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4.3 614
by Patricia McCormick, Clea Lewis (Read by)

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This debut novel deals boldly with mental illness and is by turns riveting, thrilling, and heartbreaking. Teens will relate to the adolescent drama and all-important friends as the main character tries to ³cut² it. The bittersweet tale will resonate in the turbulent world of young adults and its readers will find hope in the uplifting end.


This debut novel deals boldly with mental illness and is by turns riveting, thrilling, and heartbreaking. Teens will relate to the adolescent drama and all-important friends as the main character tries to ³cut² it. The bittersweet tale will resonate in the turbulent world of young adults and its readers will find hope in the uplifting end.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this adaptation of McCormick's debut novel, Lewis (TV's Ellen) imbues her reading with the cynicism and pain of the book's troubled 15-year-old protagonist, Callie. Callie faces some difficult emotional hurdles as a "guest" at the residential treatment center where she has been sent because she cuts herself with sharp objects. In a flat, unaffected tone, befitting someone unhappy with her situation, Lewis's Callie explains the daily routines and schedules at Sea Pines, the facility dubbed "Sick Minds" by Callie's roommate. Though she doesn't speak to her fellow guests, or even her doctors at first, listeners are always privy to Callie's feelings and her impressions of her surroundings, be it what the anorexic guests don't eat or how the substance abuse guests cope. Details of her stressful, dysfunctional home life trickle out along the way; it's at these points that Lewis's vulnerable voice invites listeners to feel compassion for Callie. As Callie makes breakthroughs with her therapists and comes to better understand her behavior and its causes, Lewis meets the challenge of tearful scenes. Lewis never sounds phony, though, and conveys the hope in McCormick's ending, which suggests Callie's eventual recovery. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This first novel combines pathos with insight as it describes adolescent girls being hospitalized for a variety of psychiatric disorders: "The place is called a residential treatment facility. It is not called a loony bin," states Callie, the narrator, with characteristic grit. Callie does not speak aloud for most of the story, but directs her silent commentary chiefly to her therapist. Through this internalized dialogue, readers become aware of Callie's practice of cutting herself and, more gradually, how her cutting is a response to the dynamics of her damaged family. Similarly, the other girls' problems--anorexia, overeating, substance abuse--come to seem (both to themselves and to readers) like attempts to fight off parental or societal obliviousness to their needs: "It's like we're invisible," says a girl during a climactic scene. While running the risk of simplifying the healing process, this novel, like Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, sympathetically and authentically renders the difficulties of giving voice to a very real sense of harm and powerlessness. Refusing to sensationalize her subject matter, McCormick steers past the confines of the problem-novel genre with her persuasive view of the teenage experience. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Callie doesn't speak, not even to her therapist at Sea Pines—nicknamed Sick Minds by other patients at the "residential treatment facility." Instead, Callie hides behind her hair, studies carpets stains, counts stripes in the wallpaper, and pulls her sleeves down over her cuts. This disturbing account of a teenaged girl's slow and painful awakening to the reasons behind her self-mutilation makes for compelling and enlightening reading. Reminiscent in part of Cormier's I Am the Cheese, McCormick uses realistic and telling details of private therapy to give the reader clues, but no answers, to Callie's destructive tendencies. The reader, like Callie, must learn to see things from different perspectives, or "think laterally," as her nine-year-old brother Sam advises her when he's winning a game of Connect Four. Although the story doesn't quite sustain its tension to the end, it does begin with real punch and delivers knowledgeable insight into mental illness and its treatment throughout. The author's ability to depict genuinely caring and competent physicians, while still staying true to Callie's distrustful point of view, is especially noteworthy. This honest portrayal of all perspectives, coupled with a gripping story, makes this a valuable book for both teens and parents. 2000, Front Street, $16.95. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Betty Hicks
This extraordinary novel explores the psychological phenomenon of self-mutilation known as cutting. Written in first person, the book recounts the story of thirteen-year-old Callie, who has been placed in a residential treatment center. Although many patients have eating disorders, others, such as Callie, repeatedly cut their skin with sharp objects, creating physical scars, scabs, and sores that mirror the mental ones. The story unfolds through Callie's therapy sessions, her interactions with other residents, and her mental monologues. Mute by choice, Callie's silence is her sanity. Her younger brother Sam's severe asthma has altered the family dynamics and taken over their lives. Callie's coping mechanism is cutting. Although the road to recovery for any such patient is long and extensive, this book gives the reader just a glimpse into the psyche of one teenager who cuts. Realistic, sensitive, and heartfelt, this book explores the power of the human spirit as it struggles through mental illness. The well-developed characters, including the motherly, rock-solid secondary character of Ruby, one of the attendants, also reflect the author's strength as a writer. This brilliant novel is even more perceptive than Shelley Stoehr's Crosses (Delacorte, 1991/VOYA October 1991) and James Bennett's I Can Hear the Mourning Dove (Houghton Mifflin, 1990/VOYA October 1990). VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Front Street, 168p. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Mary Ann Capan VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
To quote KLIATT's January 2001 review of the hardcover edition: Fifteen-year-old Callie is currently living at Sea Pines, known by its "guests" as Sick Minds; it's a residential treatment facility where she has been sent after it was discovered that she was cutting herself. The other troubled girls there dub Callie "S.T.," for Silent Treatment, because she refuses to talk to anyone at first. Gradually, however, Callie starts to interact with the other girls and finally begins to open up to her therapist. She tells about her feelings of guilt over a severe asthma attack suffered by her brother, and how his illness has affected the family, leaving her to cope with life on her own. She manages to tell her father how she feels, too, and the ending is a hopeful one. The realities of life in a psychiatric hospital are conveyed well in this strong first novel, as well as the stresses that led to Callie's disorder. There are detailed accounts of her cutting behavior, too, but they aren't here for shock value; rather, they contribute to the authentic feel of the novel. Callie and the other residents, anorexics and drug users as well as a fellow cutter, come across as believable and mostly sympathetic characters. The glimpse of life inside a treatment center will intrigue readers, and Callie's neediness, her courage, and her realistically difficult recovery will move them. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Scholastic, Push, 152p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 7-12-This compelling novel by Patricia McCormick (Front St., 2000) is presented as a first-person account by Callie, who is confined to a mental health facility. Sea Pine (Sick Minds) is home to teenage "guests" with a variety of problems: substance abuse, anorexia, and behavior issues. Fifteen-year-old Callie cuts herself. While this account describes group therapy and Callie's fears, she sits silently during group and individual therapy sessions. The turning point occurs when she is gradually drawn into the lives of the other teen residents. Listeners anxiously wait to discover why Callie harms herself. Actress Clea Lewis does an excellent job of portraying the different characters with her voice inflections. Listeners are drawn into the girls' despair and become painfully aware of the emotional angst resulting in each girl's confinement at Sea Pines. A good choice for fans of Susanna Kaysen's Girl Interrupted -Lynda Short, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, KY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Elizabeth Crow
I'd never understood cutting before I read ''Cut,'' a vivid and inspiring first novel by Patricia McCormick. I couldn't imagine what the allure was, until I realized that it's not that far from many more common self-inflicted injuries that are just passing phases in many kids' lives: head banging, finger biting, slamming a fist into a wall...The story of how Callie and some of the others begin to get well demystifies mental illness, but doesn't oversimplify or sentimentalize it. To McCormick's credit, we care -- about the girls and about their clumsy, frightened parents.
New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Sea Pines, a.k.a. Sick Minds, treats teenaged girls with food- and substance-abuse issues, and Callie, whose issue is self-mutilation. She will not talk about her dysfunctional family, her guilt toward her brother Sam's severe asthma, or why she cuts herself. She will not talk—period. Cut is Callie's interior monologue that alternates between her interactions with her therapist and her interactions with the other residents, the staff, and her family. Her thought process reveals a girl who seems to have given up on life until one cut scares the life back into her. The ability to talk then becomes a metaphor for Callie's ability to understand herself and to begin the healing process. Readers are also treated to the downfalls and triumphs of Callie's peers, including a new resident who shares Callie's affliction. First-timer McCormick tackles a side of mental illness that is rarely seen in young-adult literature in a believable and sensitive manner. Unlike other authors of this genre, she avoids stereotypes and blends gentle humor with this serious topic. McCormick ultimately portrays Callie as a normal teenager who yearns for a stable family structure and friends, and who also has a psychological problem. A thoughtful look at teenage mental illness and recovery. (Fiction. 13-15)

From the Publisher

An ALA Quick Pick for YA Readers
A NYPL Book for the Teen Age

"First-timer McCormick tackles a side of mental illness that is rarely seen in young-adult literature in a believable and sensitive manner. . . .. A thoughtful look at teenage mental illness and recovery." --KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

"Like E. L. Konigsburg's Silent to the Bone and Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Cut is another authentic-sounding novel in which elective mutism plays a part, this time with humor making the pain of adolescence gone awry more bearable...an exceptional character study of a young woman and her hospital mates who struggle with demons so severe that only their bodies can confess." --BOOKLIST

Product Details

Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged, 3 Cassettes, 4 hrs.
Product dimensions:
4.52(w) x 7.22(h) x 1.28(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Patricia McCormick has worked as a free-lance magazine and newspaper writer, contributing regularly to The New York Times and Parents magazine, where she reviewed children's books and family movies. Since completing a master's degree in creative writing at the New School, she's concentrated almost exclusively on writing fiction. In 2004 she was named a New York Foundation on the Arts fellow. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Cut is her first novel.

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Cut 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 614 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patricia McCormick has taken three years to write this short book, and I took five nights reading this book and I must say that this book was an excellent title. Sadly, many teenagers are living with depression and cutting themself, but thankfully there are many solutions to heal the pain. This book could be one of those solutions. With every page is a girl someone could relate to, but you could learn from her.
Callie cuts herself, and now she's at Sea Pines or what she calls "Sick Minds" refusing to talk. Instead, she listens to people in her surroundings who are just like her. They are hurt, and they don't want to be trapped. They know why they are here, but they'll have to learn how to fix that.
I recommend this, WELL WRITTEN, book for teenagers, cutters, children, mothers, and teachers. Learn from Callie and enjoy this book like I did. Take heed, people, there is help.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
Entertaining read, but a little generic. Ms. McCormick doesn't really get into the details/emotions/rationales/etc for being a cutter. It's an interesting story about a girl in a group home/hospital coming to terms with her problems but not really an in depth view into her mindset.
1Katherine1 More than 1 year ago
Patricia McCormick wrote a very interesting novel on a girl who cuts herself. Callie, a young adult, blames herself for her families problems. Her brother Sam had really bad asthma, which makes her mother worried and always busy. Her dad has to work more so he can get more money to pay for everything. Callie lives at Sea Pines, or as the girls there call it "Sick Minds" rehabilatation center. At first Callie doesn't talk and doesn't care about cutting herself, but over time Callie starts talking to other people and another girl who cuts herself comes and tries to keep her down, but with the help of the other girls their and her pyschologist, Callie finally realizes that the problems at home are not her fault and finally wants to get better. Callie becomes closer to her dad and the rest of her family. Patricia's book was an easy which I would recommend because it shows the true meaning of family and how you shouldn't be so hard on yourself about problems.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cut is an awsome book that identifies the true feelings that may go through a girls mind that cuts herself. Callie is a troubled teenaged girl that keeps to herself when she has to go to Sea Pines. When she cuts herself she explains how it releases all anger, pain, and other emotions bodled inside of her. It releases them in a way she almost can't explain. It is a wonderful book and I recomend it to anyone that wants to read a book with a great deal of understanding what a teenaged girl really goes through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it just kept going on and on. I kept waiting for it to get interesting but it just never got off the ground. As a former long-time cutter, i was seriously disappointed.p
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read for teens and grown ups alike. A very insightful look into this subject matter. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much!!! Sitting down to read it haha
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An OK read, but does not accurately portray the true mind of a cutter. If you're looking for a book that offers a more realistic and in depth look into the world of mental health facilities, depression, and self-mutilation, then I would recommend "A Bright Red Scream" (very graphic, not for kids). However, if you would like a story that's more on the fictitious side- this is your book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cut myself for 4 yrs stright an started in the seventh grade an i didnt stop till the tenth. Witch btw im still in tenth an i wanted t stop but i was a numb person to the felling of idc if i bleex to death as long as i saw red
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cut for a while. Im 14 now you shouldnt be going through this at such a young age. Im in therapy now. There is a better way for you. You have to think of bettef ways to cope. Me ? I listen to music or write to stop myself. If you just tell yourself that you are better than that & believe it, you can do it.
RavenclawStudent More than 1 year ago
Callie seems like a normal fifteen year old, but she is hiding a dark secret: her addiction to self-injury. A substitute nurse sees the scars from where Callie cut herself and Callie is sent to a residential treatment facility called Sea Pines. At Sea Pines, or "Sick Minds" as the "guests" have nicknamed it, there are girls with food disorders and drug addictions, but no one, until Amanda comes, self-injures like Callie. Callie has selective mutism and refuses to talk at all. Callie can only stay silent for so long. I have read this book multiple times. The first time I read it, I looked at Callie from her therapist's point of view. The next few times I read the book looking from Callie's point of view. She is very easy to relate to. The writing didn't seem as though it was coming from a fifteen year old though.In conclusion, Cut is about a teenage girl overcoming the addictive trials that is self-injury. I highly recommend this book.Cut is a great book, but the writing could have been more accurate to a fifteen year old's thoughts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel let's people who not only have experienced this sort of thing, but gives insight and help to people who know someone who's doing this to themselves. Cut is a definite read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall, this book was okay. I am sixteen years old. I think that it has a good message. And I am proud of the main character, Callie. However, I think I would like the book better if I was younger. It just all depends on how old your are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, i used to cut, and well. i noe somewhat f what Callie is going through.I couldn't have asked for a better reading book.The ending was amazing, and im so proud of Callie for doing what she does. if you haven't read this book,u need to move it up to ur #1 spot.! i loved this book.!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was great when i was in the seventh grade. i re-read it this year as a ninth grader and i'm not impressed. so when considering this book take into consideration your age, interests, and own personal experiences.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cut goes through the point of view story of Callie in her stay at Sea Pines but to her its 'sick minds.' She's sent there after being discovered that she cuts herself. While there she doesn't say a word but starts to slowly come out of her shell, gets to know the other girls and confronts her troubles including her father. What I liked was the writing style and how Callie begun talking again and the ending was great and give you a hint that she really wants to stop cutting. Read this at least once and decide whether you think its a good book or not but yes it is a sad thing when it comes to certain hard to talk about issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story told from the patients point of veiw. Sometimes it is very relateable too.
Chancie More than 1 year ago
Powerful and haunting.
allyBear More than 1 year ago
how could you describe callie as in characterizatipon????? would be great if you could help thanks , sincerely a student who is reading The Book Cut and having various amounts of trouble.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember when i first read this book. It is absolutley amazing. I love it. It really hits home for those out there that have been through something this serious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It touches u more if youve been through wut callie has. Ive never been to a mental hospital for my anorexia/cutting/suicide but almost. I still feel like i need to. This stuff isnt funny and its NOT a joke. Teens and other people are killing themselves everyday and one of them was my best friend. It sucks. I dont get how peoplw think this stuff isnt important.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Well this was a sad, a little hard to read at times. But still a good read. And the writing was what made the book. A quick read but at the same time, you wonder will Callie get better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago