Thursday, 28 January 2016

Review: Cutter Boy

Please be aware that this book tackles the issue of self harm, if that is a trigger to you in anyway, it is the main theme of this book. Please stay safe. 

Title: Cutter Boy
Series: N/A, Stand alone (Possibly Sidestreets.)
Author: Cristy Watson
Genre: YA, Contemporary 
Publisher: Lorimer 
Publication Date: 12th February 2015
Pages: 176

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, with thanks to Lorimer and Netgalley. 

Ignored at home. 

Bullied at school. 

Travis' only solace is found in a blade. 

It becomes his dependency to cope with how his parent's don't talk to him, how he has no friends, how his sister's live miles away. It takes away the emotional pain and replaces it with a physical pain that he can control. But every changes when he meets Chyvonne. She breaks the stereotypes of everything around her, she shines like a light, and Travis's parents seem to love her more than they love him. He even discovers a love for art that seems to relieve the urge to cut himself, and rather he cuts the paper.

But will his scars prevent something happening between them? 

Or can she help him? 

Books that tackle self harm are either a hit, or they are a miss. And in this situation, I think it was between the two. In some ways, it missed mainly in the fact it was quite short. However, the author answered a question saying that the publisher had a word count for these "Sidestreets" books at 25,000 words, so I think in the way she tackled this really tough issue in less than 200 pages in simply fantastic. 

I felt as if I was reading a full length novel. 

You immediately felt heartbroken for Travis, it's clear to why he feels so alone from the offset. His parents don't talk to him at all, they just talk to each other when he leaves the room and they seem to tiptoe around him just so they don't have to spend any time with him. His school bullies are also presented in a realistic, but incredibly brutal way. You almost can feel Travis's emotions as you're reading this book. You understand him. 

I just wanted the best for him throughout this book. 

The author arcs this book in such a way that you go up and down, you're sad, then you're happy. Then everything just seems so bleak, but then it gets happier again and towards the end, you can truly see a positive output for Travis. 

My favourite parts left me bittersweet, like when his dad lay in his bed and watched TV with him, or when Chyvonne found out about the self harm. 

My final rating is: 4 stars

If you're struggling with self harm, please don't be afraid to talk to someone about it. A teacher, a parent or a friend. There are anonymous forums and numbers you can ring to just vent about it. Please, stay safe, take care of yourself. 


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