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on 3 January 2004
Levenkron here describes the story of teenage girl who following abusive relations with her parents, their divorce and the pressure of her competition standard ice skating turns to self harm. The story is more dramatic than the 'average' self injurer's and so many will not feel they can identify with events in Katie's life. Speaking as one who has struggled with similar problems, the author often comes across as describing self injury in an over-simplistic, patronising manner. However, he tackles the issue bravely, without implying that the problem can be easily solved and contradicting some popular misconceptions. As a novel, Katie's character is never fully developed and the therapist Sherman from his previous book 'The Best Little Girl in the World' comes across as rather too perfect.
An interesting read, but unlikely to solve any deep questions about understanding the motivations behind self harm.
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on 26 July 2005
I'm in two minds about this book.
I liked the story, and I liked learning about Katie and her life and what drove her to cut herself.
However, I think that the story was slightly spoiled by the perspective of the therapist. Sandy Sherman, who is obviously based on the author, seems to know exactly what Katie is thinking, and seems to barely listen to her before deciding that he knows everything about her.
I've read this book a couple of times, and it is a good book, but the therapist did make me very angry. As someone who has been in a similar position to Katie, I found it irritating that she should be placed with such a know-it-all therapist.
Worth reading though.
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on 28 May 2002
As in his previous work of fiction, The Best Little Girl In The World, Levenkron explains a disorder away with family problems, in this case a father who left and a mother who physically abused her child in order to "encourage" her. This girl is conveniently surrounded by people who care about her, in particular "Sandy Sherman", the ever-so-wonderful psychologist (featured previously in The Best Little Girl...) who jots down notes about her progress, letting the reader know how well our Katie is coming along. It simplifies a complex disorder into "family problems and too much pressure make little girls want to cut themselves". Levenkron, in the guise of Sandy Sherman, explains that Katie has a personality disorder which triggers her moments of "spacing out", something which is *not* common to self-injurers and should not be used to explain it. A final word of warning to anyone who hurts themselves, or has recently stopped - this book is *extremely* triggering, and should be avoided.
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on 20 December 2008
I tried getting hold of this book for a long time. When I did I was not disappointed.
There are a few self harm cliches and stereotypical situations but that is to be expected as I think Levenkron is aiming this book at teen readers.

Like "The Best Little Girl In The World" you grow to love Katie and care about her. It's sad and funny and brilliant all at the same time.
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on 25 May 2000
i found this book smug and simplistic.
i have read reviews that said steven levenkron described their world, and i respect that. i feel steven levenkron described a simplistic world of self injury, and a smug "just do this and you will be cured... " approach. i understand that this may work with some people, but i'm just not sure who.
i would have to strangle a therapist who claimed to know me based on a single behaviour.
but maybe i'm just old and jaded.
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on 27 December 2015
Psychologist's insight makes the relationships between client and therapist created truly beautiful.
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on 6 April 2015
Brilliant, beautiful writing. Aimed at young adults, it is a dream turning into nightmare.
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