This post is a book review of 22 Scars by C.M. North, which I received a complimentary copy of through Voracious Readers.
Trigger Warning: This book involves self-harm, suicide, and sexual assault.
22 Scars tells the story of teenager Amy and what it’s like for her to battle depression on a daily basis. Depression consumes her, and, unless accompanied by her best friend, she rarely finds herself and her life to be hopeful.
This story also takes a look at Amy’s parents, their relationship, and the impact it has on Amy.
What I Liked
I often find myself reading young adult fiction novels that concern mental health, but I have never read anything quite like North’s 22 Scars. The topic of depression isn’t at all a new subject for young adult fiction, but the way North tackles depression and other mental health concerns in 22 Scars is quite original. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed how this book didn’t come off as something I’ve read before but with different details.
This book also doesn’t have a strict plot in the same way other young adult fictions book I’ve read do. The main narrative is more so an insight of Amy’s battle with depression and the events that have led to it, and that battle is the main conflict. But I don’t think this is a bad thing. Considering the focus of the story is Amy and what it’s like for her to live with depression, it’s fitting.
Amy’s parents and their story is an important secondary story line in the book, but they are never referred to by any names. They’re either ” a man” and “a woman” or “Amy’s mom” and “Amy’s dad.” The general “man” and “woman” characterizations were confusing to me at first, but as I figured it out, I really liked the nameless nature of them. It’s very telling of who they are and how Amy sees them.
What Needs Work
My biggest concern with this book was the switch in narratives. It uses a nonlinear form of storytelling, which is fine, but it wasn’t always as clear when the story was going from one the present to the past, from this character’s narrative to another character’s narrative.
I also found myself wanting a little more background on characters. Sometimes, I eventually got the background I wanted later on in the book, but I feel some of it needed to be introduced sooner.
★★★★ / ★★★★★