Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson

Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson 
Seventeen-year-old Charlotte barely escaped from her abusive parents. Her little brother, Sam, wasn't as lucky. Now she's trying to begin the new life she always dreamed of for them, but never thought she'd have to experience alone. She's hired a techie-genius with a knack for forgery to remove the last ties to her old life. But while she can erase her former identity, she can’t rid herself of the memories. And her troubled history won’t let her ignore the little girl she sees one day in the park. The girl with the bruises and burn marks.
That’s when Charlotte begins to receive the messages. Threatening notes left in her apartment--without a trace of entry. And they’re addressed to Piper, her old name. As the messages grow in frequency, she doesn’t just need to uncover who is leaving them; she needs to stop whoever it is before anyone else she loves ends up dead.

Publishes in US: January 27th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: ya contemp
Source: macmillan via netgalley
Series? no

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    I wanted to read Cut Me Free because abuse and then emotional healing are issues that I love to read about. The messages are important for everyone to read, and the emotion is what I seek when reading contemporaries. 

   I enjoyed getting to know Piper aka Charlotte. She had such a rough childhood but she managed to escape and she harbors a lot of guilt because her little brother Sam didn't make it, and she wishes that she could have done more for him. She was abused badly, leaving scars all over, and kept a secret, locked in the attic. Her Nana came to live there and she taught her so many things, but couldn't get the police to believe her because she had cancer and was on all sorts of meds. 

   She refers to her conscious or her racing thoughts as Sam, and its not in a crazy way. I think that is her way of keeping his memory alive and she will attribute her thoughts of danger or of suggestions of what to do next or in response to his voice. 

    She meets Cameron as she is trying to get a new identity in a new city, and you can tell right away that he is attracted to her but she is nowhere ready to be in a relationship, she can barely even stand to be touched because it causes flashback type things. She almost doesn't start working with him because he is so young and he asks a lot of questions, but he is the best. 

    Cameron helps her get settled, new id, an apartment and even a job. He keeps showing up and trying to help her, but Charlotte is one tough and stubborn gal. But she kinda is rightly so because of the way she grew up. 

    She sees a little girl that is being abused and she steps in and rescues her. She brings her home with her because she is illegal, and apparently a victim of sex trafficking. The poor girl has scars and fresh wounds and Charlotte can't just stand back and do nothing. But I will say while its brave and I can understand why she never wanted to get the cops involved, it is also sad for me that her parents might never know what happened to her, and if she needed adults in her life no matter how much Charlotte cares for her. But its just a story so I will try to suspend belief where that is concerned. 

   When Charlotte starts getting threats it goes more into mystery mode, and honestly I skimmed over a lot of that. I figured who it was pretty easily and I am not usually that person. But I didn't keep reading for the mystery, but for the character development of Charlotte, to see Sanda get to experience things like going to school, and laughing and being carefree, and to see if the romance with Cam and Charlotte would ever go anywhere. 

   It was a pretty quick read, and it wrapped up to my satisfaction,  but not without testing and putting more on the character's shoulders. But I like the hope of the end, that things might just be okay for them and seeing them begin to get themselves together and figuring out how to heal and live the best life they can have. 

Bottom Line: Unique twist on the escaped abused child.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you intervene if you saw a child (you don't know) with suspicious bruises?


  1. I don't know if I could read this one, haven't got the stomach for it, I hate the storylines in shows that are similar. :( See, I would, though the thing these days is you have to be careful, and I think you should definitely discuss the situation and why you think they are, over with somebody else. There was this situation in my Nursery at the start of a new term that me and another TA, so we went to the main Teacher of the Nursery and she took it from there.

  2. I applaud you for your book choices lately. It all sounds emotionally engaging, I'm sure you'll be needing a book break later on. LOL

  3. It is def emotional. My morganville has been my uippers

  4. Yes, it is very tricky situation, and you don't want to be wrong on something like that.

  5. I second Braine's comment; you've been reading so many feel heavy books recently that I have no idea how you haven't hit a wall yet. More than two or three in a row, and I feel a slump coming on. I would definitely intervene if I saw a child in need, same thing goes for animals. They deserve to have a voice.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  6. It sounds like there's a lot going on without the added mystery but it still sounds very good.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  7. Eeeep. I go out of my way to avoid these difficult reads. I just. Can't. Good on you, though!

  8. The mystery sounds underwhelming, but the characters seem great! Sounds like an intense story, though.

    Nice review :)

  9. Wow, this sounds intense and really good!

  10. Oh gosh. This sounds intense. I have a copy but I am not sure if I can handle it right now.

  11. Phew, this does sound like a very emotional book and I can see the abuse aspect of it really plays into it. It's so sad that the police didn't believe her due to medication she actually needed >< It seems like everyone really glossed over her problems. Oh well, this one is added to the TBR because I like the idea of a lot of god character development. The only shame is that you predicted something which I am sure was intended to be a plot twist.

  12. Interesting, is this classified as a thriller? It is YA, yet she lives alone? You have me very curious.

  13. I didn't request this because I was worried that the abuse storyline would be too tough for me. I might have tried it if it was more mystery, but if you're saying the mystery was the weakest part, then not sure about this one....
    Great review, Brandi :)

  14. I am not sure that I could read this,as it would upset me. I actually used to work somewhere that had a waiting area for a children's clinic outside my office door. I witnessed a couple of cases of horrible parenting, bordering on abuse, and I did report them to our in house social services. This was a very long time ago, but I still remember that one of the women was thankful for the intervention she rec' d and said she was at the end of her rope. I hope I helped in some way.

  15. This does sound like a good read. It also makes me happy to see that it had a good ending. I don't normally read books like this, but the ones I have, didn't really have a satisfying end. Great review :)

  16. This sounds intense and emotional, and I'm glad that the story worked out for you Brandi. I shy away from theses stories, but in real life we can't avoid it - I would intervene. Thanks for the thoughtful review.

  17. Oh, this one does sound like an emotional read. I'm glad you enjoyed it and that the ending left you with hope. I love reading books with that kind of ending!

    Lovely review!

  18. Oh, I approach these reads with care, but I'm completely aware that they can be some of the most powerful reads that can inspire the strongest emotions... I have to brace myself for this kind of books, but I don't avoid them completely. It helps to know that story does end well.
    Thank you Brandi.

  19. Oh now I'm thinking who's this threat, is it Charlotte's parents or someone? This is definitely right in my alley, will add this on GR now. Great review Brandi :)

  20. first i hear of this book, not really my type of book but happy you enjoyed it :D

  21. Well, this does not contain the themes I like to read about in my reads, but I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

  22. This one is new to me. Sounds pretty interesting. So emotional.

  23. This one did not work for me at all. The abuse was horrific and then it seemed to gloss over so much in favor of the thriller aspect.


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