Stained by Cheryl Rainfield
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Thriller and Young Adult
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
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.
First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
I feel bad about review this book because of my mixed feelings towards it. The message it’s trying to get across gets there, loud and clear. Yet, there are so many things that I just couldn’t overlook since this is a novel telling a story that might be fictional, happens to people all over the world. Before getting to the things that disappointed me, I want to say that Cheryl Rainfield did make me uncomfortable and she did make me remember that my life could be worse no matter the situation that I’m in. I think that Stained will remind readers of how lucky they are and how to always, always, always trust their gut, no matter what.
Stained is a tough book to get into and didn’t take much to lose my attention since it is so very stiff and bland. Especially the characters, although I admired Sarah’s courage and determination, I still couldn’t connect with her and feel the emotions that Rainfield was trying to get me to. Nick, like Sarah, feels extremely contrived and odd because all I got from him is that he loves Sarah, like, a lot and he’s willing to do anything for her. That’s about it. He’s only there as an accessory to Sarah rather than an actual friend who helps her get through a harsh time.
But, I did find the writing style to be okay for the most part. It flows nicely even if it doesn’t give off an intense feeling. Like I mentioned before, Sarah’s determination and courage changed her and for the better. I love the main message this novel gives off (Inner beauty is much more important than outer) as well as the smaller, albeit just as important, messages of how cruel some people can be about certain things.
Overall, this is a novel that I think should be read for the message rather than the story. Without enjoying it much, I was left disappointed and a bit confused at how quickly it moved at the end. The ending isn’t as realistic as I wished it to be nor did it have me at the edge of my seat and thrusting my fist in the air. However, I still recommend this book to everyone because it’s a great reminder as to how easy it is for a person to disappear by someone they know and may even trust.
For quotes from this book, click here.