Release date: August 1st 2016
*Publisher approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was a chilling story for me. While I'm well aware that girls aren't the only ones that self-harm, I've never read a book where it was the boy doing it, much less have ever seen a movie that focused on the guy self-mutilating. Speaking of movies, this story reminded me a lot of one that I saw on Lifetime a while back. Same topic, but opposite sex. And the girl had family issues as well, especially with the mom. I tried to figure out from the beginning why Travis' mom was like that with him, thinking that perhaps he wasn't her biological son or that she had cheated on her husband and his father wasn't his real father. In the end, it was a lot more complicated and sad, but it also didn't take long for me to pick up on the truth. Her erratic behavior solved that mystery for me.
As for Travis, he had a lot that he was dealing with and it all piled up on the inside, so much so that cutting was an emotional escape. I don't understand a lot about this topic, but from reading this story I got the sense that self-harm was the character's way of dealing. It just made me cringe every time a scene popped up where he was doing it because the description was good and it gave me a vivid picture. And while I loved that he found another way to release his bottled up pain through art, I still wish that he'd get the help he needed, as well as his parents. The whole family needed therapy.
Overall, good story with a frightening topic that needs to be addressed more frequently and deserves a lot of awareness. Thanks to the author for taking it on in such a way that it left quite an emotional impact on me.