I’ve come across two new reviews of 22 Scars online recently, which I feel really reflect the intent behind the novel. One of them is utterly glowing (of course!), while the other is positive while offering some criticisms. Either way, both are honest, and I feel like they showcase the story in the light it was intended – as a portrait of depression, abuse and teenage suicide. They are below – let me know what you think!
It reads a lot like The New Yorker for YA, actually. And the depression is approached internally, not only externally on the screen – as in, while you’re reading, you’re pretty much feeling as confused and disoriented and unsure of anything as Amy herself.
Many will scorn that. I think in today’s literary world of too many similar books, that’s sheer brilliance.
The writing style is raw and frank, and authentic. And I am literally dying to read anything else by this author.
If you’re a reader tired of predicting exactly what happens or where the book goes – this book is a whole new joyride for you.
– Julie, Goodreads
Amy leads a tortured life. She has a monster for a father and a distant mother. Amy self-harms and has suicidal tendencies. Then tragedy in her life leads her in a dangerous direction.
22 Scars highlights mental illness in teenagers. With recent events, I think a young adult book that focuses on mental health is an important thing. 22 Scars did an excellent job taking on this difficult topic. I did read Thirteen Reasons Why and found it somewhat lacking. Not only was the plot unrealistic and contrived, I don’t think that it really approaches the underlying mental illnesses that drive someone to suicide. I think 22 Scars approaches this subject better. Not only is Amy’s deep-seated problems explored but it also shows how her mental illness progresses through time.
22 Scars has two storylines. The connection between these storylines is not realized until late in the book. I found both storylines interesting, although I did find that the one not involving teenage Amy more interesting. The main issue I had with teenage Amy’s storyline was the plethora of characters, especially Amy’s friends. There were so many I could not keep them straight. Also, the character of Beth’s father helped the reader understand that someone can have major flaws and still be an okay parent, but he didn’t really add a lot to the story other than that. I would have liked to have read more about Amy’s boss. I felt like there was more to him as a character. From the few times he is mentioned, he seems interesting and kind, and I would have liked to have heard more of his story and maybe even his point of view.
22 Scars is a wonderful story that takes on the subject of domestic violence, mental illnesses and teen suicide. I really loved the way this novel approached each of these subjects. I highly recommend 22 Scars, and recommend it as an alternative to Thirteen Reasons Why.
– Karen, The Book Return Blog