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The Perfect Cut

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  393 ratings  ·  30 reviews
After the death of his tough, guitar-playing, much-loved sister, Michelle, Brian finds it increasingly difficult to care about anything. He doesn’t care about his parents. He doesn’t care about his friends. He doesn’t care about school. He just doesn’t care anymore. The only time Brian comes alive is in the few seconds it takes for the razor to slice through his skin. But ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Raincoast Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  393 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Because of the subject matter of this book, it could have been very good, and it had a lot of potential. However, I don't think that it lived up to the potential of the story, and here is why...
From the beginning of the book, and through to the end, I always felt like it was designed more as an educational tool than as a story in itself. To me, it felt like the author said, "I want to write a book that will teach people about self injury" as opposed to "I want to write a book about a boy who
Liz at Midnight Bloom Reads
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Perfect Cut is definitely not the kind of book you'll want to read if you want something for laughs- it's dark, edgy and focuses on a teen who's experiencing a tough time seemingly alone.

Almost a year ago, Brian's beloved sister Michelle died, leaving him to fend for himself against a cold father and a mother who has taken to drinking at night to ease the pain of losing her child. Brian doesn't care much about anything anymore- his once high grades are slipping, he's skipping school- and
Rubin Vaughn
Too emo for me. I get that life can be rough sometimes especially after a death in the family, but the main character seemed selfish and the parents were asleep at the wheel.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my all time favourite books. I've reread it multiple times and each time I see something new, something I previously missed which changes the story for me.

It's a powerful story about a tragic loss, which I can't even imagine dealing with but Bryan somehow struggles through. The first few chapters completely captivate me and then it drops off for a bit (which I don't mind, gives a slight background of how horrible things have become for Bryan) and then the rest of the book is by
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read this book when I was about thirteen or fourteen and the content was interesting to me but it fell flat in its attempt at articulating mental illness. It's cliche and angsty and also there's an error in the spelling of Bryan's name on page 71 where his name is incorrectly spelled as Brian.
Idit Bourla
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gavin Nelson
I enjoyed The Perfect Cut quite a bit. Boy cutters are rarely seen in fiction. Usually it's girls. Not only does this book end the stigma of mental illness, it also depicts family drama realistically and with sincere compassion. As a former cutter myself I did really identify with the main character's inner and outer struggles and the grief he was expressing. It was nice to find a book that understands the pain.

It's a tad corny for my liking, with phrases and dialogue no real human being would
jazmyn haiayiele
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
It was okay. I think that it halfway lived up to it's potential, however, I still think it was a good book and I liked & enjoyed it.
Diamond Crover
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was truly amazing. The characters were so realistic and the plot is just heartbreakingly beautiful. I have read this book multiple times and it still brings me to tears. It's as if you can feel the emotions of the characters, especially the main character Brian.
Canadian Children's Book Centre
After the death of his older sister Michelle, Brian has difficulty coping and begins withdrawing from his parents, school, and his friends. His only solace comes with cutting. In the few seconds it takes for the razor to break the skin, he feels alive, and it’s only when he takes things one step too far, and another tragedy nearly occurs, that Brian is able to confront his feelings and to live without cutting. In her latest novel, author Julie Burtinshaw has created a raw and realistic look at ...more
Oct 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought this would be a good book about self mutilation,
However it is not surprising, and I found it sort of dull.
BUT, I was determined to give it a chance, and not put it down
(as I do often)
And it DID get really interesting by the 17th chapter.
I actually really enjoyed the second half of the book.
Although I found some of it really repetitive and unnessesary.
Oh, and the father in this story REALLY PISSES ME OFF.
Like, really, I don't know anyone who's father is that big of a jerk or old
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bryan was a really fucked up boy. It might seem weird but i like reading about teenagers with fucked up lives. How it was written was lovely, and it can show how a self-harmers feels when he self-harms or even when he doesn't. "at least you can be in control of who hurts you." I found it extremely true. His depression was mesmerising, and how he pushes everyone away just made me sad, but at the same time, really captivated.

I loved this book. I've read it 5 times, and I never feel like I'll fall
At first, I found the beginning to be very graphic... but in a powerful way - not an unecessary way. There was a little bit of suspense as to what made the main character hurt like he did. I think the booked touched on a lot of issues, perhaps so many that it was hard to get into any depth with any of them. I also felt that there were some storylines and concepts that were introduced in the book, but never really concluded or explained. OVerall, I felt that this book would be a good read for ...more
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I wasn't very into this book for the first 50 pages or so. But once I kept going, it was definitely a lot higher than my expectations. I've read a lot of books about self harm, and this one is definitely at the top of the list with Willow by Julia Hoban. I loved how Julie managed to put in words how so many young people can't put feelings into words. I feel like that would be a challenge to do, but I felt like it was executed very well in The Perfect Cut. If you're looking for a ...more
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
At times people you love leave forever and your left feeling alone and miserable. But others, you may thing fo not love you, are trying to save you from yourself. Bryan finds himself again after his sister's death. He stops cutting himself and discovers that his mother is a stong woman without his father at home. They learn to live with the memory of their lost loved one.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This tragic story of Brian and Michelle who physically and psychologically hurt themselves may seem like a bunch of cliches, but the characters are so well-developed that it difficult to put this book down. This book is no longer in print so it is difficult to find a copy!
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring.
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book was good. Until i got to a certain part, like three quarters through, and I never really wanted to finish it. It was alright, I loved the main character.
Sep 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. It's very dark and deep. Very intamate. You feel like you are the character, like you are in a diffrent world. I learned alot about this social issue.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
thought this book was really good, inspriring, but sad
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
depressing, yet amazing
Mauricio Lucar
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
I enjoyed this book.
Ashleigh Dupuis
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It really sowed how people who self-harm themselves feel
Paraskevi Mazarakiotis
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Insightful and informative, but dark...
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: white-pine
It was okaay.
The cutting stuff creeped me out :/
Rebecca McNutt
The Perfect Cut was a good book, and the way it brings attention to the fact that cutting is also done by boys instead of just girls added some originality to the story.
Dec 02, 2013 added it
How can you read a book on this app?! I really want to read this book but I dont know how.
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked the idea of the book and the wruting was kind of good. It was slow at parts and kind of boring. Michelle reminded me of myself a lot so that why I finnshed the book. S good not great
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Amazing book. I love when people can write a book and you have a very clear picture in your head of what the person looks like. Great description.
rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2016
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Julie Burtinshaw was born in Vancouver, BC and has lived in many different cities and towns both inside and outside of Canada. She has been an avid reader since childhood and began to keep journals and diaries from the moment she could hold a pen in her hand.

Julie is an award-winning author of seven books for young adults and teens. She wrote her first novel in 2000, and has been a full time