by Rachel M. Wilson
Released on: September 2nd, 2014
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: Truly TOUCHing (Yes I know, I'm hilarious)
Reviewed by: Mel
A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.
Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.
Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.
It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing 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.
Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.
Our main character, Caddie, suffers from OCD and anxiety. She made this game with herself that if she doesn’t touch anyone, her family will come back together, that nothing bad would happen. That her father will come back to her mother and her brother and herself. So the game goes on. Don’t touch. And then the game gets in the way of her goal to become an actress. She wants to be Ophelia in the school production of Hamlet, but she can’t play the part if she can’t touch anyone.
I’m all covered up, but our cheeks might touch, our hands brush, and that’s not allowed.Caddie’s such a realistic character. She is at war with herself and this game of her’s that has been going on for years. She wears gloves to school, long sleeves. All covered up so no skin shows. So no one can touch her. I felt a strong connection with Caddie because she was thoroughly developed and I was seriously freaking out and stressing with Caddie about her anxiety and don’t touch mantra. I actually did tear up around ¾ of the way in because damn, I felt so sorry for her. Moreover, I loved Caddie’s growth as a character. Throughout the novel, just watching her battle with her mental illness was truly spectacular and moving. I was rooting for her at every page.
I think what makes this book special is how the author doesn’t forget to make the secondary characters shine just as bright as Caddie. Mandy used to be really close with Caddie during primary school, but they drifted apart after Caddie got weird. But now, Mandy comes back really enthusiastic and nice. I adored her vibrant nature and how kind she was to Caddie despite her odd behaviour. As for Mandy’s friends that welcomed Caddie with equal amounts of openness—I loved them all. Oscar could always leave a grin on my face with his arrogant but humourous remarks, and that hug at the end! T’was so sweet. Peter, of course, was the best. He was so sweet and honest to Caddie. Their romance is a slow one—the type I love—and *fangirls* ALL THE SQUEALS. He’s also rather flawed and has a tough and touchy history and it was nice to delve deeper into that.
I have never been a fan of Shakespeare, but after reading this, I am really excited about picking up Hamlet. I loved how the play was incorporated into this novel—not just for the purpose of it being a play that Caddie wants to audition for—but also because how it draws parallels with the characters in this debut. Ophelia and Caddie actually have a lot in common as it turns out, and the play is also used well as something that helps Caddie through her journey to battle her demons.
Don’t Touch is a riveting novel that I devoured in no time. It’s powerful plot line and fantastically drawn characters just make it even better. I haven’t read anything like this and I seriously don’t think any other mental illness book can top this. Highly recommended!
Because I loved this book so much, Finding Bliss in Books is offering one hardback copy
1. No cheating. Duplicate entries will be removed and you will be disqualified.
2. This giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.
3. Finding Bliss in Books is not responsible for any lost items.