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Open Wounds

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Cid Wymann, a scrappy kid fighting to survive a harsh upbringing in Queens, NY, is a almost a prisoner in his own home. His only escape is sneaking to Times Square to see Errol Flynn movies full of swordplay and duels. He s determined to become a great fencer, but after his family disintegrates, Cid spends five years at an orphanage until his injured war-veteran cousin Lef ...more
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published May 26th 2011 by West Side Books
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  68 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
Cid Wymann lives a hard life. His mom died at birth, his dad is a raging alcoholic who doesn’t care about him and his grandmother is an abusive bitch with a secret love for movies aka ‘church services.’ Cid ends up inheriting grandma’s love of films and ends up going to ‘church services’ as well, as a means of escaping his horrible home life. What draws Cid in is Errol Flynn, an actor known for his swashbuckling fencing skills. Eventually, it’s the ability to learn fencing that saves Cid’s life. ...more
Kitty Honeycutt
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Book Title: "Open Wounds"
Author: Joseph Lunievicz
Published By: Westside Books
Age Recommended: 15 +
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

Review: I feel "Open Wounds" is one of the greatest adventure books I've ever read. I have never given much thought to the art of fencing nor have I paid close attention to some of those old movies where such an art is or was used often, this book made me sit up and take notice. The story in and of itself is one of a timeless nature that can remind you what i
Ricardo Martinez
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anya Zhang
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I have a sister who does fencing, and from the way she talks about it, I feel like the sport was described well in the book. Even though I have no idea how fencing works, the story described the sport so well that it felt like I knew the sport. I wonder if Joe Lunievicz himself is a fencer/dueler, and I have a strong feeling that he is, since this experience clearly helped him with depicting fencing. The book was impressive and the plot was very well crafted and written, and although it was a li ...more
Richie Partington
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
15 April 2011 OPEN WOUNDS by Joseph Lunievicz, WestSide Books, May 2011, 352p., ISBN: 978-1-934813-51-5

If you thumb through my high school yearbooks; page through to the back of the sports sections, behind just about every other sport imaginable, you will find the photos of our high school's varsity and junior varsity fencing teams. And me.

Just like Holden Caufield, I spent a couple of years as the manager of the fencing team. As with some of my other extracurricular pursuits, I became famili
Jamie Kline
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
**I received this book for free in return for an honest review**

Review: I wasn't sure what to think about this book before I started. You may or may not know, I'm not a big fan of historical fiction at all. This book is set in the 1930s - 1940s and has a main character who wants to be a great fencer and I know next to nothing about fencing. I was wondering how I would ever be able to fall in love with a book like this. Let me just say, it drew me in with the first pages and I fell in love almos
Heather E
I picked this up because it was on my library's new book shelf and had a sword on the cover. Actually, from the cover art I anticipated a sci fi or fantasy, probably dystopian, tale. When I read the back cover and learned that it was actually a gritty coming of age story set in 1930s New York, and that the swordplay was stage fighting, I thought about putting it back. I'm glad I didn't.

Overall, I found the story to be engaging, with a believable and varied character cast. It is a grim story, tha
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Summary: Cid has led a difficult life—his mother died giving birth to him, and his alcoholic father hates him for it. Every Saturday, he sneaks off to watch moving picture shows about dueling fencers. When his broken family finally dissolves, Cid is sent to live with an uncle he never knew he had—a one-sided man named Lefty, who suffers from PTSD, but who is also determined to make sure Cid will make something of his life. Lefty helps Cid find his passion—fencing—and Cid soon becomes in
Viviane Crystal
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Cid Wymann's mother died during his birth, and his presence reminds his drunken father of that loss on a daily basis. This fact earns Cid frequent beatings, which his grandmother can do little to stop. But two things are his salvation. He makes two friends, Siggy and Tomik Kopecky, who help him battle the neighborhood bullies. He discovers his grandmother is not attending church services but really is going to the movies, a world Cid comes to revere as he is weekly thrilled by scenes in Captain ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Swashbuckling...what does that mean to you? Captain Blood, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Sea Hawk, Robin Hood, The Mark of Zorro? To Cyd Wyman, it means life.

Cyd is growing up in a hard time (the 30’s) in a tough neighborhood, with his angry, alcoholic father and his mean grandmother. He has few friends and many enemies. His only solace is the time spent in a darkened theater, watching every new movie that comes out with swordplay involved.

When his father vanishes and his grandmother dies,Cyd
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya, 2011
Cid's already lived a rough life by the time Lefty takes him from the orphanage. He's spent most of his childhood as his father and grandmother's punching bag, watched most of his neighbors be evicted from their homes, watched his grandmother kill herself to avoid the same, been taken in to a loving home and then left behind. And that's all before he really even hits teenage-hood (and before we hit the 100 page mark). But that's not to say that it's all bad. Cid has two great best friends, Siggy ...more
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
Open Wounds is coming of age story unlike any other. This is due to the incredible 1930’s New York setting and the main character, Cedric Wymann. The New York City setting comes to life with the pushcart vendors and Cid’s frequent trips to see his favorite films. I could feel how different the city was back then, compared to now. The injustices and the prejudices run rampant in Cid’s world, but he doesn’t pay them much attention. Cid is too focused on simply making it.

Cid has a tough childhood,
marcus miller
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Horatio Alger meets the 21st century, and I say this with all respect for Lunievicz and for Horatio Alger. Alger's books were full of boys who were poor through no fault of their own. They may have been orphaned, abandoned, beaten or otherwise mistreated, but they have a noble character, are honest, brave and moral. Often the antagonist is a rich kid who has all the material gifts one could want, but he has several major character flaws. In the end the rich boy comes to ruin, while the poor but ...more
Matthew Macnish
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Recommended to Matthew by: Andrew Smith
I could go on for a long time about what makes this book so incredible, but I'll just point out the two biggest things for me.

First was the setting. This is a historical YA novel, that takes place in NYC (specifically Queens, in the 1930s, and then Manhattan, in the 1940s) and the way that Joe portrayed this place absolutely made it come alive. I've read some articles about how much work Joe did researching the little things (like the New York Subway system as it existed at the time), and it pro
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc

Cedric, the main character of this novel, has not grown up in the nicest or easiest-to-thrive type of environment. He is homeschooled by his grandmother in a bad neighborhood. He receives fairly regular beatings at the hands of extreme bullies. He does have friends, but none of them stand up to the bullies, typically. Cedric doesn't think his life can change for the worse until his alcoholic father takes off, which wasn't so bad-what was so bad for Cedric happened after: his grandmother throws h
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amanda by: The author gave me a copy at ALA
This was an amazing read, one of the best I've read this year. A book that combined history, fencing, movies and Shakespeare--just fantastic! Seven year old Cid lives in 1936 Queens with his abusive dad and very strict grandmother. Cid finds refuge in the cinema and loves to watch Errol Flynn movies. His life is rough and hard, the bullying that he experiences in his neighborhood is frightening. Cid life takes an even harsher turn and he spends 5 years in an orphanage in NYC until a cousin from ...more
Melysah Bunting
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was hesitant when I first saw the cover of Open Wounds by Joe Lunievicz. I thought it was going to be some action filled book about...fencing? Hmmm.

Well, there is action. And there is fencing. But there's also romance, drama and lots of other emotions involved. Open Wounds is physical and mental.

The story is set in 1930s New York. There's a boy, Cid Wymann, who's mother died giving birth. His father is not ideal. His grandmother is harsh. And they are poor. The only thing Cid has to look for
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Cid lives in NY City during the 1930's and 1940's. His mother died when he was born, his father is an alcoholic who beats him and his grandmother is homeschooling him, but doesn't show any affection to speak of. His life goes from bad to worse when he ends up in an orphanage. When his father's cousin shows up to claim him he has no expectation that his life will get better. Lefty teaches him about Shakespeare, acting, fencing and how to survive.

Cid is a believable character with an upbeat spiri
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was definitely a good, fast-paced read. I like that there was so much fighting (I can really sell boy readers on fighting books) but there was a lot going on behind all of that. 1930s New York is interesting enough, but Lunievicz does a good job of including things like the treatment of Jews and the atrocities of war that go well beyond the battles.

My only complaint is that I got lost in some of the fencing terms. Yes, there is a well made glossary in the back, but I still got confused. Ma
Karen DelleCava
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
From a very young age Cid Wymann is physically abused by his father and grandmother and when he manages to escape them at times, he finds his 1930s neighborhood streets are equally as violent. When Cid falls in love with the movies and fencing, we see the spark of a warrior athlete. As a teen, Cid’s passion is guided by two unusual father figures who I couldn’t help but love.

For as many times as Cid’s body is physically punished during fencing training or brutal beatings at the hands of his ene
E.J. Patten
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Great book, expertly crafted. Lunievicz has populated Open Wounds with a cast of memorable characters who are every bit as complex as they are compelling. A warning though: this book is not for the feint-hearted (get it--it's a fencing joke!). Okay, that was bad.

Seriously though, the book will grab you by the trousers and drag you through the pig trough along with Cyd. Lunievicz does a great job of getting you to emotionally invest in Cyd, and then he beats on him--and I mean that in the best p
Henry Kieu
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaun Hutchinson
I'm not sure how to rate this book, or if a rating would even be meaningful. It's a book about father's a sons in a lot of ways. A book about becoming a man, in a lot of other ways. It's also a book about fencing.

The writing was solid, the character Cid and Lefty both well developed. And there were parts that I really adored. I felt, though, that the story meandered a bit, and then rushed through the ending, which wasn't quite as developed as I would have liked.

I guess the truth is that I like
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book reminded me a little of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay." It's set in NYC between the World Wars. The main character is a scrappy boy with a hard life who is trying to make it in an even harder world and he clings to a very masculine outlet to find his salvation. Instead of comics, though, his salvation is in fencing. If you fence, you will enjoy the training and fighting scenes a ton! If not, you might struggle to stay with the story a like I did :)
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic. It was set in the early mid-1900's, and was a very honest story. It talked about hardships and struggles, loss, finding something to help you through, and learning how to survive. It was incredibly well written, and I loved learning about fencing! I was even more impressed when I found out that it was his first book. Definitely a good read!
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Finally something different in the YA world! I've always found fencing fascinating, but I did find myself struggling with the terminology. It was well written and the historical nyc setting and cinema/Shakespeare references were pretty cool. It was a slow read, but worth it!
Apr 16, 2011 marked it as to-read
Review I read online: ...more
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
New York history (circa 1930) fencing history, swashbuckling movies and a coming of age story, with great supporting characters. LOVED IT. Knew I would though.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think this book was really good. I had always wanted to learn to fence and this book is about a boy whose life falls apart until he meets his cousin and his adventure begins.
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really cool! Makes me want to learn how to fence.
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