Cheryl Rainfield

Book cover image

Narrated By: Emily Bauer

Duration: 6 hours and 34 minutes

What to expect

Fifteen-year-old Kendra hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail: her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead, from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend—and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling, unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.


Children’s / Teenage fiction: General fiction, Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Abuse, Children’s / Teenage fiction: General fiction, Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Anxiety, depression and self-harm, Children’s / Teenage fiction: General fiction, Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Emotions, moods and feelings

Listen to a sample

Scars is a brave novel, a read-in-one-sitting-except-when-you-have-to-put-it-down-to-breathe novel.”

Ellen Hopkins, National Book Award nominee and New York Times bestselling author

“Rainfield writes with great empathy and compassion as she tells Kendra’s story. Kendra’s pain is palpable…It is clear that Rainfield has firsthand knowledge of these topics, and she handles them deftly.”


“The excellent resource section covers widely respected books, web sites, organizations, and help lines for youth seeking information on extreme abuse, cutting, same-sex attraction, and dissociation. This book will be a particular comfort and source of insight for teens facing any of these challenges, but whatever their life experience, they will be on the edge of their seats, rooting for Kendra to unravel the mystery that shadows her life. This is one heck of a good book!”

School Library Journal (starred review)

“Emotions ring true in this thriller/survivor story…A raw and honest story.”

Publishers Weekly

“[The] sense of overwhelming emotion might appeal to teens wrestling with similar issues. The book becomes most enjoyable near the end, when it makes an implausible hairpin turn into the realm of psychothriller.”


Scars is a painful and well-told story, obviously written with the heart’s blood of the author. It could prove to be a life-saver for other young victims of abuse and self-harm.”

Lois Duncan, Margaret A. Edwards Award–winning author of Killing Mr. Griffin and I Know What You Did Last Summer

“Rainfield’s gripping, chillingly honest account of an abused teen’s fight to survive her history, and its consequent self-harm is written with such compassion and empathy that this is ultimately a story of hope.”

Wendy Orr, award-winning author of Nim's Island

Scars is the must-read for any teen. I couldn’t put it down.”