Cut, By Patricia McCormick, is a fine example of why some young adult fiction deserves literary serious consideration. As a first person account Cut is not only the story of a young adult’s journey through a mental illness, it also serves as a guide to help others find solutions to their own mental problems. The story is as believable as the well rounded characters who actually make you feel that you are there, in the room, with them. With descriptive detail, this story not only initiates psychological discussion, it also challenges ideological assumptions.
As an adolescent text, Cut, will appeal to young readers in that the character, the plot, the setting and the theme are believable, easy to understand and follow and most importantly, easy for the reader to relate to. This story has a young narrator/protagonist who guides us along the plot line through her thoughts and actions. We see 15 year old Callie, the main character, develop and grow as she learns to stop trying to be the adult and just be a kid. The settings and situations generate a genuine interest in the reader and are such that an adolescent can easily grasp the well defined theme. The descriptive detail easily puts a young reader in the scene like Callie’s description of the couch as a “…big bumpy overstuffed thing and when I sit back my feet don’t touch the floor.”(116).
Cut has all of the basics to classify this story as literature. As a story of human reactions as well as development and growth, this story expands our imagination and invokes a deeper thought on mental illness, a particular problem in society today. The detailed description of events and scenes puts the reader in the moment and gives the feeling of actually being there. A great example of this detail, reaction and growth is when Callie’s father admits to Callie that he was supposed to be watching Sam the day he had his first asthma attack. Callie tells us that “I set my cup on the counter, but it feels like I just...
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