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- Publisher: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
- Format: Hardback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 144mm x 212mm x 34mm | 440g
- Publication date: 1 February 2014
- Publication City/Country: Boston, MA
- ISBN 10: 0547942087
- ISBN 13: 9780547942087
- Sales rank: 735,819
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.
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By Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books) 07 Sep 2013
It had a very powerful start, putting us in Sarah's shoes, showing how it feels to have such a prominent stain on her face. She is tormented and she feels like no one gives her the chance to see who she is besides someone that is not physically perfect.
I liked the dual perspective and getting to know Nick. He is nerdy and he is kind so I automatically was cheering for him even though he knew that she didn't see him like that. He saw past her face, and found her beautiful anyways. He thinks she is strong and they have a connection through comic books, he draws and she writes them.
There is a lot going on with Sarah, her dad has trouble at work and while she was going to get treatments for her face, that had to be put off because of the finances. I did like her mom, and I know as a teen that had to be annoying to be constantly told your parents think you are beautiful and that it is more than physical beauty to the world. But I am glad that she is present and saying these things.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the formatting. I am not sure, it is probably a product of being an ARC (advanced reader copy) but there were "l"s missing, and some of the lines were cut off.
But anyways, Cheryl Rainfield the author writes with such passion and so beautifully dark and gritty. The details of what Sarah went through weren't skimmed over, they were examined and it focused on her feelings too. I was amazed at how strong she was, how courageous and the will to survive. I also thought this story was all the more powerful because Cheryl writes from personal experience in abuse. That really touched me that she can relate with her main characters that way, that the feelings and emotions come from a very real place. And that she is able to share the stories, no matter what details are fiction and what comes from what she has experienced is a real gift. Not only to survivors of abuse or captivity that there is hope and that outlets exist for pain, but to those who haven't been through something like this to get a harrowing and realistic look at the mindset and experience of someone kidnapped, raped, and manipulated.
I also rooted for Sarah so much because she was smart. Even though desperate, she used her brain and did what she needed to in order to survive for the most part. She learned from her mistakes and her pride, and she was a mental fighter.
I love how she became her own hero and learned to see the beauty inside and out.
Bottom Line: Powerful look of a courageous main character with a will to live.
A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year "Sarah's determination to stay alive and escape will resonate with readers, and they will cheer her efforts to overcome her underdog status." --"Kirkus" "Sarah's refusal to be a victim will stick with readers." --"Publishers Weekly" "Rainfield has written a novel of psychological suspense." --"Booklist" "Rainfield has drawn upon her own experiences to create a powerful and disturbing novel about the abduction and torture of a young woman that recalls recent horrifying news stories. . . . Readers will find "Stained" almost impossible to read and, at the same time, almost impossible to put down." --"VOYA, 4Q 4P S"