Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 432
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

This book!! I loved it. There are a lot of books out there that tackle different types of mental illness, but the way this one was done was so incredible. It's actually a bit scary to think about, but I saw myself in a lot of the things that Caddie would think or do. I am such a germaphobe that I sometimes realize that it really affects things that I should be able to enjoy. I get a little too overprotective with my daughter with things she touches, and with sanitizing and washing her hands. Unlike Caddie though, I can stop it... for the most part. Caddie isn't afraid of touch because of a germ phobia like me though. She has made up this thing in her head that her dad will come back if she doesn't touch, or let herself be touched. She even adds to the "rules" she has made for herself so she won't fail. It was really heartbreaking to read how her whole entire life has been affected by this.

Caddie, like you read above can't let herself be touched or touch anyone else. She thinks that if she lets someone touch her skin, her father will never come back. Her own rules she has made up in her mind are like superstitions times a million. She has been accepted into this great school for the arts, and she is making friends and fitting in pretty well. She thinks that she is hiding her phobia okay, but it's obvious that people around her notice it. There is also the fact that she has gotten the leading role in the school play and she is supposed to kiss Peter, who is playing Hamlet. She goes out of her way to find a way to alter the play so they will not have to touch, but she secretly wishes that it would just happen. She doesn't want it to be her fault if her dad doesn't come back, but then she won't have to worry about the no touching thing anymore. 

The romance was really great in this. Since Caddie is so has her no touching thing, it makes it interesting. Her and Peter and so great, and he is just awesome with her. He may not understand things at first, but he knows something is off. He is willing to give her the time that she needs. He is a bit hot and cold, but that's understandable. The vibes she throws off are quite confusing. I really loved how it all comes together though, and I thought the chemistry between them was amazing.

This book was hard to read at times. Not because it was slow or bad, but because of the torment that Caddie is going through. Yes, it's self inflicted, but mentally she can't help it. It made me feel so awful that it was so hard for her, and that she was afraid to get help. Afraid to let anyone in or get too close. She has a lot of fear swimming around in her brain and it was sad at times. I really felt for her. I do think that the ending came a little too easily, but it wasn't a bad thing. I felt like after everything that it was just a bit too simple is all. Not that it was a tidy package tied up with a bow either. I really enjoyed this book, and I love that more and more books are tackling different types of mental illnesses and issues. These are the types of books that are great for kids in school to be reading. And of course any other book lover. I am eager to read more of this authors work in the future.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.


  1. Torment? Ehh I don't know yet it does sound good. I will give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

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