Cutter Boy By Cristy Watson

cover81793-medium.pngAll Travis wants is a slice of life.

Bullied at school and ignored at home, Travis has a secret: cutting himself with a razor blade is the only thing that lets him control the pain in his life and find some peace. When he becomes friends with Chyvonne, a new girl at school, he doesn’t know how to get close to her without revealing his secret and making himself even more vulnerable. Spending time with Chyvonne spurs Travis to try to discover why his mother can’t seem to face his very existence. It’s only when he learns about the art form of paper cutting that he realizes there might be other ways to make himself feel adrenalin-fueled and in control.

Although self-harm through cutting is a problem usually associated with teenage girls, many young men are involved in different sorts of self-injury. This story explores a teenager’s motivations for cutting and the options for overcoming the need to self-injure.

Cutter Boy has a lot of premise but doesn’t follow through on all the things it promises to deliver.
Cutter boy is the story of Travis, a boy who is bullied at school and ignored at home. His sisters have gone to college and his Mum and Dad are there but ignore him as they have their own problems to face.
Travis finds himself making fast friends with Chyvonne a Haitian-Canadian that has just moved to his school.

All the time Travis is suffering with Self Harm and is using this as an escape, an escape and a release from his confusing and stressful situation. Chyvonne is his first friend he’s had that we hear about he is forced to open up and see’s that it helps.

QUICK READ: This story is very quick it took me all up an hour and a bit to read. I felt because it was so quick I couldn’t LOVE the story or characters. I’ve never read a book centering around self harm that is fictional. I’ve read a lot of true story self harm books and Cutter Boy was very accurate in the descriptions of why people can self harm and the feeling it brings but and there’s always a but, it felt like only half a story, the ending was rushed, predictable, and non conclusive.

This story more seems like a book written to please the markets needs:

  • Boy that self harms
  • Person of Colour
  • Bullying
  • Family troubles
  • Teacher involvement…etc

Yes it has all the themes YA is lacking but it didn’t do them justice, which is what we want! We don’t want POC or LGBT characters in books just so you can say oh this book is diverse, we want accurate representation and this to be a norm instead of a marketing ploy “oh my book has all these great themes chucked in” *sigh*


The themes were presented to us but not fully explored and this was a disappointment.

I want a book that makes me feel and connect not one that delivers the facts. I know the facts I want to read about the struggle of the underdog, not skim the surface of whats going on. 3177625.jpg

If you’re looking for a book about Self Harm and the lengths people go to get better I recommend Scarred this book has made me cry and feel so connected to the MC upon every re-read and is both horrible, sad, and truthful.

3 out of 5 stars

I’m giving this book a 3 out of 5 because I did like some aspects. I really loved Chyvonne’s character and would have liked to see more of her. If I could change anything I’d make this book a duel point of view and 150 pages longer, really delving into the problems and solutions and connecting with the reader.
Cutter boy was in no way a bad read, it just wasn’t anything special for me.

If you’re looking for a quick read and are intrigued by the synopsis then go ahead and get this as I said it will only take you an hour to get through and you may enjoy it more than I did 🙂

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review


I think my last couple of reviews have all been under 3 stars, Sorry for all the negatives guys!

I hate giving a bad review but it’s just my thoughts, you may have loved this book but compared to my tastes and the other books I’ve read on this subject it just doesn’t live up to the promise.

Have you read this? or have you read Scarred? I really like true stories but tend not to review them as I find it really hard to critique someones personal life experiences.

3 thoughts on “Cutter Boy By Cristy Watson

  1. I’ve never read true stories about serious topics like self-harm or abuse etc. In my mind, books are for enjoyment and leisure, and if I’m reading about a real person facing real issues, I don’t think you can “enjoy” that. For information and awareness I prefer newspapers or blog posts. It’s a shame however that fictional accounts can tend to skim the surface rather than delve into deep issues – to me, it suggests a lack of understanding & information from the author. – Judith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the understanding was there it’s just that this book was only 100 and something pages so she couldn’t really included everything that needed to be included. So while there was a bit of everything there wasn’t enough time spent on one theme.

      I used to read a lot of true stories and while they are heartbreaking they really do show how strong people can be and what people are going through behind closed doors. But it’s not for everyone as they are very graphic and upsetting.

      Liked by 1 person

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