Author: Jus Accardo
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.
Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.
Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.
A secret Kale will kill to protect.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I was approached by the publisher to review Touch and thought it sounded interesting, so I agreed, but the summary was a little vague and I was not quite sure what to expect from it. After reading it, I know that the summary is vague for good reason and this book was nothing like I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be just another typical unmemorable YA paranormal, I was totally wrong. Touch is anything but typical and I know this story is going to stay with me.
From the moment Dez meets Kale they are on the run. Dez discovers her dad is not who she thought he was and he spends most of the book hunting her down or treating her like dirt. He rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning and I cannot imagine what it would be like to have someone who is supposed to protect you, use you for personal gain and cut you down at every opportunity. Dez does try to take it in stride though and fights back against her dad to try and help Kale. The two of them go on an action packed journey attempting to save the others like Kale and keep him hidden from the men trying to track him down.
Dez and Kale are so alive and vibrant, Jus has written them brilliantly and their enthusiasm for their mission and each other was addicting. Dez is extremely rebellious and will try almost anything once. She loves to skateboard, party and pretty much anything that will piss off her dad. She is not your average cookie cutter teenage girl. She is a dare devil who is rough around the edges and I instantly fell in love with her passion for life. Kale on the other hand, has been locked up his whole life and knows almost nothing about the outside world. Every experience is new and exciting for him. He asks Dez questions all the time about what he is seeing and his fresh outlook on things we would consider ordinary, was fascinating. It was also hilarious at times. For example, he does not know what holding hands means, or even what a kiss is. Dez tries to explain things to him, but ends up getting all tangled up in the words and embarrassed about having a “birds and the bees” talk with a cute guy. It was one of my favorite scenes in the book and it had me laughing out loud for a while.
While the plot did have many suspenseful moments, it also had an intense romance laced throughout. So many young adult novels skirt around this issue, keeping the characters actions vague which leaves the reader frustrated, but not Jus. She writes her characters so they react like any hot-blooded teenager would. They are going to act on their feelings, not sit there and mull them over for a couple of months. Kale being able to touch Dez adds another layer of sizzle to their relationship. Normally he kills anything he touches, so when he discovers he can touch Dez without killing her, he can’t seem to stop touching her. Dez doesn’t really mind though because she does not want to keep her hands off him either. Kale is so cute when her asks her to explain why he is feeling the way he does.
Reaching out, he grabbed my hand and placed it on his chest, over his heart. “Why does my heart pump faster when we’re close? How is it you do that to me?” Under my fingers, his heart hammered a rhythm that matched my own. I smiled. “Nerves, excitement, fear. Could be a lot of things.”
So sweet isn’t it? Dez does hesitate to let Kale into her heart completely though, because she is nervous he only likes her since he can touch her. She is afraid if he ever can touch someone else he will want to date other people. Instead of keeping this fear from him Dez does confront Kale about it and I was so happy Jus let this happen. Here is how Kale reacts,
He pulled my hand up to his chest and placed it over his heart. “I don’t know how you feel, or understand exactly what you mean by date other people, but if it’s this”—he squeezed my hand to his chest— “then you’re wrong.” Then he kissed me.
Kale had me right there. We all have our insecurities and I completely understand why Dez is nervous, but I hate it when characters keep things bottled up in books just so tension can build. Jus did not have to play any games in Touch. There were already so many other things going on and interesting plot twists to keep us occupied, that Kale and Dez romance could evolve without unnecessary drama. That does not mean they did not have problems, because they did. However, they all developed out of realistic places. Their relationship, while raw and new, grew organically and I appreciated Jus writing it this way.
Overall, Touch is a stunning debut to a new series. The world Jus created sucked me in from the beginning and consumed my thoughts while I was in it. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in future installments and will be eager to catch up with Kale and Dez again.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for letting me read this ARC through NetGalley.