cover photo obtained from: http://cherylrainfield.com/
First of all, this is a really difficult book to read. It took me several days and lots of setting down to get through the story. It is well written and because parts are based on the author’s personal experiences the story is as raw and painful as the wounds created by the main character. However, I am a firm believer in bibliotherapy (the act of reading to heal your own hurts and work through problems) and I can only speak from what I understand, but I could definitely see this story as a healing piece of literature for a sexual abuse survivor and/or contemplating suicide circumventor. The emotions detailed about abuse and contemplative death are difficult to read, but they are also right on the money. Actually, I started wondering if Rainfield was a trained therapist until I read the author’s note and discovered that she wasn’t just guessing at how a survivor feels.
Another interesting aspect of this story is the evolving GLBT relationships. I found it to be eye opening concerning the difficulties teens have when they are questioning their sexuality. Rainfield does a nice job of addressing a topic in a gentle and nonprejudicial manner. Plus another aspect I appreciated about this story was the honest account of why people self-harm. My eyes have been opened.
So would I recommend this book? Absolutely, but I would also encourage adults who live or work with the teens who read this book to read it as well. It’s important to have the ability to know what a teen is feeling and saying. I think this book does a nice job of providing a glimpse into that mindset. It is equally important for teens to have the understanding that the adults in their life care enough to take the time to read what they read.
4 1/2 out of 5 stars—-only because I felt that the end moved a little too fast. It left me wishing for more information on the recovery process.