Don't Touch

Don't Touch

by Rachel M. Wilson


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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.

From rising star Rachel M. Wilson comes a powerful, moving debut novel of the friendship and love that are there for us, if only we'll let them in.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062220936
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 1,215,509
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rachel M. Wilson received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Don't Touch is her first novel. Originally from Alabama, she now lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Don't Touch 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Nim_ More than 1 year ago
"Don't Touch" is about Caddie, who believes her parents might get back together if she keeps from touching another person’s skin. At every single moment, she calculates the chances of accidentally touching someone, which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin. As Caddie herself explains: "I’m all covered up, but our cheeks might touch, our hands brush, and that’s not allowed." I was a bit hesitant to start this book, because books that deal with specific illnesses (mental or physical) are tricky. Some books treat it like a quirky subplot, in others it's overdone and unrealistic. "Don't Touch" was, in one word, perfect. The author suffered from a form of OCD herself and that really shows. The book shows Caddie's struggle in a beautifully vulnerable way, allowing the reader to understand both OCD and Caddie's character. At the same time, you can really see Caddie grow throughout the book and that was really beautiful to experience. However, the secondary characters were brilliant as well. Sometimes there's so much focus on the protagonist that the secondary characters are underdeveloped, but I felt this book did justice to them as well. Mandy and Peter are really good friends, who have their own difficulties and develop throughout the book. I loved how enthusiastic Mandy always was and how Peter was just so sweet and understanding, while both also show moments of doubt and anger at Maddie's condition, which I found very believable. Don't even get me started on the romance in this book, it's just so incredibly sweet and slow and cute! Despite everything, I did feel the book was a bit too long. At some point, I was incredulous that nothing had happened yet. The author takes a very long time to make sure you understand Maddie's character and her struggle, before moving on the 'healing' part. The last part was really, really quick, while the first part took ages. It would have been good if this was balanced better. Oh, and definitely don't read this book if you haven't read Hamlet yet and don't want any spoilers. If you've read it though, this book will make you like Ophelia & Hamlet a lot better :-)
Reading-is-My-Treasure More than 1 year ago
Don't Touch was such a good read! It was a great story about overcoming fear and battling a mental illness. I was sucked into Caddie's story and had a very hard time pulling away from it. It was interesting. And fun! The subject was a serious one, but at the same time, the characters and their big, bright personalities made me smile. I loved the roles Caddie's friends had in her story. They were there for her as she struggled and never gave up, even when they didn't understand her. I also loved how they weren't the ones that made her get better. They supported her, but Caddie's steps towards overcoming her fear were clearly due to her decision to make them. One of my favorite parts of this book is how well it connects to Hamlet. I love it when a modern story connects to older pieces of literature. Caddie had a true connection with Ophelia and I loved how it seemed to help her grow. This part made me appreciate Hamlet a little more. Plus, the rehearsing and preparation added something extra and special to the book. I like reading books where characters act in plays. Overall, Don't Touch was definitely worth reading. Other than a couple areas where I felt like the book didn't flow as much as it could have, there wasn't much of anything that I didn't like. It was an enjoyable, yet emotional and impacting read. I highly recommend this book to fans of contemporaries that focus on a character's battle with a serious mental illness. *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my review or opinion of this book.
CurlUpWGoodBook More than 1 year ago
"Step on a crack, break your mother's back. Touch another person's skin, and Dad's gone for good....." When I first read the synopsis of this book I wasn't quite sure if it was the right book for me.....but I decided to give it a try and now I am very happy that I did. I am beginning to enjoy YA contemporary novels more and more. Don't Touch was such an emotional, moving, and gripping novel. It brings out real life issues and explores the reactions from a teen perspective when they are the ones having to deal.  Don't Touch is a YA contemporary novel that is based around the life of the main character, Caddie. Caddie is a very emotional young girl and when she discovers that her parents are getting divorced she basically has a mental breakdown. The only way she can find to cope with the issue is to not touch anyone. She feels as though if she doesn't touch anyone then her father will come back home. Now at the beginning this sounded very strange to me but as you read the book and learn Caddie's emotional state then you begin to understand why she had to find a coping mechanism. Caddie was a phenomenally written character and everything she goes through in this book is expressed in detail so that the reader really gets to grasp the reality of mental illnesses and their affect on people. Caddie enters a school of arts and lands the main part in the play, Hamlet, that the school is producing. Although she is extremely happy with being chosen she is also torn because she knows she will have to physically touch the other actors and at some point will have to kiss her counterpart in the play.  "Don't touch didn't do any good, When it keeps me from connecting with people, from kissing a guy I like, from letting my Mom comfort me, it's doing harm. So why does it still feel important not to touch?" Caddie finds herself surrounded by a great group of friends including her old friend, Mandy, whom she has been friends with before. I loved the addition of this group of friends because they were all so honest, funny, and caring and yet Caddie cannot find it in herself to talk to them about her issues. There are so many times when this group of friends tries to talk with Caddie and ensure her that they are there for her but she still recoils.  Another member of the group is a young man named Peter who is also Caddie's counterpart in the play. The sweet romance that brews between Peter and Caddie is a perfect addition to this story. I don't want to give away too much about their romance because I feel like it is just something that every reader should experience for themselves. I truly found it breath-taking.  "He's so close, our clothes touch. He plays with the corner of my cardigan that rests on his thigh, giving it the slightest tug, When he looks back at me, he tilts his head, and this might be the moment if we were two normal kids when he'd lean in and we'd kiss." I am not sure if I have ever read such an honest, true, and fascinating story that deals with real life issues and brings them down to a level where young adult readers can really see and feel the effects of mental illness. Mental illness is something that not everyone understands and some do not even believe in. If you are one of those people then you should definitely read this story because I feel like it will completely change your perspective on the issue. Rachel Wilson does a phenomenal job of describing each and every aspect of mental illness and incorporates it into a beautifully written young adult novel. There is so much truth in this book and I just absolutely loved it. 
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'Don't Touch' is the compelling story of Caddie and the struggles, illnesses, and obstacles she must overcome in order to fulfill her dream of playing Ophelia, and to get close to the guy she likes - who just happens to be playing Hamlet. Caddie has a lot of issues to deal with and rise above. Will she be able to do it for herself and her dreams? I loved this book more than I thought I would. YA Contemporary isn't my favorite genre, but this sounded original - so I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm so very glad that I did. The story is a magnificent look at a teenage girl suffering from mental illness, along with other 'normal' problems like school, boys, family troubles, and her hopes of being cast in the school play. Caddie is an absolutely phenomenal main character for the book. I adored her from the very first page. The story is told from her point of view, so we get an inside look at her thoughts, fears, dreams - everything. She's incredibly realistic and easy to relate to - especially for me specifically because I suffer from anxiety disorders. With her flaws and insecurities - and her strength, intelligence, and determination - Caddie's the perfect leading lady for the story. I was by her side rooting for her the entire time. It's becoming more common for young adult books to have characters who have mental illnesses or stories pertaining to them. I tend to migrate towards these books because of my own mental illnesses. I'm always curious as to how the author will portray the character; how they will describe the details of the illness; and what people who suffer from them go through. This book is focused mainly on anxiety disorders - especially with panic attacks - and I have to say that the author did a magnificent job of portraying all the aspects I mentioned above. As I was reading, I felt like I was inside Caddie's mind - because that's how I feel when I'm having a panic attack or when my anxiety is threatening to take over. All the small details - thoughts, feelings, physical symptoms - they were all perfectly written. I give the author a ton of respect for writing a book where the main character suffers from these issues and even more for making sure all parts of the illness and its effects were spot on and true. I could keep rambling about the importance of spreading the word about mental illness and how there's still a stigma surrounding it in our society. I believe all of these things and I respect and adore the authors who are bringing attention to the issues with their stories. Aside from that, the plot was great. It had a quick pace and flowed easily, so I had no trouble reading it in a few hours. I thought that the story line was decently original with added depth and layers coming from the heavier topics that are discussed throughout the book. It touches on a lot of problems that teens today face - issues with family, school, friends, crushes, insecurity, and overcoming fears. It felt like the plot was kind of a secondary aspect of the book. It seemed much more like a character study than a regular contemporary novel, which I think suited it better and made it all the more interesting. Very highly recommended for fans of YA contemporary fiction and those wishing to learn more about mental illnesses - like anxiety disorders and panic attacks - in a fictional setting. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Don't Touch deals with mental illnesses in such a real and uncomfortable way. I really felt for Caddie. Throughout the book it was difficult for me to not tear up, feel heartbroken for Caddie, and frustrated at her family for turning a blind eye to what she’s going through. Caddie has suffered from OCD tendencies ever since she was young, but tried to hide it because when her mom found out she pretty much broke down and cried her eyes out. Way to make it about yourself mom! I am well aware of how hard it is to know someone close to you with a mental illness but the way her family swept it under the surface is really bad. It took a lot of in your face moments and confessions for them to finally acknowledge it. However, this is the reality of many families and people. I like that Wilson portrayed that. So Caddie’s parents split up, her dad moved out of state, and now Caddie and her brother are angry, sad, and frustrated. Caddie’s OCD came back full force and now it developed into a full-fledged monster. She believes that if no one touches her skin, and vice versa, then her parents will get back together. This becomes very stressful when Caddie moves to an art school to pursue her acting and she gets cast in a play and touching is necessary. However this book has a great friendship storyline: Caddie and Mandy, as well as all of Mandy’s friends that welcomed Caddie. I automatically fell in love when she sat with them for the first time during lunch period. They were a hilarious, outspoken, non-confirmative bunch: Mandy, Drew, Livia, Oscar, Hank, and of course Peter, the ever-lovable love interest. I loved his personality, how his friendship with Caddie developed and how he dealt with everything going on with her. Don’t Touch might not be heavy on the plot, but the simplicity of the plotline is its strength. You don’t need an elaborate plot to tackle mental illnesses so I’m grateful for Wilson for stripping down any add ons and telling the story that really matters. I would recommend it to all contemporary fans, and something to add is that this infuses acting and Shakespeare's play, Hamlet a lot. That was something that made it more unique as well as more likable and a great background plot. I can't wait to read more books by Rachel M. Wilson as well as for everyone to pick this one up!