Cut (150 pages) by Patricia McCormick | Teen Ink

Cut (150 pages) by Patricia McCormick

May 4, 2016
By Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
293 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"So many books, so little time"

Mental illness is not a joke. It is an unseen killer that attacks its host from within. Instead of giving them a fever or throwing up, it attacks the brain making them see in red or blue. It can take in all sorts of forms from depression, anorexic, to addiction, each can be deadly. So how does one relieve themselves from these pains? From taking pills, throwing up your own meals, to talking a blade to your wrist, giving yourself a rush as the blood pours out?  Self-treatment for your pains can only go so far, eventually someone will find out, and then ship you off to the loony bin.

Callie is a cutter. When the school nurse found tiny scares all over her wrist while talking her plus, she instantly called Callie’s mother who sent her to Sea Pines. Sea Pines, or as the “guests” call it Sick Minds, is a place for teenage girls go to “get better”. They have a system level of 1, 2, and 3. Everyone start out on level 1, where you had to get escorted everywhere by a staff member of a level 3. Anywhere from going to the bathroom, laundry room to the vending machine in the hall. A level 2 can walk around by themselves, and a level 3, the people who will graduate shortly, can escort a level 1 around. Callie starts off as a level 1, and throughout the book processes to a level 2. The girls there are for multiple different reasons. Debbie, Becca and Tara are all anorexic, where Callie’s roommate Sydney swears every drug she tries she gets addicted too. All the girls are there for one reason, to get help, whether they want to or not.

Callie does not speak. Since she started cutting it is like the blade cut her mouth shut. Sydney calls her S.T for Silent Treatment, and not even a visit from her worried mother and sick brother could make Callie talk. “You’d have so much power… if you would speak” her therapist would tell her, still Callie does not say a word. No one knows why Callie started cutting, only that she’s 15, and was a track runner, and now she’s at Sick Minds. When the new girl Amanda shows up, wearing tank top, shorts and flip-flops, showing off the scares on her body. She expressed them as a decoration, like tattoos and piercings, saying she’s in control of her cutting. Callie is disgusted by the new girl, as her scares are always hidden like a good kept secret. With her sick brother, her never there father, and now the new girl showing off her scares like trophies, Callie has her words bottle up, ready to be released at any time.

Patricia McCormick spent year’s researching mental illness before publishing her novel.  This was her first novel for teens titled about a girl who self-harms herself. Callie is a typical teen girl who started cutting herself for an event that was not her fault. The interesting part of the story was it was told from Callie’s point of view, yet the reader was the therapist. Whenever Callie visit the therapist it changed from “Callie talked to Sydney” To “Callie watched as you moved your pen in the upright position.”  The story besides that cool part was lame and short. Itself as if everything was rushed as the story was about 150 pages long. With only three chapters you couldn’t really get a feel for Callie and find out the deep personal connection with her, and find the depressing mental connections of why she self-harms. As someone who has never dealt with cutting and/or depression, I felt this book did not give me a realistic idea of what being someone who cuts feels like.

The author's comments:

Extreamly short, I read it in one sitting. 

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