I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.
Published by Macmillan on January 27, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery
Seventeen-year-old Charlotte barely escaped from her abusive parents. Her little brother, Sam, wasn’t as lucky. Now she’s trying to begin the new life she always dreamed of for them, but never thought she’d have to experience alone. She’s hired a techie-genius with a knack for forgery to remove the last ties to her old life. But while she can erase her former identity, she can’t rid herself of the memories. And her troubled history won’t let her ignore the little girl she sees one day in the park. The girl with the bruises and burn marks. That’s when Charlotte begins to receive the messages. Threatening notes left in her apartment–without a trace of entry. And they’re addressed to Piper, her old name. As the messages grow in frequency, she doesn’t just need to uncover who is leaving them; she needs to stop whoever it is before anyone else she loves ends up dead.
Cut Me Free begins with a girl who you can tell right away has survived something traumatic. What you find as you read this book is that she is rebuilding her life after surviving horrible circumstances. The descriptions of abuse are pretty detailed, so they could be triggering for some readers. Charlotte’s character, despite being locked in an attic for most of her life, seems to be able to function at a pretty amazing level and is also savvy enough to know she needs an identity to navigate her new life. When she decides to rescue a girl that she knows is being abused, the story takes the tone of a thriller. The bad guy was pure evil, I must say, but the entire set-up for the story, and Charlotte’s reaction to the abuse she sees, just didn’t seem possible to me, even accounting for the fact that this is a work of fiction.
This book would have been great as an issue book about a girl who survived horrific abuse and this book would have been great as a thriller, but not as both. It seemed to me that it couldn’t decide whether it wanted to tell me, the reader, about child slavery or if it wanted to scare the crap out of me with a thriller about a psycho on the loose. Unfortunately, the result was a jumbled, unfocused story with graphic descriptions of physical abuse with no real reason, other than to horrify me. In no way is this an issue book and to call it a well structured thriller would also be a stretch. There was a good story in there, somewhere, but it was quite unfortunately buried in poor character development and a jumbled execution.