Thursday, September 30, 2010
The Perfect Cut by Julie Burtinshaw
The Perfect Cut:
What do you do when you find yourself not caring about anything? How do you handle being so detached from your life that you choose feeling pain over feeling absolutely nothing at all?
After the death of his tough, guitar-playing, beloved sister, Michelle, Bryan finds it increasingly difficult to feel anything. He doesn’t care about his parents. He doesn’t care about his friends. Or school. Or anything. The only time he comes alive these days is during the few seconds it takes for the razor to cut his skin. He hasn’t cut deep enough to cause any real damage. Not yet.
Julie Burtinshaw wrote an emotional story about a family broken long before the death of Bryan's sister, Michelle, and a boy lost in the pain and grief of keeping a terrible secret. Although there were times that I felt the book was a little dry, Julie gets right to the heart of the matter where Bryan is concerned, depicting graphically his need to feel something, anything...even the cold feel of the blade as it cuts his flesh. Julie shows the importance of seeking help, even if sometimes someone has asked you to keep their secret. While Bryan struggles with the desire to belong he journeys into the darkest recesses within himself. Michelle was the 'favorite' and Bryan feels he can never live up to her memory, his abusive father makes life at home undesirable and constantly blames Bryan for not being stronger, and for the death of Michelle. His mother lives in fear of her husband and has turned to alcohol in hopes of forgetting the loss of her daughter. Caught between his own guilt and his fear of never finding himself again, Bryan hopes that this time hurting himself will be permanent. The road to recovery for Bryan is long and learning better coping habits other than self-abusing proves to be more difficult than he imagined. With help Bryan is able to find himself again and the terrible truths he has been holding inside are revealed, healing both himself and his mother.