Callie is a young teenage girl who cuts herself. The story starts out in a rehabilitation center called Sea Pines, although the girls residing there have nicknamed it “Sick Minds.” She is staying there to get help, but not of her own free will and choice; her parents sent her there. It is not just a place for girls who are cutters like her, she is living with a group of girls with a variety of issues, such as eating disorders and other things.
Callie doesn’t talk – at all – for a large part of the book. It is interesting because with no spoken dialogue from her, we get to see a lot into her mind and see her point of view. When her therapist and other people are talking to her, you can see where her mind is drifting to and what she is thinking instead of outwardly vocalizing her thoughts. She is resisting treatment and seems to not want to get any help for her problem. Through therapy and her own growth, Callie finally comes to an understanding that her recovery is up to her, but entirely possible.
This novel helps the reader explore the mind of a troubled teen. We might not fully understand how she feels, yet some of the feelings are things that we can all relate to. You can’t help but emphasize with the character and hope that she finds her way and gets better. McCormick put a lot of work into this short novel. She talked to girls who are actually cutters to hear their stories, and make sure that the fictional story of Callie was told right. I think that this book could be a great inspiration to teens who are going through something similar, whether it be cutting or something else entirely. It has a message of hope, so that they will know that they are not alone and that there is always help for such problems and a way that they can escape and better themselves. Some of the content might be considered advanced for some readers, but I don’t see any reason why anyone who is a teen or older couldn’t enjoy reading and even learn something from this book.