Book Review : Touch by Jus Accardo

Touch (Denazen #1) by Jus Accardo
This one’s been on my TBR list for a while both because of the awesome cover and the blurb. It had really caught my eye and I wanted to read it so with my fancy-schmancy Amazon gift card, I bought it.

I have to say here, I wished I’d bought the paperback because the Kindle file is so badly messed up that sentences run together, paragraphs, too and sometimes dialog so that I had to figure out who was saying what. Ugh. It was very hard to work through, but that didn’t stop me because yes, I was hooked by the opener and wanted to read on.

So I did.

What did I find?

The issues
– There was a point where Dez asks her cousin Brandt to search for information about Denazen. Brandt does and finds all this information as well as tells it all to Dez as if it’s perfectly logical — which to any ‘normal’ teenager, it shouldn’t be. Not only that, Dez accepts it as if it’s perfectly logical. At this point in the story, we don’t know what Brandt is, nor does Dez so it makes me wonder HOW she could logically accept this information without a LOT of ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ kind of statements — of which there were none.
– at 25% through the book, I had no idea what the true ‘plot’ was, only the arc conflicts which were Dez and Kale’s. I even got to the point that I was thinking all the scenes were ‘the same’. Kale and Dez find a spot to ‘sit’ and the bad guys find them. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I was actually getting bored. I put the book down for one day and said, ‘okay … next chapter better explain some stuff and move the story forward. And it did! Finally! So if you get about 25% through, don’t give up.
– Dez has no reaction to the variety of people she meets before she learns she’s a Six. We learn later that she knew she could ‘do’ stuff, but she never reacts to learning other people can do stuff. She has no inner aha! moment for herself. Just all the sudden later, we learn, oh yeah, I can do stuff and ‘tada’ that must mean I’m a Six. It’s like it was held back on purpose, but since we’re being narrated to by Dez throughout and SHE knows she knows about herself, WE should have had some reaction … even little things that would have made her mystery less ‘thrown in for effect’ when it was.
– Omniscient 1st person. Only writers will get this one (or maybe not). Dez narrates and seems to know what everyone around her is thinking and seeing and doing. It become so telly because we never ‘see’ the cause only the effect. Dad ‘was thinking’. How? What was he doing that made her think he was thinking? Maybe he was just staring blankly into space? Or Alex was ‘considering’ or Kale was nervous. HOW does she know? These little things like this in a story make me ask the question … ‘What was the character doing that Dez thought that?’ Show me, please! I want to be able to visualize and being told a character is nervous doesn’t show me anything. There were many, many moments like this in the story and it took away from MY enjoyment because I didn’t get the movie in my mind all the time.
– One consistency issue … after she figures out she can mimic stuff (which by the way, I LOVE the use of this word for what she does given my alter-ego’s book Little White Lies) she complains about not having money, having to walk instead of take the bus, etc. Then later on when she wants a costume, she mimics money and tad a, she has the money to buy ‘x, y or z’. But there was no real build up or moral compass for her to not do that ages before.

The good
– I do have to say Dez was an awesomely consistent character. I have to say I didn’t like her at first because she was so ballsy and so brass and so bitchy, but as we worked through the story, she really grew on me. She was a great 17 year old with a lot of problems and a really cool gift.
– Kale is a sweetheart. I just want to cuddle him — but not touch him. 🙂 He was always kind and always working through his issues with the ‘outside world’.
– Dad was evil and the mix of him knowing and Dez not knowing was a great contrast. They both managed to keep secrets from each other (for good reason) and even as much of a bad guy as he was, I think there was SOME semblance of pain in his final confrontation. There was something there. A glimmer of hope, I think. Of course that won’t be answered in this book. 😉
– Alex was a jerk. A good jerk. But a jerk none-the-less and that made for an interesting relationship dilemma. I didn’t like the almost-love triangle that seemed to be going on with Alex and Dez though. That felt too ‘old’ … like something a 30 year old would do, not 17 year old. But it did add an element of conflict to Alex’s life since he was obviously in love with Dez and Dez not with him. Had she vowed her undying love to him, I’d have had to throw the book at the wall.
– Mom. I want to know more! 🙂
– Ginger. I want to know more! She had an incredibly interesting story to tell. Great backstory at the end, to really show us how it all came to be.
– All the gifts were really cool. Again, I’m partial to Dez’s gift and really liked it. It will be interesting to see where the story goes in the next ‘8 months’ of her life. It reminded me a lot of the Fab4 with all their fire and ice and shape-shifting and strength, but in dozens of people instead of just 4. And, they were secret vs. the Fab 4 being publicly known.
– I have to wonder why Denazen got so bad. I know the story told by Ginger enlightened me, but I think there’s more to it and am very interested to know more.
– The story was action packed. Great ups and downs, a perfect roller-coaster ride for this reader.

I give this a 3.9, but of course there are not partial-star places, so it will get a 4. 🙂

This is definitely a book worth reading.