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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  14,807 ratings  ·  1,170 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 cou ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published March 24th 2010 by Westside Books
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Brittany I felt like it got super serious really quickly. Which I can almost understand due to their shared experiences of abuse (different types, but still, c…moreI felt like it got super serious really quickly. Which I can almost understand due to their shared experiences of abuse (different types, but still, could be a bonding moment). Can't decide if in my late 20s I am just reaching old lady status already or if it was truly too fast.(less)
Olivia This book is suppose to hit you in a certain spot. It makes you want to not read anymore because of how sad and disturbing it can become but it also m…moreThis book is suppose to hit you in a certain spot. It makes you want to not read anymore because of how sad and disturbing it can become but it also makes you want to know how it ends. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,807 ratings  ·  1,170 reviews

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Angie Lisle
Apr 22, 2011 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
Phoenix  Perpetuale
Feb 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
Scars by Cheryl Rainfield, narrated by Emily Bauer Audible Original, is the most personal and epic journey of personal pain and things suppressed in memory that the victim couldn't face herself first. Secondly, it happened to be a trick to survive that our brains play with us. This book is an excellent source of strength and ability to transform pain into something beautiful like artwork; however, it is not what happens when the pain of emotional, physical abuse is so unbearable that only cut an ...more
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nadège Richards
Aug 07, 2012 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
Educating Drew
May 18, 2012 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
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
The writing style is just awful and insta-love crap kinda ruined the whole story for me.
May 15, 2012 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
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Elizabeth Sagan
Aug 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
Such a powerful book!
Christina Rogne
Oct 05, 2010 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
Apr 17, 2010 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
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Kendra cuts herself to relieve the anxiety of remembering sexual abuse by an unknown perpetrator. With the help of a caring therapist, an encouraging art teacher and a new friend, she strugglers to remember who hurt her, among fears that she's being followed by the perpetrator.
SCARS is a realistic portrayal of a young girl struggling to deal with her past, while trying to figure out who she is in the present. Cheryl Rainfield, a former cutter, draws from her own personal experiences as a victim
Anna Kļaviņa

Poorly written story about serious topics.
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
Drcong O '
Kendra is a fifteen year old talented artist who cuts to help deal with her painful memories of being raped as a child. She attends therapy sessions which help her deal with her trauma. With the help of her therapist Carolyn, her art teacher Mrs. Archer and her only friend (also the love interest) Meghan, and cutting, Kendra is able to heal and cope.

This book was okay for me but there were things that I really did not like.

The insta love. You only just met the girl. How can you be in love?

Kevin Craig
Aug 07, 2011 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
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. This book was incredibly intense. I have to say I cannot relate to this at all, so I don't know how realistic and relatable it actually is, but the phrase 'I had to cut I just had to' got a little repetitive. I'm kind of worried to speak badly of this book due to its audience and me not having any personal experience of the topic, but I found her a little bit annoying. The (view spoiler) ...more
Melissa Burke
Jun 01, 2016 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
Dec 27, 2011 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
Rukhsana  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
Feb 08, 2010 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
Stephanie Ward
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, ebook, for-review
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
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, young-adult
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
Jul 20, 2011 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 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
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cobwebby Reading Reindeer Remember Ukraine 🇺🇦
"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
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
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield --> Starting 9th January 9 6 Jan 12, 2018 03:02AM  
Help me find book similar to this 1 14 Sep 07, 2017 01:05PM  
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 6 146 Jun 06, 2013 02:14PM  
Tough topic 7 94 Nov 10, 2012 11:54PM  

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I write the books I needed as a teen and couldn't find. I am a lesbian feminist survivor of incest and torture. I write strong girls who save themselves; queer characters; and characters who overcome trauma.

And yes, it is my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

If you loved SCARS, you may want to get my free 38-page SCARS short story that picks up where SCARS left off by signing up for my author newslet

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