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, and 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.

Published Oct 1, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Available in paperback, hardcover, ebook, and audiobook editions in the US, Canada, and UK.

Praise From Other Authors

“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


“Rainfield (Scars) imbues Sarah’s story with heartfelt emotion that resonates as much as Sarah’s fighting spirit inspires.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“Sarah’s determination to stay alive and escape will resonate with readers, and they will cheer her efforts to overcome her underdog status.”

“Stained was an exciting, action-packed story that kept my heart racing the entire time. Every chance I had, I was reading this book. I felt drawn into the book, like I was actually in it. I felt like it was me clawing at the boards on the windows until my fingers bled. … This is a wonderful book that all teens will enjoy.”
—Michaela B., age 14, teen reviewer in School Library Journal

“Cheryl Rainfield‘s taut YA thriller STAINED is the relentless, gripping story of a painfully self-conscious teenager who’s kidnapped by an acquaintance. STAINED…is eye-opening, and nearly anyone who reads it will have a new understanding of what captivity might have been like for real hostages and kidnapping victims.” 
—Claire Martin in The Denver Post

“Sarah’s determination to survive and return to the life she didn’t appreciate may inspire in her readers a more healthy obsession, one that keeps them up through the night devouring her amazing account in one sitting.
If you…

  • Enjoy a heroine with strong, clear goals and the backbone to reach them
  • Are a fan of gut-twisting realistic fiction
  • Know anyone who has overcome their abusers
  • Need a book you can’t put down
  • Have ever had to save yourself”

Young Adult Magazine

STAINED Bonus Materials

10 Ways To Improve Your Body Image And Feel Better About Your Body

Download as a PDF document

Girls Are Strong! (And Boys Are, Too.) 17 Ways To Be Strong

Download as a PDF document 

10 Self-Defense Tips For Girls and Women (And Boys, Too)

Download as a PDF document 

If you want to buy a notebook, mug, T-shirt, etc with a quote related to STAINED you can on my Threadless shop. It includes “Sometimes you have to be your own hero,” “You are stronger than you know,” and a quote related to SCARS “You don’t deserve to be hurt, not ever–not even by yourself.”

Sometimes You Have To Be Your Own Hero mug
You are stronger than you know T-shirt
You don't deserve to be hurt, not by anyone--not even yourself. notebook

My author video on the healing power of books, and STAINED:

Want to know why I wrote STAINED? Check out this video:

Check out the STAINED book trailer:

Don't want SCARS to end?

From award-winning author Cheryl Rainfield

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that picks up where SCARS left off.