks to Kendra but doesn't listen. Her father shows her more love and does listen, but he cannot be an outlet for her. The only person Kendra feels comfortable talking to is her therapist, Carolyn, who listens and is not judgmental. Yet through her therapy sessions she still has not been able to discover the identity of her abuser.

    To make matters worse, Kendra has fallen for Meghan, a girl with a myriad of problems of her own.

    No one can predict how he or she will react being a victim of sexual abuse or the parent of an abused child. The adults in Scars run the gamut from distance to understanding to love; from judgmental to non-judgmental. Every character in Scars is as real as I would imagine them to be. Kendra's emotion turmoil is so believable-her frustration at not being able to remember her abuser vs. her fear to remember him; her questioning her own sanity as she hears footsteps (or imagines she hears them) following her home from school. Kendra's elation with Meghan is a great juxtaposition with her sadness at her situation.

    The pace of the story jumps between fast as Kendra runs away from her stalker to slow as she and Meghan enjoy a nice summer afternoon in the park.

    Told in the first person, Scars by Cheryl Rainfield grips you from the page one. It is a great companion book to Cut by Patricia McCormick, also a must read, reviewed on this website. I cannot recommend these books enough.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2010

    I've never read a book that felt so real.

    This book is a must read for anyone who has dealt with abuse/cutting or other issues as well as friends and supporters. The story is so real that I did not want to put the book down. It was written so believably that you are inside Kendra's head experiencing situations as she feels them. As a survivor I really feel as though this story must be read and shared in the world.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    ?

    I haven't read the book yet but it looks like a really good book!!!!! And yes I do judge a book by it's cover

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    Amazingly Touching Book

    This book was absolutely magnificent. It made me feel as if I were in the situations Kendra faced. The author really portrayed how rape can cruelly turn your world upside down. At the same time, this story showed ways to cope with the tragic incident. This book has impacted me immensely. The way that Kendra feels so alone gives me a sad feeling in the pit of my stomach. While feeling sad you also feel somewhat enlightened to see that so many people care about her and who she is but she never really sees it. The poor girl goes through very tough times and finds the need to cut herself every time she feels said or begins to think about the time she was raped. It is very depressing to think that this could happen to anyone at anytime and could effect them in so many ways. I believe that this book could help other victims cope with their pain and bring them closer to living a normal life. Cheryl Rainfield displayed major understanding of this subject and showed the many ways people deal with being raped throughout life. I hope that every victim gets to read this book because I believe it could changed their lives. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a book they can't put down.
    -Dansharpie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Disturbing, but a must read.

    I have to preface this by saying I had a very normal childhood and was just a very average teen, so parts of this book were tough for me to relate to personally at first. But it didn't take long before I totally felt for Kendra, whose pain is so deep that she cuts to help herself cope with her horrible memories of abuse and the current threat of her molester stalking her. I think this book provides an excellent window into the lives of kids who self-injure and makes it easier to understand why they might hurt themselves to ease pain. I think the author tackled this obviously sensitive issue with honesty while injecting a lot of hope in Kendra's story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Best book ever

    This book help me realize i was gay and help me find other ways to get on with my life then cuttin

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    I really liked this book. Was hard to put down even though I had figured out who had molested her as a child, still had to read to the end. Highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    Perfect

    I was board one day looking for a book to do for a project that i could read fast and still enjoy, its really hard to get me into books, if i cant relate to anything in the book i wont read it. Then my friend walked in and pulled the book of the shelf and said "trust me youll like it, it seems like it was practically written for you." So i never did my report because i spent my time rereading the book over and over and over again. This is my favorite book. Like to to the point where i read it 10 times in 3 days and i am still rereading it. I believe its a must read for all struggling teens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    Megan Megan

    I have been cutting for 4 years now and its begining to not be enough for me i just kep goig and im wondering if i could go deeper and i just dont know what to do anymore

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    A Bird

    Flies in and drops a letter. It reads: "In your dreams buddy!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    People

    Whoever likes it rocks whoever thinks it sucks sucks

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Swift

    Okay next thing. Which one of us will be Alpha Female of Mistpack?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Ice

    How about we get some more wolves and have a vote." She asked

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    This book was great but very triggering so if you are suffering

    This book was great but very triggering so if you are suffering from self harm do not read this book. It is extremely vivid. 

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  • Posted October 7, 2013

    Man, this story is harsh. In Scars we get an up-close-and-person

    Man, this story is harsh. In Scars we get an up-close-and-personal look into the life of a cutter. Consistent with my lack of reading descriptions prior to reading a book, I was completely unaware of what this story would be about. The raw, emotional impact it had on me completely caught me off guard.




    Kendra had what can only be classified as a tragic past. She was sexually abused by a man, yet she has no recollection of who it was that abused her. The only way Kendra knows how to cope with these flashbacks and the unending anxiety that consumes her is by cutting. My heart was breaking the entire story for this poor, struggling teenager.




    Honestly, the hardest part for me to handle in this story was Kendra’s mother’s lack of interest in her daughter. She completely ignored Kendra’s cries for help. She never supported her and basically made Kendra feel as though she wasn’t good enough for her parents. A non-supporting, basically nonexistent parent is something I will never understand.




    The real and almost unfathomable nature of this story was hard to stomach at times. It takes a very sensitive, well-written story to broach these touchy subjects with such sensitivity and ease. This is my first Rainfield book, and I’ve heard this about her before… how she can take such a hard topic to discuss and bring it forth in a way that readers really enjoy and relate to. Now I can see what everyone has been raving about.




    My only issue with this book, or really it’s an issue with the audio version, was the narrator. Though she was great during the stressful and anxiety-filled parts of the story, and did a nice job with the male characters throughout the book, the extent of her whiny voice for Kendra throughout the ENTIRE book really started to get on my last nerve. Every word was read with a whiney, gasping, upset, tortured voice. Now, I know Kendra is facing some inner demons in this story, but even when she’s speaking to her friends, Meghan or Sandy, the narrator still portrayed this constant tortured voice. No one speaks like that, no matter how depressed of a person they are. She wasn’t constantly struggling to speak 100% of the time where her voice would sound so whiney. And the use of this voice non-stop took away from the real torture she was facing at certain stages in the story.




    Other than that one issue I had, I really enjoyed the story. Maybe “enjoyed” isn’t the best word to use, as this story was harsh, terrifying and raw to the core. But it was a very well-written and powerful story that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

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