When you borrow books from a library, one of the best things is you come across a book and pick it up anyhow, even though it belongs to a genre you would never normally read (or pay to buy).
I recently picked up Cut by Patricia McCormick.
It is a young adult novel (and somewhat of a cult classic, as I discovered afterwards), and I thought I would just browse through it, because the premise looked interesting: a teenaged girl who cuts herself.
Having in the past read about all the hoo-haa some people have raised about how young adult books are unsuitably dark, I wanted to see how the subject was treated here….from the cover and the blurb, I knew it was not a cheerful, fluffy book.
I began reading, and I was hooked. The voice of the girl who did not talk, but was talking to me, left me spellbound. I cried several times, at the searing honesty of that voice, at the suffering this girl and others at the treatment facility go through, at the ultimate ending of hope. I finished reading the book in four hours.
Hats off to Patricia McCormick for so convincingly entering a disturbed teenager’s world, not once sounding didactic or theatrical, and keeping me with the story throughout (which, with my current attention span of a monkey, is not easy to do.) . Most of all, I thank her for giving me a sense of hope when I was so down and out (not clinically depressed or anything but very despairing nevertheless).
I’m now going to dig out this author’s other books from the library, and finish all of them. And I’m going to buy Cut, because it is a keeper.
The book is dark, yes. But teenagers face variants of this darkness time and again, and I think it is a very good thing that they can witness this darkness in a book like Cut, see how it is faced, empathize with Callie, its hurting protagonist, and experience hope.