Sunday, August 30, 2009

Enchanting Review: Touch

Contemporary YA
ISBN# 978-0-06-137517-0
272 pages
Hardcover—Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Maisie is a ninth grader living with her father, her stepmother, Joan, and Josh, her nine-year-old step-brother.

Maisie has always been a bit of a tom-boy and grew up together with her best friends Kevin, Chris and Shakes. Maisie left for her 8th grade year to live with her mother and Geoff, her new step-father. When Maisie returned, she had developed physically and unlike some of her other classmates, she had developed a lot. She finds that her friends don’t quite know how to treat her anymore and the awkwardness leaves Maisie feeling unsure how to handle the relationships. Shakes and Maisie still get together and seem to be sorting out their relationship and feelings for each other, but then Chris and Kevin react with jealousy and an incident occurs on the school bus. When the boys are afraid they will be punished, they react by lying about what happened and who did what. Maisie feels betrayed by Chris, Kevin, and Shakes. Her step-mother wants to respond with lawyers and expulsions and Maisie is still sorting out what happened to her friendships, her body, and what really happened on the bus.

The author handled some very touchy subject matter with both honesty and delicacy. This is a great book for teens who are going through changes, whether it be their family structure, their bodies, their friends or other areas of their life. Even though Maisie has some struggles, nightmares and pressure at home and at school, she begins to discover who she is and to choose how much she will let other people’s pressure affect her actions. For example when Maisie’s step-mother takes her shopping, instead of getting caught up in her stepmother’s drama and backhanded compliments, she chooses not to get into it with her stepmother at the store. She simply allows her stepmother to be happy buying two dresses Maisie never intends to wear. My favorite part is when Maisie has a very honest conversation with Shakes to let him know just how she feels about his part in the bus incident and afterwards.

Francine Prose has written eighteen novels including ..Bullyville’ and ..After’ two young adult novels. She may be contacted at

Kathy Johnson
July 2008

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