Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Wow.

This was a hard book for me to read, and yet I feel so much better after having read it. I have not gone through anything as traumatic as rape, nor have I ever cut myself. However, I have dealt with depression and reaching such a low point that it’s hard to envision being able to find a light.

Scars is a book about sexual abuse and how Kendra deals with the memories she can’t fight off. Rainfield did an amazing job in showing that Kendra was not cutting to kill herself; she was cutting because it was a way to control the immense pain she was feeling. There’s a distinct line between having an outlet and suicide and Rainfield had clear control over showing this. I commend Rainfield on finding the courage to write this novel, given the author’s note at the end of the book.

I also loved the characters Rainfield created. They’re real people and I felt so many emotions over Kendra. She was dealt such a horrible, horrible set of cards, and ye she’s still able to face the world. She knows what she needs and she’s not afraid to fight for that support. Meghan, as the best friend and romantic aspect of the story, are perfect. She gives Kendra the support she needs and doesn’t turn away, even when Kendra thinks she will. Carolyn is the mother figure Kendra’s mom isn’t. She provides that unconditional love and support Kendra craves so badly.

There is no doubt the Scars is a difficult book to read, but it is a book people need to read. It doesn’t gloss over things and try to paint them in a better picture. It’s real, gritty, and one of the best books I’ve read all year.

Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to read Hunted through JKSCommunications. I’m so happy I was able to read this book.

I was a little worried when I started this book. The first couple of chapters felt a little too much like a typical teen/high school story. The new girl shows up, almost everybody dislikes her right away, she crushes on the hot guy everyone wants and is befriended by the other outcasts. However, once the story really started to pick up, it was fantastic.

Caitlyn is a wonderful strong female lead character. She knows her own strength and uses it to not only help herself, but help others. She doesn’t look to others for her power; she looks to herself for strength. Rachel is the best friend everyone needs to have and Alex is completely swoon-worthy. I have to say, my favorite character was Mrs. Vespa. There was just something about her that made me love her.

The message for this book is an important one and I feel Rainfield was able to get it across without using flashing lights and neon signs. It’s in the way she reveals the characters, the school, and society. It’s a subtle placing of words that makes your skin crawl because you know what is happening is wrong.

This was a wonderful book and I can’t wait to read what happens next.