Book Review: Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

22605745Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 2, 2014

Pages: 432 (Hardcover)

good good

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back,

Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good . . .

Caddie has a history of magical thinking—of playing games in her head to cope with her surroundings—but it’s never been this bad before.

When her parents split up, Don’t touch becomes Caddie’s mantra. Maybe if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, Dad will come home. She knows it doesn’t make sense, but her games have never been logical. Soon, despite Alabama’s humidity, she’s covering every inch of her skin and wearing evening gloves to school.

And that’s where things get tricky. Even though Caddie’s the new girl, it’s hard to pass off her compulsions as artistic quirks. Friends notice things. Her drama class is all about interacting with her scene partners, especially Peter, who’s auditioning for the role of Hamlet. Caddie desperately wants to play Ophelia, but if she does, she’ll have to touch Peter . . . and kiss him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn’t sure she’s brave enough to let herself fall.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinionFor many people, touching others or being touched really freaks them out. Even for myself, there are times that I cringe whenever a friend comes in to give me a hug which isn’t as severe as what Caddie has however, it does make her easy to relate to. Rachel M. Wilson’s début is quite touching, (no pun intended) and obsessive disorder that has gone too far and a friend who is intent on proving that it’s not everything. Don’t Touch is a lovely story that I really liked with characters that are hilarious and kept my entertained.

Although Don’t Touch is a great debut, it does have a few flaws for instance, the romance. I really hated just how big of a role it plays in the book because for half the book, it’s the reason why the plot keeps moving. I wanted Caddie to get out of her comfort zone not because she has a crush but because she misses and needs her best friend. Another problem that I had with Caddie is how much she rushes through talking about her dad. I get that talking about someone who has hurt you is very hard, but the only way for a reader to completely understand the pain is by telling us a few stories about it, about the past and the memories that were shared, yet I never got the chance to experience this because it’s rarely showed.

Anyway, I really could connect with Caddie on most things, she’s realistic and her story is quite touching, something a I think most kids want when their parents split up. The way and process that Caddie uses to play the role of Ophelia as well as to get through life is amazing and beautifully done in a way that’s pretty moving. Moreover, I liked her group of friends because they are so funny.

Don’t Touch is a story about a girl with an illness. Believe me, I know how much of an overused story idea this is but Wilson takes a different approach that make it this book refreshing. I didn’t feel too annoyed with it. I recommend this to anyone who likes this story idea or is interested in books about plays.

3.5 Interesting Clouds
3.5 Interesting Clouds

Book Review: Clean by Amy Reed

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Clean by Amy Reed

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 8, 2012

Pages: 304 (Paperback)

good good

You’re probably wondering how I ended up here. I’m still wondering the same thing.

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they’ll all have to deal with themselves—and one another—if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, down.

opinion

 

Sometimes, shit happens and depending on it, it can really mess a person up. I love how Amy Reed has shown this with all of her characters. They all have their different personalities, families, and preferred drugs. Their lives are intriguing and exciting yet sad and vulnerable at the same time. The road to recovery is one of the hardest ones there is because it has to do with self recover and self discovery.

Jason is by far my favourite character in this novel so of course I wanted a lot more from him than what I received. And this is partly because actual chapters are only told from Christopher and Kelly’s perspective. I love poetic writing but I have ADD so the constant writing for Eva lost my attention more often than not. I appreciate the creative style and how her story is told from a little girl’s perspective rather than in first person but sometimes a little bit of simplicity goes a long way for me.

Clean has short chapters between the actual chapters. These sort chapters are mostly with the group and I love these chapters because they’re simple and realistic, like an actual group of teenagers speaking their minds of a certain thing and explaining their thoughts. The characters are all realistic with their problems, I found it easy to relate to them all in some way because I’ve been or know how it feels to be in their situations.

Amy Reed is an author that I feel like understands the amount of crap that teenagers face in life. I recommend this novel to everyone because it’s not just a novel for teens but for adults as well and I think everyone can learn a few things from it.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds
3.5 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 1, 2009

Pages: 239 (Hardcover)

good good

Zach is eighteen. He is bright and articulate. He’s also an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn’t remember how he got there. He’s not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive – well, what’s up with that?

opinion

Zach’s story is quite interesting, it hooked me in from the very first page and I couldn’t look away. All of his struggles and pains and monsters are quite complex and unique and are really relatable.

I hate it when authors use certain words or phrases to start a paragraph or to end one. With Last Night I Sang to the Monster, most, if not all paragraphs start with, “Look”, “I get it,” or “Fine”. And then end with “okay”. All the time, every single time and I found it to be really annoying. I also didn’t like the ending because I found it to be a little to tied up far too nicely for it to be really realistic.

All of the characters are realistic and interesting. I loved reading about all the crap that Zach has been through and his journey to remembering what happened all the months ago, it’s heartbreaking and exciting and beautiful. There isn’t a romance in this novel which actually is a good thing, adding a romance to a novel that is focused on recovering would have been far too much and would have taken away from it but I did like all of the friendships that are shown throughout. Especially between Raphael and Zach because it’s so intense and loving and they’re both very broken bt somehow help each other out in a tremendous way.

Last Night I Sang to the Monster has many messages throughout the book but one of them I really like is: Change isn’t for everyone and some people don’t want it. And you have to be okay with that. I recommend this novel to everyone because it’s the type of story that I think will open up everyone’s mind about why people do drugs and act the way that they do.

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Fluffy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.