Friday 29 August 2014

Review of Just a Touch

"To the one that receives this letter. Protect it with all you have. In the hands of the Reformers it would mean even greater trouble for us. The Triad must be found and the Chosen brought together. The fate of our people rests on this.”

All Arianna Shae wants is to get out of Bakers Ridge and away from everyone who knows everything about her. Beginning her senior year, she sees her moment of escape getting closer and her spirits begin to rise, that is until he arrives and her life takes an unexpected turn.

As a Guardian, Chase Melina has always known what he was meant to do: protect the Chosen. Sent out on his first assignment, he’s struck with the feeling that all is not what it seems. As strange things begin to happen, he becomes even more determined to keep his protégée safe, especially after seeing what she can do.

When their worlds collide Chase and Arianna must fight for their lives. Through torture, escape, new relationships, legends, and even death they are determined to find out the answers to the questions revolving around their destiny and ultimately fulfill a prophecy that could save them all.


I received a copy of Just a Touch by Brittany DeLys about six months ago and like a fool, I waited until after the second book had been published (July 2014) to finally read Book One. But I was not disappointed.

Cliff notes version: Arianna is stalked by the new guy at school (Chase McHottie) until she’s kidnapped by extremists and discovers she has the power to heal people (and herself) and she’s part of an ancient prophecy to bring back the Chosen: people with extraordinary powers to heal, see, or fight. It’s written from two 1st person perspectives: Arianna and Chase (whose last name isn’t actually McHottie but it suits him)

Right off the bat, I have to say that I found some of the narration to be passive and juvenile – like the author was over compensating for her high school characters by making them childish and some of her younger characters more mature. I often found myself scoffing with sarcastic abandon at how cheesy the description was. Even some of the dialogue didn’t quite feel right with its awkward phrasing and use of language. And the description, my god the description. Pages of exposition that the audience already knew. It was a bit much.

That being said; this was a great concept. Arianna is a typical girl about to turn 18: close with her family and friends while enduring the drama of being a high school student. I actually thought her part of the narrative was quite fitting. It helped us connect with her lovestruck, hormonal personality in a way we wouldn’t have been able to with a 3rd person style.

And the same goes for Chase. He’s smoking hot, loyal and charming with just a dash of naivety. He’s got the abandonment issues of a kid in private school but it’s not made into some angsty, dramatic subplot (which I was so grateful for). From his perspective we can see how much he cares for Arianna, how protective he is of those he loves, and how completely smitten he is for this girl – even if it is presented in such an eye-rolling manner.

You’ll see a lot of the same notes in my Random Notes While Reading:

·  Chapter One: Trippy, dude, I like it.
·         Wait, what?
·         Such a random little quirk, I hope Sam’s name has meaning
·         Okay, I approve of it
·         Oh, you could just tell? (Note Sarcasm)
·         Dun, dun, dun
·         Why are there always three bitchy girls?
·         It’s always a delicate balance between welcome and stalking
·         Why don’t people have normal eyes in fiction?
·         Or is that a love struck symptom?
·         Nope. Just weird eyeballs all around
·         Really? It was that big a leap to figure out her power?
·         There’s a pause to describe the characters rather than the integration that keeps the narrative going
·         I picture Elder Samuels with a beard, stroking it every few minutes
·         Very subtle Kaleidoscope reference lol
·         Oh sweetie, you’re so naïve, it’s adorable
·         You’ve given no indication that this is anything but work and all of a sudden you have a feeling?
·         Keep it in your pants, Chase
·         Keep it in your pants, Ari
·         Not. Subtle. Elder Samuels
·         *cough* multiple personality disorder much, Charlotte?
·         Of course you’re falling for her
·         Clear Water Academy breeds hot stalkers; I’m conflicted
·         “written all over her words” is an odd choice of words
·         I think there was a smoother way for all this information to come out
·         Surprise, surprise
·         Actually purple can be a natural eye colour so…no, her eyes are not unnatural…
·         But also, why are you obsessing over them?
·         “Are you sure you’re human? Because your abs say otherwise.”
·         Oh we all know what that vision was, you little shipper
·         I like you, Jade
·         The narrative very much fits with what we know of Arianna
·         Chase is very honest; like he explains all the little details when he feels like sharing
·         He isn’t human
·         It’s official
·         Oh look, Ari has the condition too
·         Repeated exposition is repeated
·         Okay that was pretty damn cool
·         Oh Bianca, I like you already
·         I’m glad the guardians aren’t machines like I pictured
·         Oh come on, clueless, I know you’d never cheat (and you’re a guy) but seriously?
·         Wait? A book that actually deals with daddy issues instead of letting them stew or end in a blowout?
·         *hugs Brittany*
·         You’re a very perceptive, very sassy little girl, Jade
·         Did you just reenact that scene from Beauty and the Beast? *slow clap*
·         You two are so cute I want to puke
·         And that seems to be the consensus
·         They’re all so happy and adorable; shit is about to hit the fan, isn’t it?
·         Called it!
·         Not that thing
·         The other thing

There were all these little moments that made me squeal with glee: like the lack of father-son angst, despite the opportunity to do so; or the fact that it didn’t really end on a cliffhanger. The author just left all these questions on the table and walked away silently. And of course Book Two is already out so you don’t have to wait very long at all to find out what happens to the other members of the Triad.

Check out A Fighting Chance here

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