By: Rhonda Helms
ISBN: 9781617731204
Publisher:  Kensington Books  
Publication Date:  09/30/2014
Format:  Paperback
My Rating: 3 Stars
The most painful scars are the ones you never see.
In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that's the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she's reserved, practical--all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she's put up. Like Casey, he's a senior. In every other way, he's her opposite.
Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can't fathom, he's intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that's messy and unpredictable. He doesn't know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach--or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.

My Review

A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 
Scratch by Rhonda Helms, a contemporary young adult romance of one scarred young woman and her journey to forgiveness, love, and acceptance.
Casey has been traumatized with scars, a memory and nightmare she has locked away in a small hidden recess in her head. The downside is that in order for her to move forward she has to lock away everything, including all those good times in her childhood that hurt too much to think about.
She has always been pretty distant and as she is approaching her senior year in college, her roommate, Megan is totally the opposite, as miss social butterfly. Casey is wrapped up in her school work and her DJ job which she loves and spends Fridays at her grandparent’s house. (her grandmother tries to get her to talk with her about her parents and her sister, when she finally agrees to speak with a therapist).
She continues to have panic attacks and Megan her roommate, continues to pry as why she is so messed up. It was easier to pretend none it ever happened, yet it had and she was starting to forget the small things about her parents. 
When she meets pushy and impulsive Daniel, he triggers something in her. Something about him keeps pulling her in. He is like a fishing lure on a hook and she takes the bait every time. Daniel is persistent and continues to draw her out. He does not understand why she does not talk about her past, and she fears for this day, as why she has not wanted to get close to anyone. 
She feels she deserves the pain because she is the one alive. Guilty she is alive. Guilty because she hated being so damaged, permanently etched with a reminder about what had happened to her. She wonders how her grandmother was able to forgive and move on. She is afraid of trusting due to her past. 
When Daniel wants to hear her mix of songs and wants them to mix one together, she is elated, as she is falling for him. He makes her heart flutter, but when they are about to get intimate, she has to be forthcoming about her past. She continues to push him away, but slowly she begins opening up, as being with Daniel is changing her and she must learn to save herself.
A sweet romance of forgiveness, and letting go in order to move on, with a soundtrack bringing them together. Some songs are included for Scratch which the author imagined Casey might play. Younger adults will enjoy the light contemporary romance.
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