I will admit, I didn’t plan on reading this book and reviewing it so soon, but due to some life events, I pulled it out yesterday and started reading it. I expected to be overwhelmed with the issue of cutting and self-mutilation but was pleasantly surprised by the story line. I didn’t think she could make a series out of this topic, but I can certainly see where this would be possible now.
Amber, a high school student who recently found out she had been lied to all of her life, moves to a new state with her mother and step father. Before the move her mother tells her that Dave isn’t her real father. When Amber ask questions about who her real father is, she is given excuses and lies by her mom. Amber sets out to find who she really is and what is her real last name. In the process of adjusting to the news and the move, she meets this girl named Casey. Little did she know what a role Casey was going to play in her life. Could they share the same father? All signs lead to it, but Casey doesn’t want to accept it and share her father. The goal of this friendship instantly changes and it doesn’t get to positive for either of them.
Along with the regular issues of starting a new high school, Amber is trying to find herself and ends up falling in love with a man she meets at a party. He is good for her but she had to expose her deep secret and pray he will be supportive and stay with her. While trying to maintain all of the stresses from life, she still has to live up to the expectations from her mother. It becomes too much at times and Amber turns to cutting as a coping behavior.
I think the author does a wonderful job at showing how the cutting engulfs Amber’s life, yet she still shows Amber as a functioning teenager just trying to do her best and be enough for everyone in her world. At the point in her life when things are looking up and she is beginning to find the answers she has been seeking, she gets the call that someone from her past who is important to her is gone. This shakes Amber so badly that she turns to the one thing that can bring her comfort. As the book one ended, we are left wondering if Amber is going to be able to get her life back.
I think Raebeth did a wonderful job educating the readers about the issue of cutting. She allowed the reader to see that this is not attention seeking, it is a way to cope in life. It is a constant emotional struggle that is waged in this girls head on a daily basis. I commend the author for taking such a difficult topic and shedding light on it. The secrets, the betrayal, the fear of being caught……….it weighs on the cutter and helps promote the vicious cycle that they are in. I can hardly wait for the second book because as I said, Raebeth has taken this difficult topic and put a story plot to it which captured my attention and peaked my interests.
She makes her characters real and gives us a story we can invest ourselves in, even if we don’t understand self-mutilation. I found myself wanting and begging for Amber to win in the end, to find her answers and have the life she deserves. The mother is someone I could really hate, but the way the author has portrayed her, I find I empathize with this mother and can understand the wrong turns she made in raising her daughter. It is rare you find a book that you can identify with each character and understand their motivation, even if you disagree with the choice they made.
You can purchase this book on Amazon and read about the author. I strongly urge everyone to read this series.