Cover Image: Touch

Touch

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Member Reviews

A powerful story of two teens searching: one for their place in the world, the other for a reason to survive.

“The two most important days of your life is the day you were born and the day you find out why” – Mark Twain. 

Megan, a fifteen-year-old girl, is moving cross country with her father and two brothers after the death of her mother 3 years before. They are reaching for a new life, a new way to live as a family again. 
Enter Shawn. He is long-haired, beautiful, but disconnected. Barely vocal, he seldom makes eye contact. He shuns human interaction, preferring his own silent company. Megan, finally emerging from her own fog, sees him from afar and realizes she can FEEL again for the first time in three years.
But things are not that easy. Because even as Shawn and Megan become friends, Shawn remains silent and remote. He takes her to his favorite place, but then becomes angry when she makes her way to his house. There are marks on his arms and he has an aversion to being touched. Fearing for his safety, Megan follows Shawn home one day and witnesses an incident between Shawn and his father. And is horrified by what she thinks she just saw…
Dubbed a YA novel, IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW this is for MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY. While we do not actually witness a specific scene, reference to it afterward is enough to shake the reader’s own fortitude. The fall out, and Shawn’s reaction, makes up the rest of the story as Megan and her family work to keep him safe. Not only from his father, but also from others who want to silence him. Will they succeed? 
If you can handle reading harsh situations, then this is the book for you. For the squeamish, not so much. Still, the story is beautiful, the message apparent. When our true purpose is revealed, do we have the strength to accept it? Can we reach thru our own pain to save another? 
Thank you to NetGalley and Unveiled Publishing for allowing me free access for my honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley for a free eARC copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. 

Touch is very well written, touching on many taboo experiences (trauma, mental health, etc). Miller does a great job developing characters through all of the circumstances. 

I gave it four stars because there were a few parts that seemed unrealistic to me (i.e. how quickly something happened). The stories are beautifully painful and hauntingly healing.
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It’s almost impossible to review this book… 

My heart broke and I felt like I was holding my breath the whole way through. The writing is raw and real and brutal. The characters are genuine, flawed and complicated. The topics spoken about make your blood run cold and your skin freeze. I sobbed towards the end of the book… 

I rarely leave 5 star reviews as I feel they should be saved for absolute perfection. Touch was this. A story that will stay with me for a very long time. 

I desperately hope to hear more from these characters. 

A brilliant, blinding, brutal book. 

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the ARC in exchange for an honest and fair review.
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I didn't know much about this book going into it, that's just how I typically prefer these things. I like books to surprise me. That's why I wasn't even a little prepared for how much this story would affect me.

Beautifully written. Expertly presented. So much more heartbreaking than I ever could have imagined. Such an important story to tell in so many ways, There is so much truth to it, which is why it hurt so much to read. These things really happen. These may have been fictional characters and events within the context of this specific book, but based on real people who really experience these things.

I hope this book means something to a lot of people. I know I'm a little late to the game here, but it's going to be a book that stays with me for a very long time, perhaps for the rest of my life. Stories don't have to make you happy or relate to your personal life to leave a mark on you.
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Speechless, there are no words to describe the range of emotions that this book can make you feel. The dept of the main character is unique. The emotion that she describes when dealing with Shawn is simply extraordinary. The book explores not only grief but PTSD, sexual abuse, solitude, depression. The range of the topics explored and the way in which they are developed is everything. A must-read for anyone looking to feel as much as they can when interacting with charters. A fair warning tho... maybe it is for the best to get a few tissues in hand.
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very intense, the cover did not match the apparent triggers within the book. the writer expresses the trauma well, but it was very instense.
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Meg, her father and her two older brothers are moving to a small town in Missouri a few years after the death of her mother. 

Her dad hopes it will be safer, calmer and allow them more family time. 

Their first night in town Meg meets Shawn, a beautiful boy no one seems to notice. 

As he opens up to her Meg is horrified to learn some of his experiences. Things take a turn when even more if his darkest secrets are revealed. 

Ok so there are things I hate about this book. 

First, being the whole ‘everything happens for a reason.’ thing. There is never a reason for a  child to be abused. Those experiences do not make someone better or stronger. 

Second, in a family with a grown ass father and two older boys why the heck was an 11 year old girl (at the time of her mothers death) suddenly responsible for family meals???

Not a huge fan of the open ending either. Some closure after the emotional angst would be nice. 

I did appreciate the realistic way processing trauma was portrayed.
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This story was ok but not great. Too many heavy themes made it super heavy and hard to read at times. And the ending was poorly unresolved. 

I would not think this is YA material at all due to the subject matters. Grief. Drugging. Rape. Sexual exploitations. If the author was hoping to bring awareness to sex trafficking, not sure this was the way to do it. 

I found the main character very self-absorbed which honestly, it typical for a 15 year old. Especially one that's just lost their mom. However, I struggled to see her as the hero or advocate for Shawn at all. She doesn't listen. Only hears what she wants to hear. There's very little character development even by the last page of the book. 

The author does do a good job of relaying the effects of abuse along with PTSD through the character of Shawn. But again, I couldn't tell if that was the focus or if we were supposed to see some change brought about by Shawn in Meg. The human suffering factor in the character of Shawn was a bit much. The abuse would have been enough but to add extra family drama was unnecessary. 

In short, I was left angry and confused and not just by the storyline or subject matter. Nothing was really resolved by the end of the story. Everyone, except for Shawn, was exactly the same as they were at the beginning.
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This book was difficult to dive into initially. Rebecca Miller's "Touch" opens with a big move in Meg's life and in an attempt to not give too much away to the reader too early, MIller gives too many puzzle pieces early on. The beginning of the story could've benefitted from being more straightforward. However, Miller's novel is a story that needed to be told. It's an incredibly traumatizing story about two high schoolers, but it is certainly not meant for a YA audience. I'd classify the genre as New Adult. This is an incredibly heavy book in terms of content as it opens Meg's eyes to a whole new kind of trauma she could never have imagined. It was a strong story and I am grateful to Miller for writing it, but it will not be one I pick up again and generally not one I would recommend to most people. While I'm not one to shy away from books of a sensitive nature, one needs to be in a strong place personally in order to read this book.
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Easy flowing style of writing that captivates the readers attention of the relationship between two friends.  Excellent read with the author  creating such realistic and warm characters.
Very interesting read..
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I struggled with how to rate Touch.  It does tackle a number of really important issues, and the story was compelling.  However, I found the writing rather flat, the characters were not that interesting, and I absolutely hated the ending.  I understand that leaving it open ended was probably more realistic, but I personally prefer more of a sense of closure at the end of a book.  I also thought the level of detail in the descriptions of Shawn's abuse was a little inappropriate for a YA book.  This is definitely only appropriate for older teens, and it should come with a content warning at the beginning (there was one in the description on Netgalley, but not within the book itself).
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I found this book to be an easy read and so interesting. I was drawn into the story almost immediately and liked the first-person perspective. I thought the author did a great job of helping the reader navigate all the relationships and the scenarios that were explained. I felt that the one character we never really got to tune into was the dad. It might have been intentional, but there were moments when I thought we were getting close, but never quite got there.  I was really impressed with the handling of such hard-core subjects and it definitely got me thinking about all the troubled people in the world and what might be going on in their life that I have no clue about. The biggest con for me was the title. I didn't get it. I love the cover because it expresses her talent and how she went from black and white to feeling alive again. But the title left me scratching my head. Overall I would recommend this book to friends. It was very well written and kept me interested in reading further.
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First and foremost.... I loved it!  

Was it perfect?   No.   But this was what I love most in a book.  I turned the last page, and went "wow" and then wiped my eyes.    I was really sad that the book was over because I was not ready to leave these people and their world. 

I read a LOT of books, but I am not a professional reviewer.   In fact, I get bored easily, and I usually don't love the books other people do (I hated A Man called Ove).    However, I know what I like, and what I like is a book that makes it impossible to put down.   I like a book that sucks me in and gives me the feels - whether it is happy, or sad or angry - I want to FEEL something when I read.   This book gave me that in spades.  

I do want to warn people - this is not for the faint of heart.  It covers some really adult, triggering issues, such as sex trafficking, rape, and abuse.      It also covers family, friendship, love and hope.   It is a story about young adults, but the issues are not YA.   

I will admit that there were a few things I found a little unrealistic but I didn't care.   And the people were prettty black and white - either really good or really bad, which wasnt  true to life.   But if the author somehow finds a way to write a follow up to anyone of these characters stories, I will buy it in a hot second.  

Thank you to the author, the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.
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This book was really hard to rate. 

What I didn't like: For one, there should have been trigger warnings at the beginning - this is not a light book nor does it pretend to be. There were a few unnecessarily grotesque words (ie f*g). 

What I liked: I appreciate the tackling of such tough, but real, topics of male mental health, trauma, and trafficking. I thought the depiction of PTSD from the perspective of those supporting the individual was well-done without glamorization. The writing was overall solid, with sufficient tension. Definitely emotional, the symbolism was especially striking. 

What I'm not sure about: I think the ending was fitting and realistic (likely the best possible choice) but I also really wanted more closure. There are times when Meg wanting to help Shawn veers into unhealthy "I want to fix/save my boyfriend" territory. Also, some of their interactions lack explicit, affirmative consent, which would have been particularly beneficial in contrast to his history. 

Overall, I think this is a solid novel tackling important themes.
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To be honest, I was not expecting the topics of this book. Trigger warnings needs to be read before proceeding to read it. That being said, if you're looking for a YA book that touches difficult topics (death, suicide, depression, human trafficking) then I would give this one a shot.

The author did a great job depicting depression and PTSD. I enjoyed that the characters in the book were also learning about these topics at the same time as they are happening. 

While yes, there are difficult topics, it didn't take away from the fact that it is still a YA novel and it felt like some of the characters were immature and insensitive. It was hard to read as an adult with MCs who were younger. I would of liked to see more reflection from the characters, more character development, and definitely a change in scenery every once in a while. 

The main takeaway from the book is that there is always hope. There are cold-hard things in this world, but if you hold onto hope, light will shine through.
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Unfortunately, I had to DNF this book. I couldn't be immersed in it enough to be able to continue my reading.
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A reasonable coming of age story that would appeal to a lot of high schoolers. It touches on some serious issues and is certainly grittier and at times more raw than the run of the mill YA novel. A quick read, largely because it is heavy on dialogue, which didn't serve to create depth or set the scene. The ending threw me too since it lacks a sense of closure.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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After reading the description, I knew this was going to be a book I would enjoy, but I did not expect to be so blown away. I found this book so totally captivating I could not put it down and immediately read it again!   A wonderful coming of age book that covers many struggles teens encounter. The main character, Megan is a gifted artist, but after her mother dies she retreats into herself and stops drawing.  Her father hoping a new start will help them both moves and that is where  expecting a new start, moves to a new place. There she meets Shawn. Megan learns after becoming involved with Shawn he has many troubling secrets.   Full of adventure, romance, and fantacy.  A great read!
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A beautiful story of two broken people trying to make their jagged edges fit together. A tragic story about the evil that exists. A bit of a slow journey to the ending, but still a good read.
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Touch is a power, emotive and thought provoking read that captures you and stays with you long after you have finished reading it.
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