By Rachel M. Wilson
Publication date: Sept. 2, 2014
HarperTeen, 432 pages
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.
— Goodreads.com 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.