Cut by Patricia McCormick
Came Out: February 1, 2002
Age Group: Young Adult
"A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next." 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...
Extreme. Raw. Tender. Eye-Opening. Heartbreaking. There are so many possible adjectives that I could use to describe this book. All through reading this, I had one hand over my mouth and I kept thinking, "that poor girl". It was heartbreaking to hear about her struggle with self-harm.Reading the section in the back of the book about the process of writing it, Patricia McCormick talks about visiting a self-harm clinic similar to the setting described in Cut, Sea Pines. She talks about the girls coming up to her and sharing intimate, horrifying stories about their descent into bodily harm.It was horrifyingly fascinating. I loved Callie; she was perfectly developed. Her state of mind was interesting to hear about and her character was softspoken and calm. She was kind, but she didn't let anybody know about her. She cut herself off from the world and seeked the comfort of a blade. I thought it was interesting to hear about cutting from the cutter's point of view.Patricia McCormick talked about how some of the girls that she talked to came up to her and asked about her experience. They had read her book and it had sounded so real to them that they thought she was a cutter. Patricia McCormick is very intuitive about her writing. She writes about real-life issues that people hate to face headon and she writes them like she is experiencing them.I loved how in the novel, Callie seemed to be talking to the therapist. She addresses the therapist as "you" in her monologues, and that leads you to think that she is writing a letter to the therapist. I may not be right in saying that, but that's what it felt like to me.Her relationship with her family reminded me of the relationship between Kessa and her family in The Best Little Girl in the World. Except for Sam; I loved him. It seemed like he knew what was going on and didn't want to tip off his mother that he knew. He seemed older beyond his years and closer to Callie than anybody else in the book. The things that he said and did made you think that he was trying to keep his family from knowing that he wasn't as naive as they had first assumed. I loved it. The secondary characters were brilliant. They added the perfect stories of tension, family, healing, and love, supporting each other and falling apart. They gave me so many ideas and answers about the rehab center. There were girls with eating disorders, addicts, and one other cutter who showed the more twisted side of cutting, even calling it "body decorating."Cut is short, but undeniably riveting. Beautifully written, sad, and inspirational, Patricia McCormick has crafted a novel that is sure to become an icon for a very long time.Recommended to anybody who loves: Lock & Key; The Best Little Girl in the World; Sold; issues; Patricia McCormick; "tough stuff"; Clean; etc,.Possible book club questions:What was your response to this book?Do you think that Callie's mother had a role in her cutting?Sam seems wise beyond his years. Do you think that his illness had a role in it?Why do you think she started cutting?Why do you think Callie called her dad?Did her mother's phone call have a positive or negative effect on Callie? Discuss.Ruby is like an adoptive mother to Callie. Why do you think Callie chose her?Do you think Amanda wants to be in rehab? Sometimes it seems like it changes. Discuss.At first Callie didn't like the other girls. When she started talking to them, she understood them and liked them. How do you think this brings to light the issue of stereotyping and labeling?Do you think that Callie started out hating her therapist and slowly changed?Why do you think Callie let the nurse see her wrists?etc,.