Review: Cut by Patricia McCormick



Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside.

Now she’s at Sea Pines, a “residential treatment facility” filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn’t want to have anything to do with them. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with anyone. She won’t even speak.

But Callie can only stay silent for so long…

Date Finished: 8-8-15


Cut…. was a very interesting novel. I’ve read self-harm novels before, and a novel with a silent protagonist, and novels set in treatment facilities, but Cut seemed somehow different from the rest. It was short, sweet, and didn’t dwell on unnecessary things. It simply told the story of Callie and her problems, and how she chooses to deal with them.

In this novel, I really enjoyed the group of girls that Callie is surrounded with. Although Callie doesn’t speak to them, she is still forced to go to group therapy, where we hear of there struggles and feelings, while Callie focuses on other things, such as things outside.

One thing that I found interesting was how Callie doesn’t refer to her doctor (psychologist, psychiatrist?) by name. She simply calls her “you” and speaks to her in second person. This is a bit strange, but in some ways, it worked for the story. It did something for the story that made it feel a bit more intimate, in addition to the intimacy that the short length somehow brought about.

I loved the slow reveal of the root of Callie’s problem, and how Callie slowly comes to accept everything. Throughout the course of the novel, we begin to see some changes in Callie. I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it yet, but some big changes take place, and this growth really surprised me. 🙂

As for things I didn’t like about this novel, the length was definitely a factor. It was only about 150 pages, which on one hand makes for a small, quick read that’s easy to slip into purse or pocket, but at the same time, could make it feel a bit condensed. With most of the dialogue coming from other characters, the length can be justified due to there not being much of a back and forth between characters. There’s mainly Callie’s introspective thoughts and memories. I personally prefer longer novels, as it allows for more character development, something which I wish we could have had more of in Cut. I’d like to have gotten to know the other girls a bit better, especially Amanda, the other cutter, but then again, it does make sense given that this novel is narrated in Callie’s 1st person POV. Callie doesn’t really connect with the other girls, preferring to observe them instead, so we don’t get to connect either. We only see what Callie sees, which is both interesting and frustrating at the same time.

All in all, Cut was a good novel. It’s short, so I might actually reread it sometime in the future. With it being such a fast read (I finished it the day that I bought it) I’m sure that there are things that I missed the first time around, and there will probably be things that I’ll look differently on now that I’ve read the entire thing.

I’d recommend this book to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Ellen Hopkin’s Impulse, and if you haven’t read either of those novels, I highly recommend both of them! The tone of Speak, and the subject matter of Impulse both came to mind while I read this Cut. Be warned that this book could be triggering, as it deals with cutting and anorexia and drug usage.

Happy Reading, Starlight-Readers!

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