Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Stained by Cheryl Rainfield


Title: Stained
Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: October 1st 2013
Pages: 304
Genre:  YA Psychological Thriller 
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio


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.

I didn't see this book around much on the blogosphere but when I saw it I knew I wanted to read it. It sounded intense, heartbreaking, and exciting. It was and so much more. It was written extremely well, a real thrill ride, and it made me pause to think, to feel, to understand way beyond my comfort zone. 

Sarah has had a pretty tough life. She was born with a port wine stain on her cheek, this has caused low esteem issues and problems with bullies through out her entire life. Now she is 16 years old and just as she is about to start treatment to get rid of her mark, she finds out her parents are having financial issues. The day only gets worse when she is kidnapped. She thought it was hard to deal with the funny looks and mean words growing up, now she is being held in captive in a shed where she is raped, abused, and starved. She funds her inner-strength and courage to escape before she is killed. 

To say this book was intense is not enough. This book was way beyond intense and way beyond what I could see coming. I thought this would be a great book for some pretty serious issues that can appear in a girls life. It was but it was to the tenth power. I would not recommend this book to anyone with a weak stomach or low tolerance to violence. Cheryl Rainfield did not hold back. The book was written beautifully and at the same time wrenched my heart out of my stomach. There was no stepping lightly around the issues in this book. It was really hard to get through some of the scenes and I have to admit that I had to walk away from the book a couple of times, but the impact the book had on me was tremendous and I think it opened me up to the issues I knew existed but never understood completely. I felt everything the main character, Sarah experienced this book and because it was written so well, the story was full of hope, understanding, and love. '

Not only was the book full of realistic issues, tough issues, it was quite terrifying. I am not sure I can get across how horrifying and nerve wrecking this book was. I was literally at the edge of my seat nervous for Sarah. I could feel myself tensing at scenes when I didn't know what the outcome would be. I felt there was evil around every corner. It had me going out of my mind. 

The characters were extreme in this book. There are three main characters, the main one being Sarah. She started off being kind, meek, and very tired of all the looks and mean remarks she was faced with everyday. Her parents taught her well, to walk away and not to let mean people get to her and attempted to fill her with beautiful words to make her feel good. In the end, her years of dealing with, ignoring, and living with hateful peers helped her find her strength when she need it most. She grew up feeling the victim, but she didn't want to die that way. She refused to be the victim and worked hard on saving herself. She rocked so hard. 

Nick was Sarah's friend. A boy she has known forever, a boy she shared the love of comics with. A boy that also was an outcast at school. A boy that has had a crush on her for a very long time. A boy that wouldn't give up on her. Nick worked hard everyday searching for Sarah. His mind and heart set on seeing her again. I loved Nick. At first I wasn't so sure about him. He was a bit intense about his feelings for Sarah but in the end he won my heart. He loved Sarah for who she was, knew she was beautiful, knew she was brave, and nothing she would tell him would ever deter him from her side. A real winner! 

The last character was the bad guy. Very sadistic, very ugly, very cruel, very demented. I could go on and on. I have never hated someone from a book so much.(or in real life) I wanted to hurt him, to strangle him. He was the extreme of a villain and I felt out of all the villains in all the stories I have read, he was the most real. 

The story was of one girls journey from victim to survivor to hero. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking. It is worth the time to get through some gruesome scenes to get to a satisfying end. 

A must read book for everyone. It was almost life changing for me. Even the author's note at the end made me tear up. 


  1. Oh wow, this sounds so intense! I will be checking my library for it asap! Awesome review.

  2. I have to agree with you on the intense parts when she first gets kidnapped. It was pretty awkward reading THOSE scenes! Anyway, great review!


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