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About the Author-
- Patricia McCormick has worked as a free-lance magazine and newspaper writer, contributing regularly to The New York Times and Parents magazine, where she reviewed children's books and family movies. Since completing a master's degree in creative writing at the New School two years ago, she's concentrated almost exclusively on writing fiction and teaching creative writing to third-graders in Queens. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Cut is her first novel.
- In this extraordinary first novel, Patricia McCormick gives us a painful glimpse into adolescent mental illness. Callie is a 15-year-old "guest" at Sea Pines, a residential treatment facility that has neither sea nor pines. She is there because she cuts herself. The other residents are an assortment of girls with food, drug, and anger management issues. Clea Lewis gives a remarkable performance. Her truthful, simple narration allows us to understand and empathize with Callie's terrible self-destructive impulse. Her youthful voice is never overstated or overly sentimental. Lewis manages to suggest adults who are flawed, yet believable and caring. While the ending is a little too pat, McCormick's exploration of the sense of power-lessness felt by many young women today is sensitive and wise. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
October 15, 2001
In this adaptation of McCormick's debut novel, Lewis (TV's Ellen) imbues her reading with the cynicism and pain of the book's troubled 15-year-old protagonist, Callie. Callie faces some difficult emotional hurdles as a "guest" at the residential treatment center where she has been sent because she cuts herself with sharp objects. In a flat, unaffected tone, befitting someone unhappy with her situation, Lewis's Callie explains the daily routines and schedules at Sea Pines, the facility dubbed "Sick Minds" by Callie's roommate. Though she doesn't speak to her fellow guests, or even her doctors at first, listeners are always privy to Callie's feelings and her impressions of her surroundings, be it what the anorexic guests don't eat or how the substance abuse guests cope. Details of her stressful, dysfunctional home life trickle out along the way; it's at these points that Lewis's vulnerable voice invites listeners to feel compassion for Callie. As Callie makes breakthroughs with her therapists and comes to better understand her behavior and its causes, Lewis meets the challenge of tearful scenes. Lewis never sounds phony, though, and conveys the hope in McCormick's ending, which suggests Callie's eventual recovery. Ages 12-up.
February 1, 2002
Gr 7-12-This compelling novel by Patricia McCormick (Front St., 2000) is presented as a first-person account by Callie, who is confined to a mental health facility. Sea Pine (Sick Minds) is home to teenage "guests" with a variety of problems: substance abuse, anorexia, and behavior issues. Fifteen-year-old Callie cuts herself. While this account describes group therapy and Callie's fears, she sits silently during group and individual therapy sessions. The turning point occurs when she is gradually drawn into the lives of the other teen residents. Listeners anxiously wait to discover why Callie harms herself. Actress Clea Lewis does an excellent job of portraying the different characters with her voice inflections. Listeners are drawn into the girls' despair and become painfully aware of the emotional angst resulting in each girl's confinement at Sea Pines. A good choice for fans of Susanna Kaysen's Girl Interrupted -Lynda Short, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, KY
Copyright 2001 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
PublisherPenguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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