Mon, September 8, 2014

Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson Review

Don't Touch book cover

Don't Touch book cover

Don’t Touch
By Rachel M. Wilson
Publication date: Sept. 2, 2014
HarperTeen, 432 pages
Source: Publisher

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.

— description

I really, really liked this one. In terms of books that deal with mental health, Don’t Touch definitely fell among the best I’ve read.

It’s the type of book that I read with a pit in my stomach. It made me anxious and tense, as it should — that’s exactly how Callie felt throughout the book as she struggled with her OCD and phobia of being touched. As I read, I felt like I was standing on a precipice, that I could fall or jump and the decision between the two could go either way. Again, the tone was a perfect fit for the subject matter and it had a very strong affect on me.

I especially like that, in my amateur opinion, Callie’s mental health issues were handled in a healthy way (therapy, honesty, asking for help) vs. pushed aside with an easy fix. Don’t Touch is a powerful story with a strong message.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: mental health, rachel m. wilson


  1. Teen Underground said:

    Thanks for the great review! I’m always looking for books about mental illness that are handled well, and this sounds wonderful. I’ll be adding it to the TBR pile!


    Anna Reply:



    Posted on: Mon, September 8, 2014

  2. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader said:

    Speaking as someone who suffers from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (though thankfully not to the degree that Caddie does!) I was really excited to see the subject being tackled in a YA novel this year, as it’s not one that’s covered very often. I received an ARC of this novel from Harper Collins Canada and have yet to read it, but I’ve heard only wonderful things about the sensitivity and accuracy of Wilson’s portrayal of Caddie’s illness. I particularly love that she was able to inspire the reader (you) to feel even a modicum of the anxiety and terror that Caddie faces every day and that the problem wasn’t miraculous fixed with an easy answer, which would be absolutely ridiculous given the severity of her disorder. I didn’t think I could possibly look forward to reading this book any more if I tried, but your review managed to make me even more excited about it!


    Anna Reply:

    I have anxiety issues as well and OMG THIS BOOK BROUGHT THEM UP SO HARDCORE. But, like, in a good way? Like “OK, she gets it…”


    Posted on: Mon, September 8, 2014

  3. mary Kay said:

    These sparks of insight are the reward for entering into and making friends with
    the dark unknown. “Everything I ever wanted, if I had to buy new shoes or whatever, I would have to find a way that makes them happy, do an extra school thing, or something, where everybody wins’then I’d end up with the reward,” says Ankur.
    Whenever a pink car passes by everybody knows that another consultant has reached a milestone with their sales.


    Posted on: Mon, September 8, 2014

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