I am back from my hiatus and I know it’s been excuse after excuse lately but I haven’t had the energy to write or bookstagram. Before I begin I would like to point out that this “review” does contain some triggers (self – harm, depression). So, if these triggers affect you then I suggest to click out of this. I just felt that this novel was too important not to discuss about.
* Trigger warning* – Graphic photography
Title: 22 Scars
Author: C. M. North
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: 28 Oct. 2017
I have made a post in the past where I mentioned that I deal with depression and I have been for many years, but I don’t think I mentioned many details. Well, yes I did at one point harmed myself. Luckily, I am at a point where I found healthy alternatives to best handle my depression (i.e. reading, writing, painting/drawing, music, etc.). And although the cover of this book no longer phases me, I found the content within the book hard to handle.
I did go into this book knowing what to expect. I knew this book was about a teenage girl with depression and her ugly battle with it and I did expect some details about self-harm (vague details if any), but I never expected the act to be described as if it was analyzing every detail. I won’t go to far into discussion as to how specific the author went, but I will say that it was enough for me to start having relapse thoughts despite being self-harm free for about 6 years now. The author might’ve had good intentions when writing this, but issues such as these can be carried out more sensitively or at least have a warning page before the actual text.
One can argue that just by reading the description, one can already expect this kind of stuff to be mentioned, but I have read books that dealt with the same issue and is delivered in such a better way.
Not only that, but I also have to mention the cover. It may not phase me anymore, but I can’t say the same for others who have self-harmed before or do self-harm. What I do know is that if I were in the same head space as I was 6 years ago, the cover alone would’ve triggered me, whether I’m out book shopping at a store or online or even seeing it online.
Other than that, there were a few issues I found within the 12% I was able to read. First, there must’ve been some kind of font error when I downloaded it on Kindle because all quotation marks and apostrophes were replaced with a bunch of letters/symbols. It made it hard for me to distinguish text from dialogue. Next, the point of view tended to switch around with little to no indication of who’s point of view we are reading from. It made it even more confusing. Finally, it felt pretty stereotypical (the ‘moody, emo’ teenager with problematic parents, says things like “I’m seventeen, ___!!!” and wears ‘too much black’). I made a note at some point that it felt as if I was reading a fic from early QuoteV or Wattpad. I would like to take the time to stress that not everyone who has depression is like that. You could be the ruler of a country and have depression. It can affect anyone.
For these reasons, I cannot give 22 Scars a proper review although this may seem like a review. I really wanted to give this a try, but I don’t want to sacrifice my mental well being for a review. As my art professor says, “it has potential for greatness.” People may like it and others may not. At the end of the day, these are solely my opinions.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
Until next time!