Sunday, September 7, 2014

FFBC Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Don't Touch (Rachel M Wilson)

Don't Touch
by Rachel M. Wilson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
ARC Provided by Publisher in Exchange for an Honest Review

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.

Don’t Touch is fiercely compelling, darkly funny, and hums like a high tension wire with energy.”  — Tim Wynne-Jones, author of Blink & Caution

“A tender love story about the beauty and the risk of showing someone who you really are.” — Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments

"Step on a crack, break your mother's back.

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

When I first read the synopsis of this book I wasn't quite sure if it was the right book for me.....but I decided to give it a try and now I am very happy that I did. I am beginning to enjoy YA contemporary novels more and more. Don't Touch was such an emotional, moving, and gripping novel. It brings out real life issues and explores the reactions from a teen perspective when they are the ones having to deal. 

Don't Touch is a YA contemporary novel that is based around the life of the main character, Caddie. Caddie is a very emotional young girl and when she discovers that her parents are getting divorced she basically has a mental breakdown. The only way she can find to cope with the issue is to not touch anyone. She feels as though if she doesn't touch anyone then her father will come back home. Now at the beginning this sounded very strange to me but as you read the book and learn Caddie's emotional state then you begin to understand why she had to find a coping mechanism.

Caddie was a phenomenally written character and everything she goes through in this book is expressed in detail so that the reader really gets to grasp the reality of mental illnesses and their affect on people. Caddie enters a school of arts and lands the main part in the play, Hamlet, that the school is producing. Although she is extremely happy with being chosen she is also torn because she knows she will have to physically touch the other actors and at some point will have to kiss her counterpart in the play. 

"Don't touch didn't do any good, When it keeps me from connecting with people, from kissing a guy I like, from letting my Mom comfort me, it's doing harm. So why does it still feel important not to touch?"

Caddie finds herself surrounded by a great group of friends including her old friend, Mandy, whom she has been friends with before. I loved the addition of this group of friends because they were all so honest, funny, and caring and yet Caddie cannot find it in herself to talk to them about her issues. There are so many times when this group of friends tries to talk with Caddie and ensure her that they are there for her but she still recoils. 

Another member of the group is a young man named Peter who is also Caddie's counterpart in the play. The sweet romance that brews between Peter and Caddie is a perfect addition to this story. I don't want to give away too much about their romance because I feel like it is just something that every reader should experience for themselves. I truly found it breath-taking. 

"He's so close, our clothes touch. He plays with the corner of my cardigan that rests on his thigh, giving it the slightest tug, When he looks back at me, he tilts his head, and this might be the moment if we were two normal kids when he'd lean in and we'd kiss."

I am not sure if I have ever read such an honest, true, and fascinating story that deals with real life issues and brings them down to a level where young adult readers can really see and feel the effects of mental illness. Mental illness is something that not everyone understands and some do not even believe in. If you are one of those people then you should definitely read this story because I feel like it will completely change your perspective on the issue. Rachel Wilson does a phenomenal job of describing each and every aspect of mental illness and incorporates it into a beautifully written young adult novel. There is so much truth in this book and I just absolutely loved it. 

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Follow the FFBC Don't Touch Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Rachel M. Wilson is the author of the contemporary YA, DON'T TOUCH, forthcoming from HarperTeen, Sep. 2, 2014.
She graduated from Northwestern University and holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Rachel grew up in Birmingham, AL, and she currently writes, acts, and teaches in Chicago, IL.

Giveaway is open to US/CAN Only | Must be 13 or older to enter