Monday, November 14, 2011

YA book review: Touch by Jus Accardo

Paperback: 251 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (November 1, 2011)

Blurb: When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

My review: There are some books that are hyped so much and after I read them I wonder "Why?" Touch is not that type of book. This debut novel by Jus Accardo, and the first in the Denazan series, deserves more hype. So much more! I sincerely hope it doesn't get lost in the jam-packed YA market. 

Accardo begins her story with a bang. Dez is a daredevil and such a refreshing character for a girl in YA. She's jumping off a barn while on her skateboard, hanging out at her cousin's party. On her way home she literally runs into a cute, young guy who asks her for her red Vans. Sensing his despair, she begrudgingly gives them to him, fully expecting to get them back at some time. When some weird leotard wearing men show up and ask her if she's seen a guy matching his description, she tells them the truth and mentions her missing sneakers. But she sends them in the wrong direction.

That's what I really liked about Dez--her attitude and spunk were refreshing. She is by no means perfect and her inner ramblings and decision making only made her more endearing. Watching her find out her cold father, Cross, is not simply this way because of her mother's death, but he is instead a powerful bigwig at the Denazen Corporation, is the beginning of the journey she has to take to find out the truth about both her parents and herself.

Good thing she has Kale. His innocence and unique way of looking at the world was a terrific contrast to Dez's occasionally harsh outlook. The most tender scenes in this fast paced book happened between Dez and Kale when she simply stopped, watched and listened to him. There was a quiet grace in her experiencing things through Kale's reactions. The concept of "Sixers," humans with a genetic explanation for their supernatural abilities and the company that captures, studies, trains and then employs for their own means, may seem as if the idea has been done before, but Jus Accardo makes the story her own. Dez has a strong, realistic voice and she has a vast array of entertaining characters to deal with from her first love, Alex, to her beloved cousin and her mother, Sueshanna.

Touch was a thoroughly engrossing, fast paced thriller of a novel. I did need a scorecard towards the end to keep track of all of the Sixers during the big climatic battle, but since I'm a sports fan, I didn't mind. Dez is my favorite type of YA heroine--strong, unique, and unafraid to speak her mind or use a fist if she has to (like Katniss). There is such a mix of Sixers in this novel to keep anyone interested. Fire and ice wielders, morphing into another, and the dreaded 'touch of death' are just some of the talents exhibited in Touch. Jus Accardo's blend of action, mystery, and a sweet intense romance kept me pressing the button on my ereader to get more and more of this intoxicating tale. Can't wait to see what happens next. 

Fans of action, dystopian, and supernatural books should definitely allow themselves to experience Touch.

Rating: 4.5. Do I need to repeat how much I enjoyed this? Nah, didn't think so.

Cover comment: As much as I liked the original cover with Dez in the front and Kale behind her, this cover really does it for me. I like the close-up of Kale and did picture him looking like this as I read. I hope the next book cover features Dez (equal opportunity and all).

Book source: From publisher for my truthful review.

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