Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teen Review: Running With Scissors

Reviewed by Amy Sepulveda

Running with Scissors
is a disconcerting memoir of the author, Augusten Burroughs, who had a sad childhood and had to constantly deal with his mother’s psychologist’s family, who were the exact opposite of himself. Burroughs’s mother and father had a very intense, verbally and physically abusive relationship. While he was just a young boy (around seven years old), he is mentally and emotionally harmed by this, although he does not particularly notice his own troubles. After his parents’ divorce, his mother somewhat abandons him at her psychologist’s home, saying Augusten must live in the "tornado of disgust" that is their house.

I thought that the people in Augusten’s surroundings had sad lives, and even though they had a psychologist for a father, they did not get the real help they needed. There are details in some parts of the story that could be somewhat disturbing, based on one’s personal maturity level and their tolerance for others’ ways of life. I would recommend Running with Scissors to people who have unhealthy home environments, or to anyone interested in psychology and how patients should be treated. The cover art shows a child with a box on his head, obscuring his face and eyes from everything, which might symbolize what should have been shielded from the horrors that once awaited Burroughs at home when he was a child.

The book is 315 pages, and I believe it deserves a 4/5 rating. This is definitely a high school (or more mature) reading level.

Editor's note: I agree with Amy that this book is definitely an adult book that some mature high school readers may also enjoy. It received widely differing ratings on Goodreads (from one star to five!), so it seems like it's a book that really depends on what its reader is looking for to be appreciated.

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