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Scars    by Cheryl Rainfield order for
by Cheryl Rainfield
Order:  USA  Can
WestSide Books, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Kendra was raped repeatedly when she was a child. Now a teenager, she's buried the abuse so deeply inside herself that she can't remember what happened or who abused her. She starts cutting to relieve her pain. Bleeding takes the pain away and numbs her.

Kendra is a talented artist. Her art is another way for her to express her pain. She thinks of her art as a printout of her soul, showing all the things she can't talk about.

When she starts therapy, her memories begin to slowly return. Whoever abused her is still around and he plants notes, a knife, and a recorded voice where she will find them. He threatened to kill her long ago and he's determined to stop her from remembering, one way or another.

Kendra meets Meghan when she is being threatened by the class bully. Meghan saves Kendra at considerable risk to herself. Now Kendra has someone else who cares for her, someone else who believes her. Someone who has problems her own.

This is a tense, suspenseful read, but not a thriller in the usual sense. The tension comes from Kendra and her reactions to the people around her. There are those who support her and those who only pretend to.

This is a powerful book and one I'm glad I had the opportunity to read. At the end, be sure to read the Author's Note. The reason her voice is so authentic is because she was a cutter and a victim of abuse during her childhood. Part of the profits from Scars is being donated to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Rainfield also includes a Reader's Resource for anyone who needs help or wants to learn more.

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