Cheryl Rainfield, March 2010. This traditional problem novel manages to be both gruesome and cookie-cutter. It addresses teen Kendra’s cutting, her parents’ financial problems, her crush on sexy and sassy Meghan, and her quest to remember who raped her when she was a child. Anyone who’s ever read anything about childhood sexual abuse will be unsurprised to learn that Kendra’s father is the culprit; there should have been some sort of red herring or, conversely, creepiness in the dad from the beginning, but there isn’t. That was a mistake.
The relationship with Meghan, the most appealing character, is sweet. What isn’t is the Teacher as Savior trope, in this case (as in so many others) related to Art as Savior. Yes, Kendra’s escape from cruel reality is drawing, and the In-Tune Teacher is her art teacher. This book could be a guide to the formula of a problem novel. It also might just resonate with the many readers who are interested in these themes.