Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield/Reading Romances June Challenge

3) Read a stand-alone book.
5) Read an m/m romance book or a book that has at least one prominent gay or lesbian character.

by Cheryl Rainfield

Published April 9th 2012 by WestSide Books

Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.

Amulet Books

Fifteen year old Kendra is starting to remember. She's starting to remember things she's been forced to forget for years. Things she know she should remember, but at the same time, is afraid to. She's been abused, ever since she was a toddler. And now her abuser is back, stalking her, threatening her to make sure  she tells no one about him. Or he'll kill her.

Kendra is lost and confused, feeling alone in the world. Her mother doesn't seem to care about her, always ignoring her and pretending everything is fine. Her father is stressed because he's lost his job. And as Kendra starts to recall fragments of her childhood, she sees him in every male around her. In her mother's friends. In her teachers. And everytime she starts to remember his face, everytime she comes very close to really seeing him... she freaks out with the strength of the trauma, of the horrible memories, og the need to NOT KNOW, that she needs release. She needs to somehow distract hersefl, to get this thing out of her. That's why she cuts herself.

But when the memories start to become too much... to show things she's not ready to admit, she knows she needs help. More help than her sweet therapist, lovable art teacher or super nice gay friend can give her. She needs to be loved. To feel something good and pure and bright, to chase away the pain and darkness that fills her. And she's finding that in Meghan, the pretty, messed-up girl at school. 

Kendra is about to find out that her agressor might be closer than she thinks... and that he might be even more dangerous than she ever expected.

I have been meaning to read this books for YEARS now. But, somehow, never got to it. Thankfully, now I had the chance to read this fantastic tale of facing and overcoming your fears, of accepting yourself, of loving and being loved. Kendra touched my heart very deeply. In all her painful and humiliating memories as a child, I felt like I was right there with her, going throught it, too. Every time she cut herself, I wish I could reach in and try to sooth her nerves. I just wanted her to finally accept her memories and try to overcome her fears. I knew, from the start, who the abuser was. It was just very clear, from all the clues, but sometimes I did doubt myself. LOL. And, I guess, so did Kendra. The poor girl.

The book was so heavy and sad from the start that when it ended in such a nice way, with that glowing/ healing/growing up sensation, I felt thoroughly satisfied. And light. I loved it. It was very alarming, touching, and, more importantly, believable.

* I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* 


  1. I've been wanting to read this too. Great review -- I'll have to move this one up the list (when I'm in the mood for "heavy and sad.")

  2. Totally agree with your review about the powerful beginning to end!
    Glad you finally got a chance to read.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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