Friday, October 9, 2015


A book with a one-word title.
I saw this book when I was younger, when I was struggling to come to terms with my own depression. I was visiting the notion of self-harm and the title caught my attention, and I steered clear. I think one of my sisters picked it up and read it, I never asked. This year I am writing a book in which the main character self harms for NaNoWriMo. I thought I would get my hands on some titles that deal with the same issues and found this one in a thrift store. I picked it up a few months back and have only now gotten myself to pick it up and get through it.

I am both angry that I took so long to read this one, and astonished by how much this short novel impacted me. Let me begin by saying that yes, the main character Callie cuts herself, but no, she has no idea what compels her to do it. There are only two instances in the book when she does any actual cutting, but I recommend people that can be triggered by such events approach this book with caution. Callie is the narrator of the story, so we see it all from her point of view, but she is so confused by why she is doing this to herself that the reader, in the position of therapist for young Callie, is left trying to make their way through her emotional distress with her. That is another aspect of the book that captivated and astounded me, the way Patricia weaves the reader into the story as well.

Patricia spent three years researching and writing this novel, and it shows in her incredible grasp of not only Callie and her struggle with cutting, but some of the other girls in the hospital with her as their stories are revealed through what Callie knows about them.

I recommend everyone give this book a try. Especially those that know people who are self-harming, the reasons may not be as simple and straight forward as one might think. Not everyone can control their emotions or keep themselves together. Patricia does a wonderful job of showing this to the reader.

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