Touch (ARC) by Francine Prose
Pub. Date: June 1, 2009
Age Level: 14+
WARNING: Contains spoilers!
What really happened at the back of the bus?
Did they, or didn't they?
Did she, or didn't she?
Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes news. With just a few words and a touch, the kids and their community are changed forever.
From nationally acclaimed author Francine Prose comes an unforgettable story about the difficulties of telling the truth, the consequences of lying, and the most dangerous twist of all—the possibility that you yourself will come to believe something that you know isn't true.
Touch had a very edgy and gripping premise that really made me want to pick it up and read it. However, I find this totally irrelevant as I felt the actual story carried it out very inadequately, failing to meet it's potential.
Maisie, though she could at times be funny, was not a very likable character and I felt totally detached from her and her story. I hated the fact that she didn't try to take more control over her life and what was happening to her. And yes, her step mom was a pain, but she still could have tried to make things work between the two of them a little better. Also, the way she kept changing her story was annoying. I can understand how at first she wanted to say nothing happened. What I didn't understand was why she didn't just tell the truth after that. She only caused herself a whole lot more trouble by lying and making things out to be worse than they were. Another thing, why did she just let the guys touch her like that when she knew she didn't like it? She didn't even bother saying no. Maisie should have had more respect for herself than that and as a result, I found it hard to feel any kind of sympathy towards her.
I feel the story would have been a lot more believable if the three guys hadn't been her best friends. Maybe it is just me but it seems hard to believe that four kids would grow up together, having always been best friends, and then as soon as the girl of the group grows boobs, things change SO dramatically. I can understand her and Shakes getting kind of romantic, I actually liked that. However the whole part of where her other two guy 'best friends' get jealous, grab and fondle her boobs while Shakes sits by and does nothing, and then spread nasty rumors about her is so unrealistic. Not saying it could never happen, because after all, stranger things have. I'm just saying that it seems so forced and very improbable. Touch did atleast have a good overall message about lying, why some people do it, and what happens as a result.
Then there were the flashbacks. At times I felt like I'd read the same thing three times because of them, being more disruptive than anything. And speaking of disruptive, the poor syntax and numerous typos made this book even harder to get into. I am fully aware that the copy I read was an ARC, however it read more like a rough draft then something that was only one step away from being a finished copy.
In my honest opinion, the ending was the redeeming quality of this book for two reasons. One, because I actually liked the overall ending, including the fact that Maisie finally realized and told the truth. And two, for lack of a better way of phrasing it, because it was over and I could move onto something else.
So as you've probably already figured out, this is not a book I liked or will be re-reading. Would I recommend it? Uh, no. If Touch had been written for me I would say it was a waste of time and paper. However, it wasn't written for me and so long as there is atleast one person out there who enjoys Touch, or any other book, it was anything BUT a waste.
With every book written, the author takes the risk that someone will, and believe me someone WILL, dislike their book. Furthermore, there will also always be someone who likes it. Francine Prose probably spent a great deal of time and effort on her book and I applaud her for that as I believe anyone who has the patience, mind, and stamina to even write a book deserve props for having done so. So it wasn't for me but who knows, maybe you'll be one of the people who likes it. As should always be remembered when reading my reviews, these are my opinions and though they may or may not be shared by others, they are personal and not the written rule.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009
Touch (ARC) by Francine Prose
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 12/17/2009 05:25:00 PM