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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

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