Perfect Cut Reviewed Again!

My publisher just sent me great news. The Perfect Cut has been reviewed in in Canadian Children’s Book News (Fall 2008 volume), and it was highly praised! I need a copy if any of my Vancouver friends should come across one.

Feedback is so rare, and I am always thrilled when one of my books gets noticed. I have heard from lots of teen readers and the comments are generally really encouraging. Thanks, Readers.

Fall 2008 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News:

After the death of his older sister Michelle, Brian has difficulty coping and begins withdrawing from his parents, school, and his friends. His only solace comes with cutting. In the few seconds it takes for the razor to break the skin, he feels alive, and it’s only when he takes things one step too far, and another tragedy nearly occurs, that Brian is able to confront his feelings and to live without cutting.

In her latest novel, author Julie Burtinshaw has created a raw and realistic look at cutting, which has become increasingly popular among young adults as a form of stress relief. The story is told primarily from Brian’s perspective and the reader will be drawn in by his bluntness and his genuine anguish as he spirals deeper out of control.

Not just another teen issue story, this rich, multi-layered plot peels back slowly, revealing another dimension with each layer, adding to the richness of the characters, and demonstrating that surface appearances don’t always give a complete picture.

While Brian’s ultimate breakdown was easily foreseeable, it is his journal revelations as part of his therapy that are the most heartwrenching and revealing, and the strong support network of friends and family that rally around him end the novel on a hopeful note, without succumbing to a happily-ever-after tidy ending that some readers might expect.

Suitable for teens ages 14 and up, this novel works well for opening up discussion about this important topic, and could be studied in conjunction with Monique Polak’s novel Scarred, published as part of James Lorrimer’s SideStreets series last spring, which also addresses teenage cutting.

— Rachel Steen


Filed under Events and Readings

7 responses to “Perfect Cut Reviewed Again!

  1. Paula

    Hi Julie,

    Today I realized that I am missing you – looking forward to a nice walk and warm cup of tea with you. 🙂 I first checked out your blog at the beginning of your journey. Really enjoyed the rant. I actually killed myself laughing – you are a pretty funny gal. I also could appreciate your frustration having been a well travelled person years ago.

    I have just gone through your entire blog so far and how cool – thanks for posting this. I really took my mind out for a walk over the past half hour reading through and looking at your photos and thinking. Looks pretty cold and desolate there. The house (mansion) looks pretty nice – a country estate looking home. They should have a house dog – one who sleeps at your bedside and then you don’t need to be nervous and can get some sleep. Also nice to walk with – wrestle those reindeer. 🙂

    A few of your photos remind me of photos of Tibet – that windswept desolation with light that seems mystical. I like your thoughts about so many shades of white – it’s true isn’t it? I think what it is, is the light and how it reflects, absorbs and is shadowed on whatever it hits or falls upon. There must be a metaphor in that eh?

    Glad that you are finding the time and space to write – I’m sure that must feel good. Thinking of you and wishing you a continued interesting experience.


  2. Kaley Patterson

    Hello! I am reading your book The Perfect Cut right now for my adopt-a-writer in english class. I have chose to adopt you and have found this book really good! It’s very relateable for teens and I am excited to read a second. Do you recommend any over the other? I have to do a research write up on you and I am having trouble finding ispirations/influences! could you help me out!? thank you – Kaley Patterson, Grade 12 Central Collegiate Moose Jaw Sask

  3. Hi Kaley,
    That is so cool. I´ve never been adopted before. I think you should read Freedom of Jenny and Adrift — I´m not sure which one you will like better. Also, I will email you offline with some inspiration. thanks, Kaley,

  4. Sakshi

    Hey Julie
    This is really cool that you’re so open to your readers, and that we can communicate with you!

    I write for a Canadian magazine called “What If” Magazine, and it is a creative magazine for Canadian teens to write, draw and create.

    We have a rather large book review section, and as one of the writers on staff, I am reviewing your book for our Spring 09 issue. So, when the magazine comes out, I will post my review on here, tell me if you like it!

    The magazine is really great, Mike Leslie is our editor-in-chief…. check out our website too!


    • Hi Sakshi,
      I can’t wait to see the review — I will provide a link back to your magazine once it comes out. If you have any questions you’d like to ask me, I’d be happy to answer them.
      Thank you for choosing The Perfect Cut,

  5. Adam

    Hey Julie:
    I find it really great that you are so open about your books and allow anyone in the world to write to you with your response. I finished your book “The Perfect Cut” about three days ago. I have to say, the symbolism in this book is unmatched to anything that i have ever read. The guitar, the notes, the picture of Michelle, Dr. Spahic’s kittens, the list is endless. I have to write an essay on this book, and i was hoping that you could give me some advice. I believe that the theme of the book is escapism, but i am not sure what kind of thesis i can form around this theme, let alone arguments as well. I enjoyed your book thoroughly, and am excited into hearing your feedback.

    Thanks so much.


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