April 4, 2014

Review: Touched by Corrine Jackson

Touched (Sense Thieves #1)
Author: Corrine Jackson
Release Date: November 27th, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Page Count: 343
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: Twilight - if Twilight actually made me care. (A lot.)
Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll be coming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


Remy is a Healer. This means she can heal others, but only by absorbing their injuries. When her stepfather takes it one punch too far and kills Remy's mom, Remy has no choice but to move in with her father, who Remy's never had very much to do with. But, instead of being a giant familial mess, Remy fits in with her dad's new family fairly well. She also fits in at school pretty well. But then she meets Asher Blackwell and his family, a strange group that seems a bit too perfect. And they are. They're immortal Protectors, made that way by sacrificing their human senses for immortality... a thing done by adding the title of "Healer murderer" to their rap sheet. So, needless to say, Asher and Remy might have some problems staying together. Oh, and Remy isn't a normal Healer, so there's a lot of "figuring out her past and what she is" going on in all of this.

Let's break this down:

Okay. Just a brief starting note: I tried really hard not to compare this book two Twilight. And at the beginning I really, really didn't. Yeah, Remy goes to live with her dad, just like Bella does, but under totally different circumstances. But about 100 pages in I couldn't ignore the similarities. Asher is super strong and invincible and obsessed with Remy because she feels different. Remy finds herself in all kinds of danger always. Asher and Remy are natural enemies but ignore that because they can't stay away from each other.

But even though there are all kinds of similarities, I like this book so much more than Twilight because it does what Twilight failed to do: creates a strong female lead (despite the "all kinds of danger" bit), an excellent support system for said strong female lead, and a male lead who is flawed - and not just the self-hating way. Not to mention, Asher doesn't sparkle. So that's a plus. Oh, and also, there's stuff Remy has to figure out about her own powers throughout. She doesn't just sit around and pine and I like that.

And now is when I stop talking about the "T" word and move on to the book's individual merits because that's kind of what I should have done from the start but I couldn't help myself.

I want it to be known that I think Remy is GREAT. She has these insane psychological issues that she deals with but is still scarred by - something you can see so clearly in the way she behaves. But she's also such a teen, despite being forced to grow up by all the bad things that keep happening to her, and that's also evident in the way she acts. I love it. It's the perfect combination. Remy's also, as I mentioned earlier, trying to figure out what's up with her powers and what they all mean. The Blackwells can tell her some things, but they don't know a lot of the things she needs to know so that internal struggle that comes from that is excellent.

I also love the fact that Remy seems to fit in with her father's family. Too many books have the resentful stepmother or the jealous stepsister. Yeah, nothing's easy and there was a lot of drama there, especially between Remy and her estranged father, but sometimes these things aren't as hard as pop culture wants us to believe and I love this book for delving into that.

This book also has sick twists. I saw one or two things coming, but I was surprised by a whole bunch of other things. I mean, Remy's powers are different from other Healer's powers and the why of that is pretty messed up in an awesome way. But even the things I did see coming really hit me. The whole time I was just like: "Not that, no, please not that, anything but that." And then it happened and I coped, but it was still emotional, y'know?

I also like the Blackwells. They're an interesting family and the history there is intriguing. They show that, despite years and years of prejudice, people can get on board with change. Also, Asher's pretty swoony. The romance didn't do too much for me, but I was more interested in Remy and the history of everything anyway, so it's okay. I mean, the backstory really laid out and the "why" of everything was so well explained. I could really dig into that instead of clinging onto a romance.

All in all, this is a book about your world totally changing, your worst fears coming true, and what happens after they do. It's a book about perseverance, where you come from, and what that means for your future. And I liked all of that. A lot. Despite the connections my brain kept making to a series I previously read and am sick to death of.

The long and short of it?

Plot: A little too familiar, but not in an all-bad way.
World Building: The origin story for the Healers and Protectors is solid and I love it.
Character Development: Remy figures out a lot about who she is and what she's doing in this book. Her relationships with everyone in this book informs a lot of that, but she's ultimately the one who has to piece it all together and she does it fantastically. Asher's okay, too, I guess.
Prose: Very readable and well written.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you like Twilight, you should give this one a read. Also, if you like a good "powers" book with a solid origin story, you'd probably enjoy Touched as well. And if you like Twlight and a good origin story, you're definitely in for a treat.

Have you read this one? Did you make the same connections I did? Maybe you made other connections. Or maybe you haven't read this one yet. Whatever the case, let me know what you're thinking in the comments below!