Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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 dont remember the last book I read where the protagonist had such a deep form of anxiety, so delving into Dont Touch felt like a new experience. Caddie cant help but to listen to the voice in her head telling her if she touches another person, her father wont come back. Caddies fear may be irrational, but its all too real for her. So she covers every possible inch of her skin and backs away from any human contact.
Wilsons story itself makes you ache for the loss and confusion Caddies facing. People cope with difficult situations in a variety of different ways, and Caddies is denial. For the longest time, Caddie refuses to acknowledge that her family will never be the way it washer fathers gone, her mothers moving on, and theres nothing Caddie can do to change that. So she keeps telling herself that if she doesnt touch anybody, then everything will go back to normal. As you read Caddies story, you start to understand her bit by bit. And as you get to know her, you start sympathizing with her. Any author that can make me feel for their character is a winner in my book.
However, as sorry as I was about the deal with Caddies father (which sucked major ass, actually) there came a point in the novel where I got frustrated with Caddie. One of the things I liked the most about Dont Touch was Caddies support system. She has a mother whos present in the background, a best friend whos trying with all her might to be let in, and a wonderfully, nerdy guy that genuinely cares for her. And yet it takes Caddie practically the whole novel for her open up. On the one note, it made me feel incredibly said for her, but on the other hand, it frustrated me.
Regardless of Caddies stubbornness, Dont Touch is a bittersweet read in its entirety. You might cry. You might laugh. You might shake your head. But one things for sure: youll be rooting for Caddie the entire way.