Review: Touched by Cyn Balog

By Cyn Balog
320 Pages
Published by Delacorte Press
Publication Date: August 14, 2012 (expected)
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads:

Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn’t? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over . . . and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn’t work.

But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something’s about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift . . . and there’s no way to stop things from happening. Or is there?

In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he’s about to discover–or the choice he will be forced to make. . .

I’ve never read anything by Cyn Balog, but when this popped up on NetGalley I requested it immediately. Why? Well for starters, the synopsis sounds awesome. Not only seeing, but being able to change the future…whether you want to or not? Every action you take causing a chain reaction that changes the course of your entire future? Such a cool premise. And the cover reminds me of the one for Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, which I liked a lot. So I wanted to give this one a shot.

Personally I can’t think of anything worse than being able to see my future, especially in the vivid detail that Nick sees his. To me, it’s worse to know than to not know. I mean sure, in some ways it would make life easier. You’d be able to see who you should or shouldn’t date based on how it would all turn out in the end. You’d know which college to apply to and which career path to focus on. You’d know if that guy you like was going to call you or not instead of wondering. But at the same time, you’d be seeing the bad with the good. Accidents you may have. When and how your loved ones will die. Even when and how you will die. Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t want to live always knowing what comes next. Part of the fun of life is wondering what’s around the corner. And in Nick’s case he can not only see his future, he can change it based on his actions if he doesn’t follow a “script” to the letter. For the most part, these changes aren’t necessarily a big deal for him. Almost every future he sees for himself is unhappy, lonely, bleak, drug addicted – a myriad of miserable things to look forward to. Then, one day, he finally sees a good future. One where he is happy and has a wife who loves him. But he veers off the script to save the life of a girl his age instead of the little girl he was supposed to save, and things start to spiral out of control. Not only does he lose his future would-be wife and kids, he starts seeing very dark things in the future.

Nick is an incredibly endearing guy. You really can’t help but feel for him. He’s been afflicted by his abilities since he was a kid, and they have set him apart as a weirdo. “Crazy Cross,” the other kids at school call him. He’s lonely and miserable and all he wants is to be normal, but he never stops hearing the script of his future in his head. As he unravels the mystery of why he is the way he is, you just feel so sorry for him.

I thought Touched was a really unique story. Maybe the idea of someone being able to see and change their future isn’t so unique, but the twists and turns that Balog adds to the story really set it apart for me. I was totally taken by surprise by a few events and revelations. I definitely found myself wondering what was going to come next.

Initially I didn’t really care for the ending of the book. I don’t want to say why because it might give away spoilers, I just didn’t feel like it fit with the tone of the book or something. But the more I thought about it after I finished reading, the more I liked it. It’s an ending that grew on me after I gave it a chance to settle in.

Touched is a well-written story with an interesting premise and lots of twists & bumps. It’s a fairly quick and easy read and perfect for summer, particularly since a lot of it takes place on the boardwalk & beaches of the Jersey Shore (no, there’s no Snooki).

4/5 Stars

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1 Comment

  1. This sounds really, really good. I wouldn’t want to see the future either. So scary, to consider all the possibilities. It seems to be well-written as well, so, bonus! I’ll definitely check Touched out. Thanks for a great review!


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