From Goodreads: Step on a crack, break your mother's back, Touch another person's skin, and Dad's gone for good ... Caddie has a history of magical thinking - of playing games in her head to cope with her surroundings - but it's never been this bad before. When her parents split up, "Don't touch" becomes Caddie's mantra. Maybe if she keeps from touching another person's skin, Dad will come home. She knows it doesn't make sense, but her games have never been logical. Soon, despite Alabama's humidity, she's covering every inch of her skin and wearing evening gloves to school. And that's where things get tricky. Even though Caddie's the new girl, it's hard to pass off her compulsions as artistic quirks. Friends notice things. Her drama class is all about interacting with her scene partners, especially Peter, who's auditioning for the role of Hamlet. Caddie desperately wants to play Ophelia, but if she does, she'll have to touch Peter ... and kiss 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.
My Rating: 2.5 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Since I enjoy reading books that deal with
mental issues, Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson was a book that I was looking forward
to reading because its main character, Caddie, has obsessive-compulsive
disorder (OCD). Unfortunately, it took me a lot longer to finish Don’t Touch
than I expected due to my difficulty in connecting with Caddie. I suspect part
of the reason why is because of how much she kept talking about her similarity
to Ophelia – something I honestly couldn’t care about.
I wasn’t a fan of the romance either. Considering that Caddie was
always acting weirdly and/oe freaking out around Peter, I didn’t find it very
believable that he would be attracted to her. I also find it very surprising
that people took so long to notice Caddie’s aversion to touch, and just accepted
her wearing gloves and constantly being covered at all times as a quirky habit.
What I did like, for the most part, was the depiction of OCD in Don’t
Touch. For example, Caddie is quite aware that the thoughts and deals that she
makes with herself are illogical, yet she still can’t help engaging in the
compulsions that she has. I also liked that Wilson addresses the fact that OCD often runs
in families and that its symptoms can wax and wane.
However, I wasn’t too happy with Wilson’s
portrayal of the way that Caddie’s OCD is treated. The book makes it seem like
OCD is easily cured by a few conversations with a therapist and making the choice to resist one's compulsions (as witnessed by Caddie’s miraculous
ability to suddenly make out with Peter); whereas in real life, OCD is
typically treated with a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural
therapy. As well, those who suffer from this mental disorder are never
completely cured as stress often re-triggers the obsessions and compulsions.
Don’t Touch was released in September
2014 by HarperTeen.
Comments About the Cover: I like the monochromatic look and its
In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.