Seventeen-year-old Sarah Meadows covers the walls of her bedroom with images of beautiful faces she clips from magazinesâand longs for ânormal.â Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life sheâs been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. Why canât she be like Diamond, the comic-book hero she created? Diamond would never let the insults in. Thatâs harder for Sarah.
But when sheâs 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? Itâs the only way Sarah will have any chance of escaping the prisonâboth seen and unseenâthat this deranged killer has placed around her.
STAINED has a new cover and a surprise excerpt!Â Enjoy this little tidbit from Cheryl:
Today is the day Iâve been waiting for my entire lifeâthe 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. Itâs perfect. I cut the photo out and stick it above my bed, in the last of the space. Now I canât even see the sunlight yellow of my wallsâbut the confidence that shines in these faces is even brighter. And today Iâm going to get so much closer to that. I donât care how much the treatments hurt; itâll be worth it. It canât hurt as much as the stares and rude comments I get every day.
I know I shouldnât let peopleâs ignorance get to me. Momâs always telling me Iâm beautiful; that itâs whatâs inside that counts. But sheâs not living in the real world. Sure, whether youâre kind or good matters. But pretty people automatically get better treatment. Ugly people get ignored … if theyâre lucky. And me, I get stares, taunts, or people going out of their way to pretend they donât 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 strengthâand most of them feel like outsiders even after they do.
yeah I know. niiiiiice.
STAINED: Sometimes you have to be your own hero.
you go girl.