Cut by Patricia McCormick

41IoiKFO6iLTitle: Cut
Author: Patricia McCormick
Pages: 168
Year: 2002
Publisher: PUSH
Time taken to read: 2 days
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads synopsisCallie 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.

I’ve been trying to read Cut for something like five years, and I just never got my hands on the book. At least, I’m pretty sure I never did, but as I was reading it, pieces of it started to feel oddly familiar, and it would be just like me to read a book and then forget I read it and try to read it again. But anyway, the thing about Cut is, I didn’t not enjoy it, but it wasn’t extraordinary. Callie and the other characters felt a little flat, and some of them even seemed stereotypical. Some of the adult characters started to bleed into each other, like Ruby (I think? Or was it Ruth?) who calls Callie “child” and the waitress at Dunkin Donuts (since when are there waitresses at DD?) who gives her free hot chocolate and doughnuts.

I thought the narration was pretty unique, with Callie directing all her thoughts at “you”, her therapist. But the problem with her narration was that it was, like, too observant of her surroundings, and I felt like there wasn’t much about her feelings. I still don’t really understand why she’s cutting. I guess maybe she doesn’t either, but she doesn’t really explain that. She never tells us why she doesn’t want to stop, why she doesn’t want to talk to anyone. She just doesn’t, and then one day she starts talking just because, and then one day she wants to stop cutting just because. Nothing really happens to make those changes in her mind. And maybe nothing big really has to happen, but still Callie never really talks about the changes she’s making, so I can’t understand where they’re coming from. None of the other characters seems to go through any growth or change either. I feel like Patricia McCormick could have made this book a little longer in order to flesh out her characters a little bit more.

Another thing that really bothered me was the way Callie didn’t seem to be able to see straight. On, like, every other page, the room was spinning, sliding to the left, coming back into focus, and then turning upside down again. I didn’t really find that to be believable. Also, I don’t think Callie would have even ended up at Sea Pines (or Sick Minds, as the girls call it). If you’re wondering where I get the authority to say stuff like this, well, I’ve been in her situation, and I wasn’t sent anywhere to stay multiple nights until someone thought I tried to commit suicide. (It’s complicated.) Normally, Callie would have just gone to see a regular therapist once a week or something like that. This is just another example of why there needed to be more to her story.


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