Review: Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Book Title: Don’t Touch
Author: Rachel M. Wilson
Published Date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I received this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

This book was very hard for me to read. I wanted to love it, I wanted to sympathize with Caddie given everything she had going on. But that didn’t happen. I don’t have any experience with the kind of crippling anxiety that Caddie dealt with. I wasn’t invested all that much in the story, although I did like the writing a lot and I wanted to love Caddie herself.

But as the book continued, and she descended deeper and deeper into her anxiety, it didn’t feel realistic to me. I found it very hard to believe that her mom wouldn’t notice something was going on with her child. I mean, come ON! Even if somehow her mother legitimately didn’t know something was going on with her, her friends should have picked up on something. I mean, friends are supposed to be the people who notice when something’s not right and call you out on it. But with Caddie’s friends, they seemed very selfish and overly involved in themselves. In other words, I didn’t find them to be good friends.

I think she was given the role of Ophelia in the hopes that she would then work on her issues, but nope, that didn’t happen. Given the very nature of having the lead in a play, should have clued Caddie into the fact that she would have to touch other people and that other people would have to touch her.

The book itself could have done with about 200 less pages. There were a lot of boring parts, which could have easily been eliminated and would probably have made the book even stronger. When books are this long, certain parts tend to be very boring and they tend to drag and that was definitely the case with this one.

Overall, despite the pretty writing, this book just didn’t work for me. I’m really bummed about it because so many of my fellow bloggers absolutely loved it. I thought for sure it would be a hit for me as well, but it wasn’t. I’m giving it 2 stars, but if this seems like your kind of thing, you should give it a shot.

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