by Cheryl Rainfield
Publication Date: March, 2010
List Price: $16.95
Review: “What does biology or algebra or sonnets have to do with anything I’m going through?” How many times has a teen uttered those words? How can something as mundane as school ever compare with what’s going on inside? Cheryl Rainfield examines a teen who is facing far too many internal monsters to deal with biology in her book, SCARS. Kendra may seem like any other teenager, but she is far from that. She fears every minute of her life for safety, and to deal with that fear, she turns to her own form of therapy.
Kendra is a victim of abuse. Memories of childhood sexual abuse that began around the age of two and lasted for nearly ten years haunt Kendra. She has started having more vivid memories of the events that she’s buried so deep in her mind. Every day she’s getting closer and closer to discovering the face of the man that abused her. The closer she gets, however, the more he taunts her. He finds a way to leave her frightening letters and haunting voice messages, “You will learn to be silent.” But Kendra can’t stop remembering. The only way she can ease the pain inside is to cut herself. As the blood leaves her body, so does the pain. But, Kendra’s cuts get deeper and deeper. The closer Kendra gets to the truth, the more frightening her life becomes. Will she ever see his face? What might happen to her if she does? Rainfield explores the horrors of abuse and cutting along with the struggles that teens have in relating their troubles to their parents in such a way that SCARS proves to be not only a novel, but also a guide to teens and adults in dealing with abuse.
SCARS is the kind of book that engrosses the reader from the first page through to the last. Kendra is a complex and likable heroine. She is witty and opens her mind to the readers. The mother-daughter relationship in the novel is heart-wrenching. There is a girl who so desperately needs a mother, and a mother who has no idea how to give her what she needs. It is such a common relationship flaw – and mothers of teens can learn a great deal about what their daughter really needs by reading SCARS. Teenage girls can learn as well the importance of support systems in life. Kendra finds support, but not in the most expected places. Plus, Kendra learns to love herself and have the confidence to be herself – regardless of what others say. That’s a hard lesson for teens, and one that is critical to learn. SCARS not only makes good reading, but it makes the reader think. So many teens today turn to self abuse like cutting, and by reading books like SCARS they can find that there are other ways to let out the pain. SCARS is a book that belongs on every high school library shelf.
Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).
We would like to thank JKSCommunications for providing a copy of SCARS for this review.
Have you read SCARS? How would you rate it?