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Scars
     

Scars

4.7 93
by Cheryl Rainfield
 

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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

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934813577
Publisher:
Westside Books
Publication date:
06/15/2011
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
56,235
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Scars 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great, powerful book that featured a compelling, haunting yet hopeful story and some well-written, fleshed out characters. I did have a small complaint (though I guess it's really more of a thought than complaint). Rainfield did a great job balancing all the emotions in Kendra's story. What I also really loved about this book is how it treats the lesbian aspect- it's definitely there, but it's not at the forefront or anything and a big deal isn't made about it when it does come up. Kendra already knows and has accepted that she's lesbian; yes, there is the requisite parental blowup about it but it's handled well in the scene where she comes out and they work toward accepting their daughter. Kendra relives her abuse, through flashbacks that hit her out of (almost) nowhere and with her therapist, as she tries to remember the identity of her abuser. She also cuts herself, repeatedly, to cope with the pain and the panic that these memories bring on. Rainfield portrays all of this realistically and sensitively. She lets us inside Kendra's head to see her pain, shame, insecurities, fear and more. More importantly, she shows how much Kendra appreciates and depends on those who support her, even if Kendra doesn't always show it herself. It is Kendra's chosen family, her therapist, her art teacher, her mentor, and her girlfriend, that make it possible for her to face her abuse and ultimately her abuser.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
mrtorange More than 1 year ago
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.
BipolarFaerie More than 1 year ago
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.
brady18 More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. It is heartwrenching. It will never leave you.
EdNY More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Dansharpie More than 1 year ago
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
JoanneLevy More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous 11 months ago
I would recomend this book to many people! Scars made me cry soooo much! I have been trying to find another book like this :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm left without words. It's like the author wrote my story
loonyluna1 More than 1 year ago
I've been sitting here staring at my screen trying to figure out what to say and I'm coming up blank because words can't accurately describe how I feel about this book. So I'm just gonna attempt this and hope it doesn't sound too crappy. No other book has ever affected me this much emotionally. Ever. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's because I get it and I know exactly what Kendra (the main character) is feeling, I don't know. (The only negative-ish thing I'd say about this book is that the writing style is a bit iffy but I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that and it's such a minor problem that I'm writing this in parentheses as a vague side note instead of an actual issue) I felt myself connecting so deeply with Kendra that it was almost physically painful. It was actually extremely hard for me to read this book, considering my past with cutting (I'm 1.5 years self harm free right now though which is the longest ever since I started 10 years ago) and considering the sexual assault I went through. But I pretty much couldn't put the book down. Half the time I felt like I WAS Kendra, that's how connected I felt. And when I finished? I started crying. No, not crying. Sobbing. I haven't cried like that in a really long time. Part of it was from pain/grief/memories, everything suddenly feeling fresh and new again. A small part of it was from feeling triggered in regards to self harm. But ever since I finished the book I've been questioning what the main reason behind such emotional sobbing was and I think I figured it out. Relief. It's like... wow. Someone actually gets it. Someone really knows how this feels and how/why self harm seems to help as well as creative outlets (for Kendra it was art, for me it's writing) and how much memories can truly hurt and managed to almost completely describe it in words. I'm not alone. And now I'm crying all over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is beautiful. have never read a book quite like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is rhe same exact that i have in my life i can relatto the main chsracyer verrh welm and o knw what is going on
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its amazing. I was a cutter for 2/3 yrs an to read something tht says tat im not alone.. well i cried several times throughout the book. Much like kendra my cutting was because of things that were going on with my parents. Also i had started to realize that i had feelings for the same sex. I was so confused it wasnt even funny..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book help me realize i was gay and help me find other ways to get on with my life then cuttin
Zadunajsky More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Flies in and drops a letter. It reads: "In your dreams buddy!"
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoever likes it rocks whoever thinks it sucks sucks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great but very triggering so if you are suffering from self harm do not read this book. It is extremely vivid.