Friday, April 16, 2010
A book from about ten years ago...
I saw this novel quite a few years ago, hanging out in the school library. The blunt title, Cut, mirrored with brutal honesty the subject of the book: teen cutting. It interested me immediately because I have known people who cut. I wondered if the depiction of this problem would ring true to me, or just sound like some adult talking about a problem and using every stereotype in the book.
I was not disappointed. On to my three points:
1. Solid writing. After suffering through some modifier laden prose, the tight writing of this novel made it impossible to put down. I wanted to keep reading not simply to find out if something was going to happen (ever!) but just because the writing was so well done. This author showed the readers what was going on, and had plenty of action.
2. Genuine characters. There was only one character that I thought was the stereotypical goth kind of kid. (But then again, there are stereotypical goth kids, so…) I liked them. I believed in the characters. And I enjoyed the main character, Callie. (And in a fascinating sidenote, she doesn’t speak until page 54—a full third of the way through the book. Symbolism anyone?) I felt her situation was realistic, and I have known people similar to her so it worked for me. She was like an amalgam of about five different people I have known. So, as a whole, she worked. It wasn’t as if she was all these individual’s weak character traits either. She was a good mix. I’ll leave it at that.
3. Interesting technique. The reader is the counselor. That’s all I will say. I liked it though, and it didn’t feel like a gimmick but a way to draw the reader in. I think McCormick realized that we might be analyzing her from the get go anyway, so why not have the counselor addressed as “you”. Fascinating use of second person.