Review: Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson


Seventeen-year-old Charlotte barely escaped from her abusive parents. Her little brother, Sam, wasn’t as lucky. Now she’s trying to begin the new life she always dreamed of for them, but never thought she’d have to experience alone. She’s hired a techie-genius with a knack for forgery to remove the last ties to her old life. But while she can erase her former identity, she can’t rid herself of the memories. And her troubled history won’t let her ignore the little girl she sees one day in the park. The girl with the bruises and burn marks.

That’s when Charlotte begins to receive the messages. Threatening notes left in her apartment–without a trace of entry. And they’re addressed to Piper, her old name. As the messages grow in frequency, she doesn’t just need to uncover who is leaving them; she needs to stop whoever it is before anyone else she loves ends up dead.


I was hoping for an extremely emotional journey, I wanted this book to gut me and put me back together but unfortunately, it didn’t do that. The book was supposed to be about a new start and a chance to leave a dark world behind. This is where my biggest problem with this book lies. Instead of starting over, Charlotte stumbles upon a girl, Sanda, who has the same scars she has and acts the same way she used to and then she feels the need to save her. Cue the entire drama of the story unfolding from there. I understand wanting to start over but then putting yourself purposefully in a dangerous situation…I wanted to slap Charlotte for being so dumb.

The techie-genius that Charlotte hires happens to work at a self-defense club and the story is eventually as much of  love story as it is a story about human-trafficking. However, the story doesn’t really dive into the intense world of human-trafficking and if the author was hoping to make this an advocate book, I would say she didn’t succeed in that aspect. So after Charlotte saves Sanda, the book is lacking details. I wanted to hear about the abuse Charlotte suffered at the hands of her own parents. I wanted to hear the details  that made Charlotte tick. I wanted to get inside her head and figure out why she acts the way she did. In the end the book just left me wanting more.


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