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Just Like The Rating Says: Surprisingly Solid

By Rhodeworks, author of Not All Heroes

Mar 8, 2018: (Review up to 2.7)

Like others have said, I do not think Touch is the story for me. As a teacher, I have issues with reading this sort of thing. It can be too close to home. I feel it is important to note, however, that Touch isn’t gratuitous with its subject matter.

With that out of the way, Touch is actually fairly well-written. The writing is solid, among some of the better stuff I’ve read here. There are some minor issues with style (fairly frequent usage of ‘the boy [said]’ or ‘the girl [said]’, which can feel very alienating and dehumanizing) but the flow is generally good. It is slow but it doesn’t feel like it is dragging. I noted a few repeated words and phrases (Casper does a lot of groaning, for example—it feels like a lot of people groan, really).

The children feel like children. Perhaps not perfectly, there are times where they slip into sounding a bit too much like adults, but better than I expected. I won’t lie—when I read the info on this page, I was initially fairly hesitant. There have been a few sections, however, where I’m not sure whether the authorial voice has made an inadvertent error or if it’s an issue of a child’s perspective (for example, summing up a woman as ‘blonde’ but the man next to her as ‘Asian’).

I did not note many grammar or spelling issues but there are more of the former than the latter (minor things like capitalization, rogue quotation marks mostly). There are some minor things I’d do differently, typically to render over-complexity down to simplicity, turn some big meandering paragraphs into multiple smaller ones, but it didn’t take me out of the reading.

One thing I think Touch does really well is how the chapters begin and end. Personally, I rate this as one of the more important parts of writing: strong endings and strong beginnings, both in general and chapter-by-chapter.

I feel the perspective changes mid-chapter aren’t ideal, particularly when they happen more than once. This is pretty subjective, however. Similarly, I thought especially that the Name: headers for each change were unnecessary.

Beyond that, if there’s one thing that stuck out to me as an issue, is that I don’t feel like I had a good idea of the world. I feel like, as a reader, I don’t know what the average person knows and that my expectations are somehow in a state of total flux but constantly being pulled out from under me.

All in all, Touch surprised me. That’s what I remember most about it, how it surprised me with its quality and how it handled its subject matter with care.

I recommend Touch, if you can handle the subject matter. It has a good, strong start—it’ll be interesting to see if it can hold its course and stick the landing, whatever it may be.

I plan to revisit Touch in the future and adjust this review. But for now, I feel this is a good overview of what you can expect.

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