Entangled Publishing (2011)
YA / Fantasy / Superpowers
I’m always surprised when I realize in the middle of the book that I’ve just identified a new archetype that I didn’t realize I adored so much. It doesn’t happen that often. I mean, really, there aren’t that many archetypes to explore, much less any that don’t show up in every other book you pick up. And yet in the middle of Touch by Jus Accardo, I found myself giggling hysterically and finding that I have something for extreme fish-out-of-water characters that I didn’t realize before.
Touch is about Denzee Cross, a seventeen-year-old girl who lives to piss off her workaholic father. One night on her way home from a party, she crosses paths with a strange boy being chased by a group of men in weird blue spandex bodysuits. As any teenage girl who lives to piss off her father, she takes the boy, Kale, home with her only to find out that he’s incredibly odd and not only is familiar with her father, but also thinks he’s the embodiment of evil. Turns out her father is a higher up in a company that utilizes people with “special abilities” in covert tasks and Kale has the ability to turn people into dust just by touching them. When he touches Dez, trying to kill her to spite her father, he finds that she’s immune and then they run off together to unwrap a giant conspiracy and possibly save the world.
I’ll be honest – this book is mediocre at best. Everyone else in my book club hated it and thought it was awful. I’ve read too many incredibly awful books to put that label on Touch, but it’s not a particularly good book. The writing reads like the kind you’d get from a novice fan fiction writer that has a mild aptitude for storytelling. The ideas are an amalgamation of themes and plot devices played out in so many other genre and/or YA titles, movies or television shows. There is a small amount of whiny Bella-eque romance pouting, but for the most part it’s a lot of running and Dez thinking she’s smarter than everyone when she really, really isn’t.
There’s an awkward amount of sex in this book, mostly because I always find reading about teenage sex extremely awkward. It stems back to my comment about reading novice fan fiction. It came across very much in the same vein as author-insertion fanfic often reads and Dez was the same sort of half thought-out character found in fan fiction.
Kale has a stupid name. When I put up a teaser on Tuesday, I mentioned that his name was silly and it’s not until late in the game when the origin of his name comes up that it doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous. By then I was so enamored with this alien boy that I didn’t care about his stupid name anymore. All I wanted from him was to continue to be extremely awkward and earnest. Whenever he wasn’t on the page, I didn’t really care what happened and only continued to read so I could see what awkwardness would occur when he finally did return to the main story.
It’s official. I have a thing for boys that are dropped into the middle of modern America civilization with no clue about social decorum and how to interact with those around them. I find their confusion adorable and I ended up giggling like I was 12 throughout the entire book. I’m calling it “Castiel syndrome”
and now I want to read an entire mountain of books with guys who have no experience with human society suddenly finding themselves stuck in the middle of it.
Last week I mentioned that Samm from Partials was a woobie and Kale is just as woobie-esque. Can I bring them both home with me, bake them cookies and introduce them to videogames and superhero cartoons?
Other than that, I don’t have a lot to say about Touch. It’s about an evil company holding hostage a bunch of mutants that they use to kill people and do other dirty deeds requested by whoever will pay them. It’s Heroes basically, just without Sylar being all evil and crazy-eyed and a senator suddenly learning he can fly.
But Kale… he’s adorable.
I actually bought a Kindle version of this book to read for my book club. They didn’t like it. I still start giggling whenever I think about it.