Book in Review: Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson

7:00 PM

21469083Title: Cut Me Free

Author: J.R. Johansson
Hardcover: 304 pages
Expected Publication: January 27, 2015
Format: ARC
Rating 3/5

Summary via Goodreads:

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.

I really don't know what to say. The plot first focused on Piper, the main character who wanted a new future. It focused on fixing her life, and more on the psychological aspects. But, towards the end, I knew that Cut Me Free is more of a thriller than a sociological book, and I don't know if I liked it that way. Honestly, it gave me chills. I hate blood, and there are so many disturbing happenings in this book.

Until now, I am still not sure if I liked this book or not.

First, the writing style. Johansson's writing style was vivid and articulate. It contains flashbacks on what happened to Piper before. Although, there was one part that I didn't quite understand. I was a bit confused on how the "enemy/villain" was able to get into the house, I'm not sure if t's just me or it's the writing style. 

For the characters, I didn't like any of them that much. I didn't have the connection which is why I took one star away. I felt like Charlotte's emotional state and her way of adapting to the outside world was pretty good despite the fact the she was stuck inside an attic for years. She may be strong, and stuff, but it's just not believable. Cam was a good guy, but I think he fell for Charlotte too fast. The other characters seemed like they were just two-dimensional caricatures. They didn't feel like real people to me. 

 I appreciated how Johansson chose a sensitive topic and something that could show awareness to a lot of people because there are still children who are abused nowadays. It's hard to write about this topic because you'll have to get it spot on or you'll get a lot of hate. The other star that I took away was because some parts were cliche and predictable, like the psycho on the loose and the ending being almost perfect. Although, I did like the romance part since the author was able to manage having romance without having to ruin the main point of the story. I think that this book is your average YA thriller. 

I left three stars mainly because this is my first YA Mystery Thriller read, and I was pretty glad about it. I've been stuck with YA Contemporary for so long, not that it's a bad thing, but it was pretty refreshing to read something like this. It was scary in some parts, and it was also the first time I experienced that with a book so great job, Johansson! I always love it when authors write books for their voices to be heard. 

I recommend this book to people who wants a meaningful read, but are not afraid of blood and other gory details. 

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  1. I have this on my tbr list. it's kind of disappointing that you didn't feel for the characters. I'm definitely taking note of that because I like my characters to be great and memorable. I don't mind disturbing books, I'm actually starting to get into them. But cliche in mystery? I'm definitely remembering that when I get to read this. thanks for the heads up. Great review! :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  2. The summary does sound interesting but also quite scary. And you're saying there are some creepy parts, I don't know if that's for me. I've wanted to read a mystery / thriller book for a while but then always chicken out because I'm scared of sleepless nights over a book. Great review though :)

  3. I wanted to check out your review because Kimi stopped by and read mine on this book. I think we definitely had similar thoughts.

    I liked that Jenn handled an important and often overlooked topic but I didn't connect with the characters in a way that made me love the book. I agree that it felt like a basic YA Thriller. It was good but just didn't blow me away.

    Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally


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Kimi has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.