Title: Don't Touch
Author: Rachel M. Wilson
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
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.
I received an e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This fact in no shape or form affects my review. Except for the existence of the review itself. I received no compensation for this review in any way.This is my honest opinion of the work.
I enjoyed Caddie's character and watching her journey throughout the novel. Although there were times that I wanted to throttle her, I understood that her inability to touch people was beyond her control. Caddie suffers from OCD that manifests itself through making rules and games for herself to follow. When her dad left, her game was to not touch other people at all and the prize would be her dad coming back to their family. DON'T TOUCH is about Caddie trying to live with the rules of her game even in a time where it calls for her to touch another person.
Caddie's group of friends are interesting people. Of course they would all be a little bit weird and march to the beat of their own drum considering that they go to an art school. They're intriguing and I would love to know more about them. Peter, the love interest, is adorkable. He's so sweet and understanding to Caddie. I don't think he's swoon worthy enough to add to my book boyfriend harem, but he's still pretty adorable.
I enjoyed the comparisons that were made between Ophelia and Caddie. By playing Ophelia, Caddie must look into Ophelia's character and her potential madness. It forces Caddie to look at herself and see if she's falling into madness as well. Also, since I studied Hamlet myself in high school, I understood the references to different things in the play. I don't think it's necessary to read/study Hamlet before you read Don't Touch, but it'll certainly help you understand certain comparisons better, such as the parallels between Caddie and Ophelia.
I feel that this book is an important one to read, especially to help people understand how mental illness works. Though it's invisible, it doesn't mean that it doesn't harm just as badly. From Caddie's point of view, the reader can grasp the desperation behind Caddie's games and how it grows beyond her control. She doesn't do these things out of her own choice and rather because she is compelled to do so.
It's also easy for people to relate to Caddie. She is afraid of a lot of things that everyone is: disappointment, being hurt, etc. And just as the audience learns from DON'T TOUCH, fear is normal and it's fine. It's simply what we do even though we're afraid that matters.
DON'T TOUCH is powerful and an important read. It's a little heartbreaking and a lot inspirational. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone.