Cut by Patricia McCormick

A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next.

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 “residential 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 to have anything to do with anyone. She won’t even speak.

But Callie can only stay silent for so long….


Injuring yourself on purpose by making scratches or cuts on your body with a sharp object — enough to break the skin and make it bleed — is called cutting. Cutting is a type of self-injury, or SI. Most people who cut are girls, but guys self-injure, too. People who cut usually start cutting in their young teens. Some continue to cut into adulthood. 

~Kids Health.Org


How interesting that I recently finished After by Amy Efaw, and find myself right back in a girls treatment facility with this book….. hmmm…. 😛

Cut is a book I have been wanting to read for quite a while.  When I first heard about it I was wondering what a book with the subject of cutting would be like.  With the same YA draw about teen issues as SPEAK had, I was pulled into this story about Callie and the reason she cuts.

This book is told from Callie’s perspective and much of the dialogue is her thoughts as for most of the book…. Callie does not speak… not to the other girls, not to the doctor and nurses, and not to her therapist.  While she does as she is told, she does nothing verbal.

The girls in the facility (the facility is called Sea Pines, but the girls call it “Sick Minds”) have mixed reasons for being there.  Some have eating disorders, depression, substance abuse… yet until Amanda comes, there are no other girls who cut.  Amanda plays a bigger role in this book then you would at first think.  Although she enters late, her being there for the same reason as Callie is huge, and really a step in the right direction for Callie’s start to recovery.

I found this book to be a fairly quick read – while small is size, it packs in a wallop of a topic that is big for teens.  The book had an impact but not as big of one as I had originally thought I was going to experience pre- read.  It was fast, interesting, and hopefully it speaks to anyone who cuts.


*On a more person note, I have an acquaintance that cuts.  As a Kinship Partner, I am also a mandatory reporter and therefore must report any activity I notice or may suspect that could be harmful to a child or to oneself.  This acquaintance was my first real experience with cutting and I did not understand why someone would do this to themselves.

When I spoke to her about it she explained that she had been physically abused as a child…. with such turmoil and fear in her life at a young age, she took to cutting because she said she had no other way to release the pain.  Cutting – hurt her, but at the same time was release as she had control over the pain. 

This was how I began to understand the need for some to cut.



Good Reads Review

I have updated the 2011 WHERE Are You Reading Map to include Cut (Well I would map it if I knew where it took place 😛 )

I received this book from a friend (Heidi) who had read it and passed it to me

9 thoughts on “Cut by Patricia McCormick

  1. I’m adding this one to my list. When I worked with teens in foster care, cutting was a practice that was not all that uncommon. Very sad, and indicative of the abuse many of them sufferered in childhood.

  2. I think this is a very well done and important book. Actually, I’ve liked her other books as well (Sold and Purple Heart are fantastic). My students like this

  3. I realy like that there are books in the YA genre to help teens and adults understand issues like this that aren’t preachy. I’m going to have to add this one to my list.

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