Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Pub: 2010; Westside Books
Genre: YA, Realistic, Abuse
Etc: A huge thanks to pub and NetGalley
Okay. Most importantly I must make this confession. I walked into this book *really* wanting to like it. The cover is insanely eye-catching, especially for a teen in trouble. Cutting is somewhat of a personal project of mine. I'm always looking for emotionally therapeutic books to shove in the hands of needy kids.
But there were just so many Fails hidden within a great story that I spent most of the time shaking my head.
Kendra is fifteen and she's recovered memories of sexual abuse as a child. The problem is, she can't identify the abuser, so she's in this awful place of questioning every close man in her life. As if that wasn't horrific enough, her predator begins leaving threatening notes in her school bag reminder her what will happen if she tells.
Kendra sees a therapist, who she wishes was her mother, because her mom is self-absorbed and pretty much a big wimp. Kendra is an artist like her mom and using her artwork to unleash these inside fears. And in this process she meets Meghan. Meghan has her own issues so they lean on each other.
Let me stop here. Because that's pretty much the summary of an intriguing book. And I want to shake and shout to someone that it truly COULD have been if there weren't so many moments where I wanted to throw it across the room. (I did not because I was reading from my IPad. Had it been the three-dimensional book, I probably would have).
1. Kendra is seeing a therapist. Her LIFE is being threatened. No one calls the police? Um, yeah. Not gonna happen. And if it did, then you've got a pretty messed up therapist because she's got her own issues. There are rules in place. Very specific rules. Especially with minors. This isn't a session where a kid is getting nasty notes from their ex-bestie. A predator has already raped a minor. Where's the logic folks?
2. Kendra meets Meghan. Two minutes later Kendra is in love with Meghan. Seriously? I work with kids. I know how quickly they fall in and out of love, but the writing of this? So unbelievable.
3. Which leads me to the writing. I hate to put this out there because I know every author's work is a part of them but there were so many things going on and little time spent investigating any of it. I felt as though I was suppose to just accept that Meghan was a messed up kid who slept around but after ONE DATE with Kendra she is 100% committed. Sorry. There was no development there.
4. Which leads me to the confession that Meghan makes: I sleep with lots of boys because I don't care about them and it allows me to not deal with the fact that I like girls. Okay. This is HUGE. How I wish this was fleshed out more rather than just glossed over.
5. Can I go back to the therapist? This is really bugging me guys. I made some difficult decisions about confidentiality when I saw clients and that was all under supervision. That's what training is for. Red flag.
Bottom line is there were so many things about this book that could have been brilliant. Seriously. Like, the way the author shows Kendra freaked out by her teacher (among others), asking herself is that the voice? is that the hand? Oh and how Kendra uses her artwork to express herself? Hell to the yah. It just lacked follow through.