Publication Date: 30 Oct 2010
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Patricia McCormick – Official Site
Patricia McCormick – Blog
Patricia McCormick – Blog
Patricia McCormick – Twitter
Place(s) Traveled to: not mentioned
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
First Line: you say it’s up to me to do the talking.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the original publication of Patricia McCormick’s groundbreaking book Cut. I must admit, dear reader, that up until a few weeks ago I don’t think that I had ever heard about it before. Perhaps because 10 years ago I hadn’t discovered the wonderful world of YA literature. I was still of the mind that YA books were beneath me as I was an adult reading adult books and YA was for kids. I was a horrible book snob and praise be that I did eventually come to my senses and not let mistaken beliefs keep me away from this wonderful genre forever.
My first experience with a book dealing with cutting was back in 2009, with Julia Hoban’s Willow. Which was a book that totally blew me away and gave me an understanding of why a person might cut. Since then though I don’t think any book that I’ve read has dealt with the issue. That is until I began Cut by Patricia McCormick and its a book that I wanted to blow me away in equal measure but alas that wasn’t the case. Cut is told in this disembodied narrative of the main character, Callie, as she starts treatment in a facility called Sick Minds by its ‘guests.’ In these internal monologues we learn that Callie hasn’t been speaking to anyone but she has been watching and so as a reader you learn all these details about the others in her Group Therapy Session.
What you don’t really learn is information about Callie and why she began cutting. You learn details of her life and some issues at home but I never got the sense that one lead to another. As I said above this story was told in a very disembodied way. I could never connect with Callie. I never felt that I got a sense of her feelings or where she was coming from. So this disconnection always kept me at arms length and I found that I couldn’t immerse myself in the story. For me there was no real climax, no tension that ever broke when Callie hit any milestones. Everything was pretty monotonous and in the end I was left feeling a bit meh about the whole thing.
Maybe if I’d read Cut 10 years ago or maybe if I hadn’t been exposed to Hoban’s book first my thoughts on this book would have been completely different. But as it is, Cut is one of those books that I can neither recommend one read or avoid. It just was. It was a quick read so I don’t feel like I wasn’t time reading it but at the same time I ask myself, could that time have been better spent? In the end, there was nothing earth shattering about this book and even though I read it quickly it was a bit of a sleeper for me. One final thing, that even though this book was written 10 years ago and so much has changed, technology speaking, the book never felt dated. There is a timeless quality about it that I think will help the book stand up and still be relevant 10 years from now.
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