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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a recovered cutter, this was a harrowing and cathartic read.
I have never read a book about self harm before and having been a cutter for over 8 years I was dubious about how someone could write about such a personal experience and connect with the reader but this was one of the most beautiful and harrowing books I have ever read.
When she described cutting, it was like I was back in those dark moments, slicing open my own...
Published 18 months ago by tonituesday

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Normal...but...
Delivery was fast, no damage to the product but (and this is no fault to the delivery service or stocking service) the story line was very disappointing and I guess that's a fault of the author's. I would rather have borrowed this from a library than spending my own money on this book that I will never read again.
Published 1 month ago by Amy Charlotte


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a recovered cutter, this was a harrowing and cathartic read., 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Scars (Kindle Edition)
I have never read a book about self harm before and having been a cutter for over 8 years I was dubious about how someone could write about such a personal experience and connect with the reader but this was one of the most beautiful and harrowing books I have ever read.
When she described cutting, it was like I was back in those dark moments, slicing open my own skin. Everything she said, I could relate to. It was both an awful experience and one that felt freeing.
If you are a recovered harmer like myself, I would be careful before you read this book. It will bring back that desire to a point, it is not for someone still struggling with the urge but it is a must read for anyone who has been to those points and survived.
If you need a insight into self harm, I cannot think of a more fitting way. This book encapsulates how I felt for the whole time that cutting was the main focus of my life.

It was an incredible read. I couldn't put it down.
Truely mesmerising.

To the author: thank you. Thank you for putting into words what so many are afraid to do and thank you for helping me realise that I am so glad that way of life is behind me. You are an inspiration.
I am over 400 days clean of cutting and I almost gave in before I read your book. Now, I know I won't.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting Edge, 27 Sep 2010
By 
BeatleBangs1964 (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Scars (Hardcover)
This is a very intense and much needed book. Cutting and other forms of self harm is a very serious matter and it is good that books like this exist. In many cases, cutting is a coping mechanism in response to sexual abuse.

Kendra, 15 has been sexually abused for a period of over 10 years, starting when she was a toddler. She is not able to identify her molester. Fortunately she does tell her mother, who, in addition to being in denial over so many things does have the good sense to get Kendra into therapy. Kendra's therapist Carolyn, is a kind, perceptive woman who has firsthand knowledge of sexual abuse and is a stable and nurturing influence in Kendra's life. Kendra's mother would later feel threatened by Carolyn and would make unsuccessful attempts to drive a wedge between her and Kendra.

Meanwhile, Kendra is living a nightmare. She believes she is being stalked, but she isn't sure who the stalker is. She has chosen a new family for herself. Kendra is a gifted artist and her art teacher sees the subtext of Kendra's paintings and is very much a support system. Kendra's mother is friends with a very kind man named Sandy and his partner, both of whom are artists. Kendra's mother has followed her own artistic muse. She has passed her artistic talent on to Kendra and regularly critizes Kendra's work. Kendra feels she cannot confide in her and no longer shows her any of her artwork.

"Happiness is a warm gun/when I hold you in my arms and I feel my finger on your trigger/I know no one can do me no harm/because happiness is a warm gun." -- John Lennon, 1968

On a more alarming note, Kendra has been cutting herself regularly. She has been doing this as a way to symbolically and physically cut out pain. Ironically, John Lennon of "Happiness is a Warm Gun" fame would die from gunshot wounds inflicted by an overzealous lunatic. Kendra is slowly dying from the weapon that gives her momentary comfort, the warm blade in this instance.

Kendra's mother also cannot accept the fact that her daughter is gay. Kendra's first partner, Sarah, took out a restraining order against her prior to transferring schools. Sarah could not take on the enormity of Kendra's needs. Kendra's current partner Meghan, a girl with a very different, yet equally traumatic background literally takes Kendra under her wing. Both are familiar with traumatic sexual relationships, yet their experiences are vastly different.

It is Meghan awho comes through like the Calvary for Kendra time and again. The girls are required to take an art therapy class at their school under the aegis of their art teacher as well as an art therapist. They form a bond that seals their friendship.

Still, Kendra and Carolyn work hard to unmask the abuser. The abuser can best be described as "lying with his eyes while his hands remain busy overtime.." -- Beatles from "Happiness is a Warm Gun," 1968. Kendra's cutting has reached a critical point; she steals blades from the art supply room and lies about why she has them in the first place. Her arm is a cross-hatch of old cuts and supporating as well as healing new ones; she finds comfort in cutting out the trauma of her past by replacing it with something flowing, like red paint, something current that to her way of thinking doesn't include sex.

Carolyn soldiers on. She provides a safe place for Kendra and gives readers insight into Kendra's mind and behaviors; she ultimately helps Kendra to unmask her stalker/abuser.

Cheryl Rainfield is a brilliant writer who has shared an important story with important messages. Sexual abuse; support systems; self injurious behaviors and confronting the abuser. Suicide and sexuality are other major issues that she tackles brilliantly and realistically as well as homophobia and self acceptance. Each of these serious topics segue neatly into one another to make for a very explosive and vital story.

John Lennon's 1965 classic "Help!" and his 1968 classic "Happiness is a Warm Gun" could easily be the soundtrack of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soooo relatable, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Scars (Kindle Edition)
This book was so much like my life and it helped me to think that things will be okay also it is a very gripping book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Scars (Kindle Edition)
This book was truly amazing. It had such a major plot twist and it was so unexpected. It is such an intense book, that I became strongly connected to. I cried and I laughed and people looked at me like I was crazy whilst reading this on the bus, a sign of a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 3 Sep 2013
This review is from: Scars (Kindle Edition)
I really did like this book! The only reason it didn't get 5 stars it because I guessed the ending... apart from that it was brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and tear jerking, 26 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Scars (Kindle Edition)
It was such an amazing story and as a cutter myself it really gave me some hope about stopping our stories are so similar in so many ways
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational!!, 5 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Scars (Kindle Edition)
This book relates to me in ways I would think impossible. It gives you hope for survivors all over the world
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important book!, 12 Aug 2012
This review is from: Scars (Hardcover)
Scars is not an easy read, it's not supposed to be. It's not an easy book to review either. The story is quick-paced and you're right in the thick of it from the first page. It doesn't give you a lot of space to think about what you are reading. That said, when you've finished and sit back you have a lot to digest.

Kendra is beautifully written and manages to do something that few characters dealing with self-harm have managed to do. She provides you with a platform of understanding of what it feels like to cut. Many books explore the how and why but I haven't read a story before that gives you the feelings behind those actions.

For people who don't cut it's an excellent read to help them understand why someone would do this. For those who do cut it offers the knowledge that you are not alone.

Putting aside the importance of a book like this the story is gripping and hard to put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 9 July 2012
This review is from: Scars (Kindle Edition)
Such a good book!!! Good twist and really well written. Liked that it had helplines etc at the end too
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2.0 out of 5 stars Normal...but..., 17 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Scars (Paperback)
Delivery was fast, no damage to the product but (and this is no fault to the delivery service or stocking service) the story line was very disappointing and I guess that's a fault of the author's. I would rather have borrowed this from a library than spending my own money on this book that I will never read again.
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