Friday, August 3, 2012

Touched by Cyn Balog Review

Touched

by Cyn Balog
Goodreads Summary:
Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn't? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over . . . and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn't work.

But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something's about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift . . . and there's no way to stop things from happening. Or is there? 

In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he's about to discover--or the choice he will be forced to make. . . 

Touched is the first novel I've read by Cyn Balog. I've wanted to read her novels for a very long time and with this cover, I just couldn't pass it up.  However, I was a little disappointed with this one.  Nick is cursed. He shares that with his mother. They can see the future and every little thing they do that veers them off the path that they follow changes that future. So, when he went off script to save Taryn from being run over by a truck, the little girl he knew he was supposed to save, drowned. And even though he saved a life, he's a wreck about it.

 The changes in the future, when he goes off script, also hurt giving him painful headaches. He has to go on his knees and hold his head in agony. He's earned the nickname of Crazy Cross and has no friends, none. They, the changes in the script, also affect his mother who hasn't left her bed or room in years. His grandmother lives with them and they survive on her meager social security check. Nick has no dreams of going to college. He just tries to stay on script.

That is, until Taryn happens.  For a brief moment, when  he holds Taryn's hand, the future stops and his mind is blessedly silent of what he calls the "You Wills". He knows the answer to his curse lies with her because one of his possible futures lies with her. He knows things about her he could only know if he had spent time with her.

I will tell you that this book is a bit confusing when you read it. Or maybe my mind wasn't open enough when I read it. It took me a long time to understand what was going on. How Nick could know things that happened in the past when he only saw the future. And the beginning of the book is very confusing because you don't understand "the script" or the "You Wills" as he chants them like a mantra and goes over "the script" in his head.

I liked Nick somewhat. He was a caring person, selfless, but I didn't really feel like he was a whole person to me. He just fell a little flat. The same for Taryn. Their relationship was rushed and though I understood why he cared for her so much, I didn't see why she did. He didn't have anything going for him. He was painted as pitiful and pathetic and close to tears all the time. Not the kind of guy you swoon for. And the sympathy fell short as well.

But what got me the most was the ending. Way too easy. I think the middle of the book could have been drawn out a lot more. Maybe some scenes from his childhood could have made him a sympathetic character.  But, as a whole the book just didn't have it, that thing that makes you sigh at the end. The first three fourths of the book felt very disconnected from the ending.

I did enjoy reading the book. The concept, once you get the hang of it, is amazingly unique. Gypsies are involved. Well, fortune teller/gypsies. No caravans like the ones in Kersten Hamilton's books, but still, they are involved. And there is a curse. The tale is so different from anything I've ever read, I know there isn't anything out there like it. So it's worth it just to read that part of it alone. And then to see how the future is affected by every little decision you make, that will make you think about what you do. Especially since this book is aimed at teens. And maybe the point wasn't so much about the characters as it was about the plot. And the plot was good.

I'm not a deep thinker when  I read. I read for sheer entertainment. Take me out of my world and put me in another. So maybe I missed the lesson completely in this one.  As I write this review, I'm thinking what would a teenager get from this? And I'm understanding what I'd want my teenager to get from this as he read. There is a definite message in here. Maybe it takes a while to sink in. But I think I get it now. And I don't think I'm as disappointed as I thought I was. Not at all!

I guess what I'm saying is, when you read this one, look beneath the words, which by the way was beautiful written, and look for the deeper meaning. It took me writing this review to see that. Duh!

Thanks to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the ARC. This obviously in no way influenced my review. The opinions expressed are my own, completely.

                                                                                          Heather

14 comments:

  1. Yes exactly how I felt about the book too! I really liked it but I also was a little disappointed. Especially the beginning was really confusing and it took me some time to get accustomed to the concept. I was nice book but not more.

    And a lesson? Does every book needs a lesson?

    Happy Friday!

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    1. Yeah, the beginning had me almost putting it down but I was too curious. No every book doesn't have to have a lesson but I think this one did. Maybe that every decision you make affects your future, literally.

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  2. I felt the same way about this one. I didn't like him telling us everything that was going to happen and then having to read the exact same thing as it was happening. One time of doing that was enough to catch on I think!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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    Replies
    1. Glad I'm not alone. I hated not liking it. I wanted to love it, but I couldn't lie. I didn't want people to spend their money on a just okay book without knowing what I felt about it.

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  3. Hmmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I like the sound of it once you get past the confusing beginning, but I also need to have really great characters when I'm reading, so the fact that both of them are a bit flat is disappointing. I think I'll hold off for now, though that cover makes me want to read this book every time I see it!

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    1. You won't like the characters. The mom is neglectful, Nana is in denial, and the romance takes place way too quickly. And Nick, he's always close to tears. Don't like my guys like that. He can't fall down on a pier without crying. It doesn't illicit sympathy, but pathetic.

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  4. Between the lack of enthusiasm for the characters and the confusion, doesn't look like this one is for me. And I'm with you. Give me some fun entertainment! Great review!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, there are so many books out there and coming out that promise to be great. I'm not an expert though. This is just my opinion. But I have read a lot of books and I know when characters are flat. And the ending is just too perfect.

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  5. I passed this one up because of several reviews mentioned about the lackluster characters and the confusing plot. I'm short on time with reading as is and I'd like to spend it on characters that I love and a riveting plot. Thanks for your honest review, Heather.

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    1. I was seduced by the cover and like I said I wanted to read something by this author. I'll still give her other books a try as long as they have a good review. Maybe there was just too much in this one. You were smart to give it up for hopefully a better book.

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  6. Sorry that this one didn't rock as hard as you wanted it to rock, but I do love a book with a deeper meaning. I have a feeling, though, that those things that bugged you, would bug me. :/

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    1. Yeah, I really wasn't rocked. Not at all. As you can tell by my rambling thoughts on it! LOL

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  7. Sorry that you didn't like this one more. I love the cover and it drew me in right away. The story does sound unique, but it sounds like the characters and plot were lacking. Thanks for your honest review!
    ~Jess

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  8. I've had this one on my TBR, but it's definitely getting mixed reviews. If I can't connect with the characters then it's hard for me to get into the book. That's really important to me. Hmmm...not sure about this one now. I do love the cover though :-)

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