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Stained Hardcover – 1 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (1 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547942087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547942087
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,718,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

HardCover. Pub Date :2013-07-30 Pages: 304 Language: English Publisher:. HMH Books for Young Readers 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.

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Format: Audio Download
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Bullying, abduction, rape, murder.

Unpopular opinion time!

There seems to be an unspoken rule that if something has a positive message, you can't disagree with how it's presented. Actually, that rule is spoken after someone dares to criticise the message's vehicle.

There's a lot of messages I like, but dislike how they're presented. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" song may be upbeat and positive, but Madonna's "Express Yourself" is way better. ("They're two different songs, Tezzy; you can't compare them!" Listen to the music, and tell me they don't sound similar. Don't lie.) It's not even the best song on the "Born This Way" album. ("Government Hooker" is, followed by "Scheiße".)

And if you dare say you don't like the TV show "Glee", people call you anti-gay, anti-arts, and a hater. I stopped watching after the first season when it stopped pretending to have a plot (teen pregnancy). It instead became just karaoke, with storylines written around the songs, instead of writing the stories first and then finding appropriate music.

And now there's STAINED. Sarah Meadows judges people as much as they judge her, but the difference is she doesn't vocalise her opinions. She thinks of her best friend as "plump", and doesn't want to hook up with Nick because she doesn't deem him good-looking enough. And if she thinks of her friends like this, she does worse of others.

"You know you can trust me." As soon as someone says that, you know they can't be trusted. We can tell from the book's message that Sarah will survive, and we know who does it from the quote, so there's no mystery or suspense. Thus the interest factor goes down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 57 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Caught Between the Pages review 2 Oct 2013
By Kayla - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I really don't even know where to start with this review because I read this book so quickly and loved it so much that when that happens I usually only spend my review fangirling over what I just read. That usually doesn't make for the most coherent review so I'll try to contain myself!

First of all, let's talk characters. Sarah is everything you could want in a female protagonist. She has flaws. And she isn't one of those characters who're shown as quirky in a bad representation of actual people and are waiting for other people to stand around and help them. No, Sarah can certainly handle herself, even if she truly is the only one holding herself back. Like most characters she can't seem to step back and think of herself without also considering how other people judge her because of the port-wine stain on her face. Even if her parents constantly support her and remind her of how beautiful she is.

I loved the alternating viewpoints between Sarah and Nick. Because of Nick we get to see what's happening in the outside world after her abduction but we also get a better feel of him as a character than we would if everything was left to only Sarah's point of view. He's a great friend and I'd definitely like to have him as my friend, especially if he's up for lending me some of his comics!

Even if you think that you know what to expect in this book, everything will turn itself over and you'll find yourself wondering what might happen next. There are so many twists in this book, little things that'll have you sitting on the edge of your seat and rooting for Sarah all the way through to the end!

Although this book does contain some material that might make some readers uncomfortable (kidnapping, rape, psychological torment) this is a very powerful read and I think that it's important for many people to read this. From where I am in life right now, I really needed an empowering book like this. I think there are other people out there who'll benefit from Sarah's bravery just like I did. Pick this book up as soon as you can!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Powerful story about strength 10 Oct 2013
By Sarah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was a powerful and emotional story about the strength most people carry within them. Sarah sees herself as weak and deformed, yet must find the inner strength that others see when they look at her in order to survive a terrifying ordeal. Not just survive, but overcome.

I was blown away at the sheer amount of emotion the book generated. I haven't read a Cheryl Rainfield book before, but you can bet I will be reading her other books now. This book was full of raw emotion. I couldn't put the book down once I started. I had to know what would happen.

I loved the alternating viewpoints between Nick and Sarah. It let the reader see both sides of the action, and both sides of Sarah, how she felt, and how others saw it. This difference between internal and external views is a powerful one that most people need to seriously consider when they are feeling down on themselves. Sarah didn't see herself nearly as positively as Nick saw her, and I think that's true of most people.

Overall, I cannot even begin to express my love for and amazement of this book. It is so powerful and emotional that all I can do is stress that you need to read this. Everyone should read this. Especially the YA audience it is intended for, but I think most adult readers would appreciate it too. I know I did.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
a vulnerable and powerful main character 2 Oct 2013
By Sharif - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sarah was born with a port-wine stain on her face. It's plagued her whole life, with bullies and strangers treating her differently because of its prominence on her cheek. All she wants is surgery, but her family's financial problems prevent that from happening.

One afternoon, after feeling abandoned by her best friend and being tormented by a group of boys who ganged up on her, Sarah is abducted. Her kidnapper locks her in a room with no way out and wants her to believe she's a burden to others and that she wants to be a victim. He also sexually abuses her. Sarah is going to have to be both mentally and physically strong to outwit him. He reveals there have been other girls, all dead, and Sarah is next to be killed.

The pacing and tension caused me to read this in one day. I had to find out whether Sarah made it out alive or not. She's an amazing character, both vulnerable and powerful. Sarah's friends, parents, and kind strangers were a breath of fresh air considering the rough situations she went through. I loved how she always held her head up high. NetGalley provided a copy, courtesy of the publisher.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Must read 1 Oct 2013
By Raven DeLajour - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Such a disappointment in comparison to the author's other work 2 Nov 2013
By Tez Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Bullying, abduction, rape, murder.

Unpopular opinion time!

There seems to be an unspoken rule that if something has a positive message, you can't disagree with how it's presented. Actually, that rule is spoken after someone dares to criticise the message's vehicle.

There's a lot of messages I like, but dislike how they're presented. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" song may be upbeat and positive, but Madonna's "Express Yourself" is way better. ("They're two different songs, Tezzy; you can't compare them!" Listen to the music, and tell me they don't sound similar. Don't lie.) It's not even the best song on the "Born This Way" album. ("Government Hooker" is, followed by "Scheiße".)

And if you dare say you don't like the TV show "Glee", people call you anti-gay, anti-arts, and a hater. I stopped watching after the first season when it stopped pretending to have a plot (teen pregnancy). It instead became just karaoke, with storylines written around the songs, instead of writing the stories first and then finding appropriate music.

And now there's STAINED. Sarah Meadows judges people as much as they judge her, but the difference is she doesn't vocalise her opinions. She thinks of her best friend as "plump", and doesn't want to hook up with Nick because she doesn't deem him good-looking enough. And if she thinks of her friends like this, she does worse of others.

"You know you can trust me." As soon as someone says that, you know they can't be trusted. We can tell from the book's message that Sarah will survive, and we know who does it from the quote, so there's no mystery or suspense. Thus the interest factor goes down.

Nick is so freaking rude towards the police, keeps accusing them of not doing their jobs, and not trying hard enough to find Sarah... UP YOURS, NICK! You have no idea what police go through, how many different cases they have, and how they are all top-priority cases. NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU! Have some respect.

"Doesn't seem right, bad things happening to good people, does it? If it had to happen to anyone, it shoulda been one of those mean bitches, like Madison." What the hell does that mean? Do some people, more than others, deserve to be abducted, raped, and maybe murdered? I've heard victims of crime say they wouldn't wish what happened to them upon their worst enemy. But this book totally does!

I AM NOT AMUSED.

So in this story, all good-looking people are evil and all not-so-good-looking people are good? It's a subversion of the classic fairy tale trope, but it's still "us versus them" mentality. Prejudicial, too.

The novel's heavy-handed message is to be your own hero, to save yourself. But it's repeated so many times that I fear the hidden meaning: That if you can't free yourself from literal imprisonment, that if you can't dissociate during rape, that if you can't prevent yourself from being murdered...YOU SIMPLY AREN'T TRYING HARD ENOUGH?!

I'm so offended I can't even respond to that.

So yes, a supposedly positive message with a poor delivery. Subtlety is a writer's best tool: Allow readers to come to their own conclusion rather than shoving it down their throats. They'll appreciate it more, and it won't leave such a bad taste.

This is such a disappointment in comparison to the author's other work. Cheryl Rainfield's début, SCARS, is brilliant, and I highly recommend it. It's not just "an issues novel" - it's also a mystery, and that "whodunnit" aspect makes SCARS a prime choice for binge-reading.

But STAINED... I agree with your message, but I disagree with how you present it. Morals are supposed to be something that the lead character, and readers, learn at the very end of the novel. NOT hammered at them all the way through it. Even if I like what you have to say (and I do), I DON'T LIKE WHEN PEOPLE PREACH AT ME. Themes are supposed to be subtle, a discussion starter so readers can decide for ourselves what we think a book means.

What a let-down, for such a fabulous premise. This should've been a tense psychological thriller. But it isn't.

P.S. I know the author didn't intend to offend. And if the novel was more subtle, I wouldn't have even thought about hidden meanings. But writing and story-crafting are very difficult to master.
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