Sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.
Cheryl Rainfield is the author of the novels Scars and Hunted. A survivor of abuse, she often draws upon her own experience in her intense and highly charged fiction, heralding the strength and courage of ordinary people. She lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her website at www.cherylrainfield.com.
Stained 4.8 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
A book moms should read with daughters.
Stained was hard for me to read. I can't tell you why without giving spoilers. Women who have endured violence at the hands of men should be forewarned that this book may contain panic triggers, but there's a powerful message here for both boys and girls - what's inside is far more important than what appears on the outside.
Caroline Cooney released The Face on the Milk Carton in 1990 and Lois Duncan spent the entire 90s writing about being victimized after experiencing personal trauma. I haven't read the author April Henry, who writes with similar themes, but Cheryl Rainfield includes Henry as an influence so I've added Henry to my to-read list.
Two, working on three, decades later, there's still a need for books like these to help prepare our kids for this world. Duncan, Cooney, and Henry started telling young adults about violence; Cheryl Rainfield took that premise and built on it. She goes one step further, giving details about what happens after reporting the crime - what happens at the hospital. So many court cases are lost because victims don't know what to do after the crime happens. That's my favorite part of this book.
More than 1 year ago
It had a very powerful start, putting us in Sarah's shoes, showing how it feels to have such a prominent stain on her face. She is tormented and she feels like no one gives her the chance to see who she is besides someone that is not physically perfect.
I liked the dual perspective and getting to know Nick. He is nerdy and he is kind so I automatically was cheering for him even though he knew that she didn't see him like that. He saw past her face, and found her beautiful anyways. He thinks she is strong and they have a connection through comic books, he draws and she writes them.
There is a lot going on with Sarah, her dad has trouble at work and while she was going to get treatments for her face, that had to be put off because of the finances. I did like her mom, and I know as a teen that had to be annoying to be constantly told your parents think you are beautiful and that it is more than physical beauty to the world. But I am glad that she is present and saying these things.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the formatting. I am not sure, it is probably a product of being an ARC (advanced reader copy) but there were "l"s missing, and some of the lines were cut off.
But anyways, Cheryl Rainfield the author writes with such passion and so beautifully dark and gritty. The details of what Sarah went through weren't skimmed over, they were examined and it focused on her feelings too. I was amazed at how strong she was, how courageous and the will to survive. I also thought this story was all the more powerful because Cheryl writes from personal experience in abuse. That really touched me that she can relate with her main characters that way, that the feelings and emotions come from a very real place. And that she is able to share the stories, no matter what details are fiction and what comes from what she has experienced is a real gift. Not only to survivors of abuse or captivity that there is hope and that outlets exist for pain, but to those who haven't been through something like this to get a harrowing and realistic look at the mindset and experience of someone kidnapped, raped, and manipulated.
I also rooted for Sarah so much because she was smart. Even though desperate, she used her brain and did what she needed to in order to survive for the most part. She learned from her mistakes and her pride, and she was a mental fighter.
I love how she became her own hero and learned to see the beauty inside and out.
Bottom Line: Powerful look of a courageous main character with a will to live.
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING..... Cheryl did a wonderful job. I couldn't put the book down, That's how good it was. Made me sad in some of the book of how Sarah was all alone didn't have her family with her through this. But what made me so happy is when she escaped. Everybody should read this book. I'm giving it a 5 star cause it is a good book. Good job Cheryl.
More than 1 year ago
Do you want to read a story that is extremely realistic, puts you on the edge of your seat, and makes you care deeply for the characters? Then I would suggest Stained by the amazing Cheryl Rainfield, who has also written Scars, Hunted, and Parallel Visions. Like in her previous books, Cheryl writes with deep passion and realism, giving an unflinching and honest view of a world that very few people dare to speak about.
In Stained, the main character, Sarah Meadows, endures bullying from her fellow classmates and rude stares from strangers for the port wine stain that she was born with. Despite this, she has loving, affectionate parents and a strong, defiant personality. I absolutely loved her as a character. When she gets abducted, she is forced to endure horrible abuse and neglect. I found that my heart was in my throat as I read her defiant struggle to escape and to not let her abuser win. I will not give away specific details, but the plot is excellent, told in the first person point of view of Sarah and her friend, Nick. These alternating points of view keep the novel suspenseful and make you want to keep reading until you've reached the end.
I also love the message of this novel, that one should stand up to bullying and help those out who are in need whenever possible. There is also the message that you can be your own hero. I love that Sarah finds inspiration in comic books, and that she relies on the love and support that she gets from her family and friends to survive, to not give up any hope even when the future seems bleak and dreary. It takes real strength to go through something like that.
I've heard so many people say that it's depressing talking or writing about subjects such as abuse and abduction. What is more depressing to me is the fact that so many people are scared to talk about these every day occurrences, and in doing so they are supporting a system that silences survivors. If we could only speak more openly about these horrible yet real occurrences, perhaps we could spark a change in someone's life. Your neighbor may see something suspicious and actually act upon on it instead of ignoring the warning signs. I also believe that there is healing in actively talking about traumatic events. If we are more open to having an active discussion about taboo subjects such as rape and incest, perhaps the shame and guilt that survivors feel will lessen. It is always hard to come out and say that yes, this happened to me, but writers like Cheryl Rainfield give me hope in such dark times. She can inspire people, both young and old, to come out and share their similar experiences, whether it be bullying, sexual abuse, or any other sort of harm. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before but this is why she's one of my biggest heroes.
I definitely suggest Stained since it will be a book that you will not forget. Yes, it tackles tough issues, but it is a powerful, amazing book about finding courage in the darkest of times and finding the hidden strength within you to keep pushing forward. It is extremely inspiring and an amazing read.