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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  8,113 ratings  ·  776 reviews
Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself—before it's too late....

An edgy, realistic, and hopeful novel about a teen survivor of sexual abuse who uses self-harm to cope.

Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail – her abuser's iden...more
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by WestSide Books (first published March 24th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Angie Lisle
I don't hide the fact that I'm a rape victim - or that I used to be a self-mutilator (still am, depending on who you are and how you define SM - I cope now with tattoos and body piercing because it's safer than slashing up my arms or legs. It allows me to take something that makes me feel awful and turn it into art, but that doesn't always sit well with everyone else. Truth be told, I stopped cutting because I found out that one of my friends cut as well - and he scared me into turning the situa...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nadège Richards
I haven't read too many abuse/self-harm-related books, but out of the very few I know this is by far the best. It started off perfectly and really dropped you in the midst of all the drama and heartache. Even though I may not be able to understand fully, Rainfield does an excellent job at painting characters with powerful words. You can tell, even from the first paragraph, that the author knows by experience what she is writing about. I think that feat makes this read all the more meaningful. Th...more

This is a powerful, potent book that will leave you feeling twisted and flayed because this book not only dives into the horrific world of child sexual abuse, it throws in cutting. Each facet stands out, shining as brightly as its counterpart without either overtaking the other. There are books I could compare this to because they have similar subject matter- books that deal with sexual abuse and ones for cutting but rarely any that combine the two. That, alone, makes this book thrust itself for...more
Dang it.

I had a whole review planned out as I was reading Scars, friends, and it went sort of along these lines:

“Good lord, author, way to be a drama queen. What, it wasn’t enough to just write about a teen having self-harm problems? You had to add in (view spoiler) and (view spoiler) and (view spoiler) and (view spoiler) and (view spoiler)...more
I can think of several students to whom I would give this novel.

I would have preferred if there had been a little more in terms of character development. The relationship between Meghan and Kendra happened very quickly - a little too quickly to be entirely believable. Kendra's mother seemed one-dimensional, but whether that was a deliberate choice due to the first-person narration or due to an oversight is unclear.

All of those little problems aside, the book IS gripping. It is also very tellin...more
Christina Rogne
This has got to be the GREATEST book I've ever read! This book is one I could never put down. There are twists you wouldn't expect, the discripitons pull you in to the pain and emotion, the author wrote it perfectly for my tastes in books. I can't stress enough how good this book is. I've recommended it to a few hundred, how are very interseted, and can't wait to read it. Look out DeBarger, here they come!

This book caused me to be forced into her feelings and surroundings. I felt her pain and mi...more
Jun 14, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who can stand to read it
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Young Adult literature
Reading Level: Young Adult with the caveat that this addresses serious issues; readers should have someone to whom they can turn for assistance with any issues that it brings up. Some of the abuse scenes are very graphic and very disturbing.
Recommended for: Anyone who can read it
Trigger Warnings: Child molestation/incest (very graphic scenes), cutting (graphic), homophobia, suicidal ideation, child abuse and neglect, assault with a deadly weapon, ritual ab...more
Sep 30, 2013 Miss rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any youth that is or has gone through abuse, cutting and suicide; plus the parent dealing with it
I have been meaning to read this books for years now. But, somehow, never got to it. Thankfully, I finally picked up this amazing story of facing and overcoming your fears, of accepting yourself, of having strenght to love again and being loved. Kendra touched my heart very deeply.

Scars is very powerful book. The author, Cheryl Rainfield, is a former cutter and an abuse survivor, and that fact makes Scars even more chilling than it would have been otherwise. The story is so real that I did not w...more
I read this book after learning a bit more about the author and her life, especially noting that the arms on the cover are her own. There is nothing bad that I can say about Scars. Scars does for realistic fiction what other books have fallen short of which is telling the complete truth, which can only be done sometimes, and regrettably, through experience.

Kendra battles self-mutilation tendencies after being sexually assaulted and then stalked by her rapist. Instead of focusing mainly on her cu...more
How do I start a review on a book that tackles some very tough subjects with its heart in the right place, but doesn't execute them very well? I can't speak for Cheryl Rainfield's experiences, nor would I try to take away from her telling a story in such a mode, but "Scars" was a rough read on a number of scales, none of which I would say were done that well when considering several transitional aspects of the storyline. It's more of a mechanistic part of the story rather than the issues it choo...more
Julie Schoerke
I read this riveting story in less than 24 hours while in the Cayman Islands, so obviously it's gripping. Cheryl Rainfield tackles difficult, traumatic subjects such as rape and self-harm and the angst of high school rejection yet makes the novel very readable. The cover is the arm of Cheryl Rainfield. The novel will bring hope to those girls and women who suffer silently and will open a new world of understanding for those of us who are learning about this for the first time. The end of the boo...more
Liza Wiemer
I recently heard the following statistics: 1 out of 4 girls are sexually abused and 1 out of 6 boys are sexually abused. Scary numbers indeed! Scars is an important, emotional story about sexual abuse and cutting. It is hard to read, but even harder to put down. Whether you or someone you know has been abused or whether you want to understand the physical/spiritual/sexual/emotional impact, this novel is IT! There is a lot of intrigue and questions as the reader is led on a journey with the MC to...more
Stephanie Ward
I honestly don't know where to start with this review. This book is one of the best I've read so far this year - maybe one of the best I've ever read. It completely and absolutely blew me away. I applaud Cheryl Rainfield for her remarkable writing and the compassion with which she wrote the story.

'Scars' is a deeply moving story about Kendra, a fifteen year old girl who has suffered at the hands of a sexual abuser since she was a very little girl. To deal with the pain and the flashes of memorie...more
Wanda (Good Choice Reading)
Scars is definitely a book that was mind boggling. While reading the first few chapters, I thought I might DNF it. And my reason for that was because I thought the author was trying to fool the readers in making us believe Kendra was being followed when in reality she was just plain paranoid. But I decided to give it a shot and keep reading. And I'm glad I did.

Scars was a raw and emotional read. It takes you inside the mind of a person who was abused. You clearly see the results of abuse with...more
Roxanne Sukhan
I read this book on my eReader while sitting in Starbucks. It riveted me to my seat. And released me only when I'd finished. I felt as though I was holding my breath as I flew through this book. It's a powerful story, written in an evocative style of language. Scars tells the story of pain, of pain so horrific that no language exists to describe it. I loved the author's use of art as a language, a medium for Kendra to purge her soul and reach for the truth of her past. I love also the mystery s...more
Kevin Craig
This review is taken from my new review blog:


Fifteen-year old Kendra is such a strong, endearing and memorable character. The fact that she cuts her arms to the point of mutilation makes her no less strong. Scars opens with Kendra telling her therapist Carolyn that someone is following her. The reader is hooked by this revelation. When she tells Carolyn it’s her molester who is out there stalking her, the implausibility of this happening pushes th...more
Cynthia Cene
My first reaction after I read this book is "WOW" then I read the author notes and my respect for Cheryl soared. The book is dark and beautiful all at the same time. So many people can relate to it one way or another. Cheryl is a strong woman to write something that was experienced first hand and did it so beautifully. Most people couldn't do it. I'm glad she had the courage to write this because it's something I strongly believe people need to know about.

Kendra is a young girl trying to deal wi...more
Mallory Heart Reviews
May 16, 2012 Mallory Heart Reviews rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mallory Heart by: Great Minds Think Aloud
Shelves: may-2012-reads
"Scars" is a glorious recounting of an adolescent girl’s travails with awakening, and awakened, memory. I call it glorious because it so precisely delineates the events, emotions, thoughts, paranoia, justifiable fears, anger, resentment, that Kendra undergoes. Her classmates, mother, therapist, and much older gay friend Sandy are so true-to-life. Her budding friendship with classmate Meghan, also a survivor (and current victim) is precious and hope-inspiring. Kendra’s slowly awakening-yet haltin...more
I'm not sure what to say here. I heard so much hype about this book, and was really looking forward to it, as I love a good teen problem novel. And it started out very strong.
Somewhere along the way, though, it started to fall apart a little. Either that, or it started to feel contrived.
One thing that can really bother me about a book is when pacing is uneven, or the author makes leaps in pacing before I'm ready to buy into it. I think that's really what happened here. More on that in a moment....more
Leanette recommended this one, and then it was one of the 'dark and depressing' YA novels mentioned in the Wall Street Journal commentary attacking YA literature. This is one that will haunt me for a long time. Kendra has been starting to remember more and more about the sexual abuse she suffered from the age of two. TWO!! What she can't remember is the face of her it her mother's friend? Her father's friend, and one of her teachers? Who? She's in therapy, and memories seem to be bub...more
Before I compose my thoughts and write proper reviews for all the books I've read,this is the bare bones of what I feel about this book.

This is a beautiful,heartbreaking and intense story overall that I very much enjoyed. I've always been drawn to books that have tough subjects to deal with examples being Hate List(school shootings)and Wintergirls(eating disorders)so this was right up my alley (don't take that the wrong way...I just feel that books with subjects like these are often executed bet...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
It's always hard to find the right words to describe books about difficult topics. Rainfield's raw, honest look at the effects of sexual abuse on the life of a teen girl is good in that disturbing good way. I need to process it a little more before posting a full review.
This was a hard book to read. The issues in this book (view spoiler) were intense and hard to read about at times. But the author has done a fabulous job getting the point across. She takes those "hush hush" topics no one wants to talk about and has writing a heartbreaking, gut wrenching book. For me it tore at my heart and break it knowing that this happens all the time.

Fifteen year old Kendra knows she is not safe. Why? because he is out there. The...more
One word to describe this book? RAW

Kendra has been raped and sexually abused for ten years. But she does not remember who did it to her. Therapy sessions are helping her to uncover who did it, but it doesn't help that she is being stalked by her attacker.

Kendra has two outlets for her pain: art and cutting. Her parents, while they know what happened to her are absolutely clueless as to what she is going through. Her mom is detached and wants everything to be fixed NOW and doesn't understand why...more
Laura Graves
I received this book for free from The Sold Gold Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wow. I didn’t really know the darkness I was getting myself into when I started this. I mean, it’s obviously an issue book. It also had to be pretty dark if it’s about a girl who cuts, but I didn’t expect it to be dark on so many levels. This is one that’s been on my to-read list for a very long time, and I’m glad I found an...more
Eleni ( La Femme Readers )
Scars was a powerful, intense and heart-wrenching novel. Cheryl's own experiences inspired this story which showcased a realistic plot. Her bravery for sharing painful moments with her readers was commendable. In the beginning, the author introduced Kendra, a complex, troubled girl who was fighting to keep her hidden demons a secret. Her fear stemmed from a childhood of sexual abuse. She not only lived with the damaged memories but, also the lingering threat of a watchful predator who waited for...more
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
Wow! I am stunned at how amazing this book is. It actually took me a while to read, not because it was boring or horrible, but because how great and heavy it was.

Scars opens up new emotional levels you did not know you had!

Kendra is one of the strongest characters I have had the pleasure to read, and I am taking into account her own struggle with cutting. As a survivor of sexual abuse, Kendra is haunted by memories and fears that she is only able to deal with by cutting and painting. Not only i...more
Kendra has started to remember her abuse as a child, but she is unable to see her abuser’s face in her memories. She believes she is being followed by her abuser, so she lives in fear that even as she works to remember, he is stalking her. To cope with the pressure of the memories, Kendra cuts her arm, releasing all of her stress, anguish and pain and making it something she can handle. Kendra also does amazing art work that reveals the pain of her abuse and the emotional toll it is taking on he...more
This review originally appeared at Tabitha's Book Blog

Alright. I've had this book on my Kindle for a few months now, and after much hesitation I finally decided to give it a chance. I was reluctant to start this book because of the topics that I knew were going to be handled, but thankfully I stepped out of my comfort zone and finally read this book. And let me tell you. I'm glad that I read this book. I was hooked from the first chapter when Kendra is speaking with her therapist about the sexu...more
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Tough topic 8 80 Nov 10, 2012 11:54PM  
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“Other times, I look at my scars and see something else: a girl who was trying to cope with something horrible that she should never have had to live through at all. My scars show pain and suffering, but they also show my will to survive. They're part of my history that'll always be there.” 209 likes
“You can see when someone's been hurt the way I was. It's obvious. Something changes in their eyes; pain becomes their center, even when they try to hide it.” 60 likes
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