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