Friday, July 2, 2010

But..... I'M SLOW!!

Time to catch up on the books I've been reading the last few months.... stupid slacker tendencies. I'll see if I can remember what I had to say about them- I really hate my memory.
It'll recall stupid minute details, though nothing important.

Starting with....

Cut by Patricia McCormick

Starting with what the back cover had to say....

    Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside.
     Now she's at Sea Pines, a "residental treatment facility" filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn't want to have anything to do with them. She doesn't want anything to do with anyone. She won't even speak.
     But Callie can only stay silent for so long....
My take on it:

It's never a good sign when a book begins with three pages of positive reviews.
The publisher is basically putting the raves up as a safety net-
"Don't like it? You.... you have to like the book! Look at these famous people! See all this?! They liked it... So you ha-have to... Have to! HAVE TO!!!"

Yeah, you see where I'm going.

The second thing- Patricia McCormick's take on self-multilation was very shallow feeling. And fake. In her interviews (and on the book's back) it stated that she took three years to interview people and write this 149 page book. This brings up the question... Had she ever done it? No.
Not that I have a problem with that, it just seems very artificial in the book...

In an interview:

Q: How much research did you do for Cut?

A: Writing Cut took three years. I started out doing a lot of research. Then, at the advice of an editor friend, I decided to put all my research material aside and let the story come, not from my notes or my books, but from my imagination. After the book was finished I visited a clinic for girls who self-injure. I was terrified that I'd gotten everything wrong. I was pleased and touched to see that my imaginary characters were surprisingly similar to the real people who shared their stories with me.

More importantly, I was gratified by the girls who read the manuscript and who told me how pleased they were that someone was interested in telling their story.

Very sweet and all....
See how this was a bad combination?
You can't turn feelings and the lack of into notes, graphs, research-- you'll get it wrong.
Gah! Sorry, but this bothered me, how she portrayed everything (as much as I remember).
At least this book (overly)simplifies things so they make sense to those who aren't too familiar in this territory.

As a character, I didn't care much for Callie, either. Not that she had much of a personality to begin with.
At the end of the story (believe me, you're not missing anything), I believe she escapes "Sick Minds" (what she nicknamed the place) to see her family. After getting tired and winding up Dunkin' Donuts, she calls her dad. They talk for a bit, a back and forth conversation.
Then he says- "So. Where we going? Home?"
And little miss Callie goes "Back to Sick Minds."
Didn't you just run from the place?
And I thought you didn't like it there... and didn't want to go back?


Kayla's remembered rating/guesstamation:

Tiddles And Bits from other people's reviews!

Terrence Ibarra (1/5) *stars 
"Creating a contrived "cutter" does nothing but harm"
I'm not sure who was involved in letting this thing out, but perhaps they should reevaluate their criteria, not to mention their careers. As for the author, if in fact she never has cut herself, I would suggest she look, in the future, towards her own experience, rather than co-opting a serious issue that afflicts so many. It is already misunderstood enough. Cutting does not need this sort of false publicity, this pseudo-understanding, this ingenuous "creativity."

A Customer (2/5)
"Superficial treatment of a deep subject"
I had expected more from this book when i bought it. After reading the summary on the back cover, i was hoping to read a serious novel that truly confronted the issue of self-injury (SI). Instead, i found the book to be lacking in depth and using SI as a gimmick to establish the lead character, Callie, in the setting of the book.    
     "Cut" is not a novel about the issue of cutting. It is a novel about a girl in an adolescent psychiatric ward. As written, the book is a very diluted version of "Girl, Interrupted," describing Callie's stay in the ward and some experiences with her therapist and with the other patients. With very little effort, this book could be rewritten as a story of a girl with an eating disorder or a substance abuse problem--the type of mental-health issue is unimportant to the plot.
     If you are looking for a story about life in a psychiatric ward, written at a middle school level, this book is perfect and very readable. If, however, you are looking for a book for older teens or adults, or for a book specifically confronting the issue of self-injury, you will likely find "Cut" very disapppointing.


Mid-Praire Teen (5/5)
"A great book on real life problems"
I'm reviewing a great book called Cut by Patricia McCormick. It is a wonderful descriptive novel about a girl named Callie who cuts herself and her father works a lot to make money so they can take care of her brother since he's sick. Her mother doesn't work and she stay's home with her brother Sam so he doesn't get sick anymore. Callie's parents send her to Sea Pines so she can get better just with a little help. Her parents can visit, and do a couple of times. She has to go to group with other people with the same problem as her or something else. Callie doesn't talk during group or even sit by the group. She sits by herself by a window not really paying attention. After group she goes to talk to a counselor to talk about things somewhat personal. To find out what else happens and what Callie decides to do you have to read the book yourself.

I thought this book was very descriptive, and really good to read. If I could rate this book between 1-10 I would rate it a 10. That's how much I liked it. I don't have the same problem as Callie, but I know people that are so it gave me some new perspectives to think about. If you like books about real life problems then you would like this book.

Woops... Who let the toddlers on the computer again?!
Good job, you summarized the book, gave it a perfect score..... but didn't give any good reasons why you could stand the thing!!
My friend Juhi suggested it to me.... but honestly- I didn't care for it. Sorry, loff. (Luna, that's a different story)
What's even more disappointing is that I had to special order it. EIGHT BUCKS. It's tiny, too... (didn't check the pages when ordering.)

On the bright side (a less sarcastic one), one less book I have to review.... a good six to go.

Until next time!

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