Blurb: Sloane Munster had the perfect life, until she didn’t. Now seventeen-year old Sloane is trying to reboot her life after a serious accident left her badly scarred and emotionally traumatised.
Starting her senior year at a different school, she recognises Luke Naughton, a swimmer whom she once had a crush on, in her new class. But when she smiles at him he glares back with revulsion and she’s sure he’s disgusted by her ugly scar. No matter how hard she tries to keep out of his way, life keeps bringing them together and despite misunderstandings and guilty secrets, the chemistry between them sparks. Meanwhile, tensions are mounting at their school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person …
Review by Pia Fenton:
Scarred is an emotionally intense book that had me riveted right from the first page. Sloane is funny, sharp and almost too mature for her years as the accident has left her with scars both inside and out. It’s also given her a new perspective on life – she can see what is important and what isn’t, disdaining the shallowness of her former self and erstwhile friends. She’s a fighter and tries to face her demons head on. She’s also kind and compassionate, wanting to help others like L.J., the guy in her class who is being bullied by everyone.
Luke has his own demons and when we find out what his issues are with Sloane, the reader can’t help but root for him. The chemistry between them definitely does spark and for an incurable romantic like myself it made for a great read – I was hoping they’d get their happy ending.
It wasn’t just a romance though; I liked the fact that this novel explores issues like bullying, grief and guilt. The bullying isn’t only the ordinary kind – which Sloane is brilliant at deflecting with wry comments and sassy come-backs – but the kind where a teacher will have it in for a particular pupil to the point where it becomes uncomfortable for everyone else. There was also the parental kind and the reader feels for the victim, understanding why it may all become too much to handle.
Grief is something only time can heal, and Sloane is doing pretty well on that front, but the guilt is something else. She feels responsible for something by omission, ie she feels that if she had stopped her mother from doing something, the accident wouldn’t have happened. And she also did something herself (I don’t want to do a spoiler) which, although in retrospect may seem to have been necessary, she can’t forgive herself for. I think the point here is that you have to live for the future, and this comes across beautifully.
All in all, a great read! I’m giving it four and a half Piranhas (although I’ve only got the logo for a four)
If you like this you might also enjoy Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Pia Fenton writes contemporary romantic YA stories and her Northbrooke High series features UK heroines clashing with US heroes in an American high school setting. The latest one is New England TLC.