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4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,009 Ratings  ·  945 Reviews
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 identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it c ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published March 24th 2010 by Westside Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Angie Lisle
Mar 09, 2012 Angie Lisle rated it it was amazing
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
Nadège Richards
Aug 07, 2012 Nadège Richards rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 06, 2012 babyhippoface rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 16, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it
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
Jubilation Lee
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)
Jun 14, 2013 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 17, 2010 Kari rated it it was amazing

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
Christina Rogne
Oct 11, 2010 Christina Rogne rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 30, 2013 Scarlet rated it it was amazing
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
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
Christina (Reading Thru The Night)
May 28, 2012 Christina (Reading Thru The Night) rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012, ya-love, lgbt

Okay. Most importantly I must make this confession. I walked into this book *really* wanting to like it. The cover is insanely eye-catching, especially for a teen in trouble. Cutting is somewhat of a personal project of mine. I'm always looking for emotionally therapeutic books to shove in the hands of needy kids.

But there were just so many Fails hidden within a great story that I spent most of the time shaking my head.

Kendra is fifteen and she's recovered memories of sexual abuse as a child. T
Dec 27, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
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
Kevin Craig
Aug 15, 2011 Kevin Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Julie Schoerke
Feb 08, 2010 Julie Schoerke rated it it was amazing
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
Melissa Burke
Jun 03, 2016 Melissa Burke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've been sitting here staring at my screen trying to figure out what to say and I'm coming up blank because words can't accurately describe how I feel about this book. So I'm just gonna attempt this and hope it doesn't sound too crappy.

No other book has ever affected me this much emotionally. Ever. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's because I get it and I know exactly what Kendra (the main character) is feeling, I don't know.

(The only negative-ish thing I'd say about this book is that the writing
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
Stephanie Ward
Jul 07, 2012 Stephanie Ward rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, for-review, ebook
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
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
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
Cynthia Cene
Jan 09, 2011 Cynthia Cene rated it it was amazing
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
Mallory Heart Reviews
May 16, 2012 Mallory Heart Reviews rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mallory Heart Reviews 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
Jul 21, 2011 Renae rated it liked it
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.
Jun 12, 2011 Claudia rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 05, 2014 Michao! rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I don't fee like reviewing books lately but this one was a unique one I want to document and memorize it.

The plot + protagonist(s)

The book is mainly about Kendra 15 yo girl who was a victim of sexual abuse. The book follows her process of finding her abuse, her fight against fear and of course Kendra finding love.

About Kendra: she's a typical YA character ( as I always say ) but this time the major problem is the sexual abuse.

Positive thoughts:

1- the writing: I really love the writing! Not th
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Jun 05, 2011 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, lgbt
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 is the first book I have read about self harm. It was quite traumatic to read. Very eye opening however.

Kendra, this girl is a survivor! All the suffering she put up with as a child, not having any idea who was the person to violate her in so many ways would have been unbearable. Then to cope she would cut herself, to have control, no longer be afraid or overwhelmed with thoughts and images of the man who abused her.

Her parents - I could not tolerate them at all. Her mother constantly inf
Feb 14, 2014 Lindsey rated it really liked it
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
Dec 21, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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3rd Period Langua...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Mykei Book Three 2 6 Mar 07, 2014 09:01AM  
YA LGBT Books: April 2013 BotM - Scars *Spoilers* Mature Content - SELF-HARM / ABUSE 6 120 Jun 06, 2013 02:14PM  
Tough topic 7 90 Nov 10, 2012 11:54PM  
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Share This Book

“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.” 363 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.” 85 likes
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