Seventeen-year-old Sarah Meadows covers the walls of her bedroom with images of beautiful faces she clips from magazines—and longs for “normal.” Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. Why can’t she be like Diamond, the comic-book hero she created? Diamond would never let the insults in. That’s harder for Sarah.
But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had. Can she look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside, somehow becoming a hero rather than a victim? It’s the only way Sarah will have any chance of escaping the prison—both seen and unseen—that this deranged killer has placed around her.
Excerpt from p. 2
Today is the day I’ve been waiting for my entire life—the beginning of normal.
I reach for the latest Seventeen and flip through its glossy pages until I find the perfect face. The girl is pretty, with wide green eyes, hollow cheekbones, and full, pouty lips. But what I notice most is her smooth, unblemished skin. It’s perfect. I cut the photo out and stick it above my bed, in the last of the space. Now I can’t even see the sunlight yellow of my walls—but the confidence that shines in these faces is even brighter. And today I’m going to get so much closer to that. I don’t care how much the treatments hurt; it’ll be worth it. It can’t hurt as much as the stares and rude comments I get every day.
I know I shouldn’t let people’s ignorance get to me. Mom’s always telling me I’m beautiful; that it’s what’s inside that counts. But she’s not living in the real world. Sure, whether you’re kind or good matters. But pretty people automatically get better treatment. Ugly people get ignored ... if they’re lucky. And me, I get stares, taunts, or people going out of their way to pretend they don’t see me.
I try to think of it as fuel for my comic scripts. All heroes have to go through personal trauma before they find their true strength—and most of them feel like outsiders even after they do.
STAINED BOOK TRAILER with NEW COVER:
BLURBS for STAINED:
“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter! “
- April Henry, New York Times-bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die
“A compelling, gutting, and ultimately triumphant read. You won't want to stop turning pages -- Or blink. Or breathe. -- until you reach the very last one.”
-Jennifer Brown, award-winning author of Hate List
“STAINED is dark, tense and gripping; a triumph of one girl's heart, soul and will to survive. Sarah's strength during her descent into terror kept me reading way past bedtime! “
-Laura Wiess, critically acclaimed author of Such a Pretty Girl
VIDEO on why I wrote Stained:
FROM the AUTHOR:
Like I did with SCARS and HUNTED, I drew on some of my own experiences of bullying, abuse, and trauma to write STAINED and to give it greater emotional depth. Like Sarah in STAINED, I experienced abduction, imprisonment, periods of forced starvation, mind control, and having my life threatened. And like Sarah, I tried hard to fight against my abuser, keep my own sense of self, and escape. I hope readers will see Sarah's strength and courage, and appreciate her emotional growth as she reclaims herself.
Tagline for STAINED:
Sometimes you have to be your own hero..........
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