Review: Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
POV: 1st person & female
Pacing: slow
Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Romance, Family, Friendship, Secrets.


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.

Has it ever happened to you to think you know what you’re about to read…but end up reading something completely different?

I admit, I did not check the genres or read the entire blurb
descriptionbefore picking the book up, but only because I was sure I knew what I was about to get myself into.

I was so wrong.

I had as idea that it would involve paranormal elements.

It is a contemporary. Including mental illness and its struggle as main topic.

Maybe I wasn’t prepared to read this kind of story. Maybe it is really me…but I found this unrealistic and dragging.

You see, the main character, Caddie, is afraid of touching or being touched. She thinks that, if someone even puts their little finger on her, something very bad will happen to her familiy.

More than it already has, since her parents are actually separated.

Why I find it unrealistic is because *SPOILERS* you can’t just cure an OCD just like that. Caddie has gotten some help at some point and then her problem step by step dissolved when, again, you can’t cure an OCD just like that. My Éthique et culture religieuse teacher has OCD—being afraid of dying—and she was never cured of it. Maybe it is possible but, to me, it did not feel plausible the way it went into the story.

The romance was enjoyable enough. It was cute yet too perfect. Peter was sweet, not innocent, but nice to her, As well as too understanding and patient, which bothered me because Caddie was annoying wanting but at the same time fearing getting close to him. It’s linked to her OCD, yes, although I felt like she should have gotten help from the beginning because the drama that followed was too much—even though that’s mostly the plot.

It was just too overwhelming. Especially since touching (a little) was part of the play she was acting in—and was one of the main characters, to be precise.

This book could have been good if it were maybe 100+ pages less. Well, in fact, when I was half way through, I felt like the story could have ended in the next 50 pages or so. That, in a way, has a positive side since, by thinking it could have ended way earlier, it also means that the characters were developed enough for me to not need them to be present more or just get to know them better.

The writing was good but there were too many dialogs. Without kidding, this book is made of 75% of dialogs and 25% of descriptions, etc. That did make the pacing be a little faster from time to time (because it is pretty slow in general) but there wasn’t much of an exterior world.

Although, linked to the writing, what was interesting was learning about the characters through their ”voices.” It was different, indeed, but a good different. Special.

The story in general is…okay.

I don’t like—like at all—the fact that Hamlet is pretty much spoiled for me now, after reading this. Because I know the ending. And way too much about Ophelia. It is normal since it’s the play the characters do in the story, but I didn’t think it was going to be so explicit.

Personally, this is not the kind of story I would enjoy reading every day (like I said, I wasn’t expecting it to be like this—damn you Shatter Me) but it wasn’t horrible at all. Wouldn’t recommend it exactly for someone, like me, who prefers fantasy, paranormal stories to contemporaries but if you’re used to this kind of subject and YA contemporary romance, then I would say you may very likely enjoy this one.

My review on Goodreads.

18 thoughts on “Review: Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

  1. Okay, when I read the blurb I thought: ‘shit! Rogue from x-men meets Shakespeare (just because of the play, nothing more LOL)’ and then I read your review…. hahahaha how can a blurb be so misleading?

    Anyway, I normally like to read about mental illness because being a psychology grad and all kind of makes me want to see how authors deal with this matter so maybe I could give it a go


  2. Although you didn’t enjoy it, I’m kinda more interested in this book than I was a minute ago. I actually prefer dialogue to descriptions, so I don’t I’d really mind the pace or whatever. Thank you!


  3. Oh c’mon! I really expect this to be contemporary and I was already imagining this whole not touching thing as some sort of psychological issue. That would be much cooler than some paranormal story. So yeah I’m with you girl. Sorry it was a disappointment for you. Great review, Lola 🙂


  4. Wow, I saw this book on Goodreads awhile back and thought it was paranormal, or maybe magic realism. No idea it was a contemporary xD The story still sounds really interesting, though! But I agree, contemporary books in general usually have slower pacing, more dialogue/description than fantasy. Awesome review 🙂


  5. So sorry you got conned into this one! I nearly fell for the trap as well, until I saw the tags on the side that said “CONTEMPORARY” and I just legged it out of there. I’m not a contemporary fan AT ALL and this would not have ended well in my hands xD I cannot stand the overuse of dialogue. It just detracts from all the emotions that the reader is meant to feel, you know? Because half of the time, they’re just telling us stuff and not showing us anything. Sorry this one was another dud! Girly, you honestly help me steer clear of so many dud books 😉 Fabulous review, Lola! <33


  6. Oh, I actually loved it. But I love contemporary. It was so relatable for me but I disagree with you about the point about OCD, the author herself experienced a similar kind of anxiety (I don’t want to call it OCD, because I can’t remember). I think mental illness is a spectrum. It’s not a generic thing. That’s why I believe it. I read a lot of books where mental illness is on the far end of the extreme, and I like Don’t Touch, because that end of the spectrum is not the only story of mental illness.


  7. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this 😦 I had a feeling her fear of touching others had to do with a mental issue after reading the blurb. That, or she was a major believer of superstitions. I may just check it out for myself though, cause you know how I love contemporaries! Great review, Lola 🙂


  8. I thought it was going to be a paranormal too! That would’ve been so much better! I’m just not one for contemporary. [Slight spoiler.] Yeah I totally agree with you on the whole OCD thing, speaking as someone who has it, there’s no magic cure. [end spoiler] Nice review. I wish you better luck with your next read! Haha! I love the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun gif! 🙂


  9. I think I have this one. I remember when I first saw it I REALLY wanted to read it! There have been a handful of times I thought I knew what I was about to read and was totally blown away by how wrong I was. I’ll keep your review in mind when I get around to reading!


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