Thursday, February 6, 2014

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield

An intensely powerful account of a teen, bullied for her port-wine stain, who must summon her personal strength to survive abduction and horrific abuse at the hands of a deranged killer.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port wine stain covering half her face, all her life she's been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she's abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It's that-or succumb to a killer.

First line:
Today is the day I've been waiting for my entire life-the beginning of normal.
 ARC from Edelweiss - Thank you!
3 stars out of 5
This book was very intriguing and kept me on edge the whole time. Sarah is so close to looking normal. Soon she will have her surgery to remove her port wine stain on her face. She's teased at school, and even her best friend betrays her for a cute guy. Nick is the fat geek who loves comic books. He's been crushing on Sarah for forever. So when Sarah gets kidnapped, he's on the forefront of the search. He was the last person to see her. Brian, her dad's employee, kidnaps Sarah and appears to have kidnapped, raped, and killed other girls with physical deformities. Sarah struggles to survive in this hell she's been thrown into.

At the beginning of the novel, Sarah is timid and scared and just wants to be normal. The only thing she wants or normalcy, and she reminds herself by putting pictures of models on her wall. Then she learns that her parents can no longer afford the surgery as somebody been embezzling money from her dad's business and Sarah's world comes crashing down around her. Add to the fact that her best friend joins in on the bullying and her day has been total crap. When Brian offers to give her a ride home, her day gets 100 times worse. Now, she must fight to survive in this despairing pit she lies in. And at the end of her journey, she'll be a completely different person. But in a good way. She's braver, more confident, and less self-conscious of her birthmark. I loved reading that journey that took place.

The whole thing with Nick was kinda weird, though it gave an insight into what was happening back home. He and Sarah had rarely talked, but suddenly she became the sole focus of his life. And then Sarah jumps right into his arms after she's rescued? It was just kinda strange.

All in all, I loved Stained except for the few peculiarities. It's a dark thriller that has amazing writing.

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