Review + Giveaway: Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Don't Touch
by Rachel M. Wilson
Series: None
Released on: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: Truly TOUCHing (Yes I know, I'm hilarious)
Reviewed by: Mel

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A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.

Books that deal with mental illnesses are hard to get right. Either they are completely unrealistic and overdone or they just show blatantly, how little the author knows about that mental illness. Don’t Touch, gets it right. Don’t Touch transcended my expectations and hit all the right notes.

Our main character, Caddie, suffers from OCD and anxiety. She made this game with herself that if she doesn’t touch anyone, her family will come back together, that nothing bad would happen. That her father will come back to her mother and her brother and herself. So the game goes on. Don’t touch. And then the game gets in the way of her goal to become an actress. She wants to be Ophelia in the school production of Hamlet, but she can’t play the part if she can’t touch anyone.
I’m all covered up, but our cheeks might touch, our hands brush, and that’s not allowed.
Caddie’s such a realistic character. She is at war with herself and this game of her’s that has been going on for years. She wears gloves to school, long sleeves. All covered up so no skin shows. So no one can touch her. I felt a strong connection with Caddie because she was thoroughly developed and I was seriously freaking out and stressing with Caddie about her anxiety and don’t touch mantra. I actually did tear up around ¾ of the way in because damn, I felt so sorry for her. Moreover, I loved Caddie’s growth as a character. Throughout the novel, just watching her battle with her mental illness was truly spectacular and moving. I was rooting for her at every page.

I think what makes this book special is how the author doesn’t forget to make the secondary characters shine just as bright as Caddie. Mandy used to be really close with Caddie during primary school, but they drifted apart after Caddie got weird. But now, Mandy comes back really enthusiastic and nice. I adored her vibrant nature and how kind she was to Caddie despite her odd behaviour. As for Mandy’s friends that welcomed Caddie with equal amounts of openness—I loved them all. Oscar could always leave a grin on my face with his arrogant but humourous remarks, and that hug at the end! T’was so sweet. Peter, of course, was the best. He was so sweet and honest to Caddie. Their romance is a slow one—the type I love—and *fangirls* ALL THE SQUEALS. He’s also rather flawed and has a tough and touchy history and it was nice to delve deeper into that.

I have never been a fan of Shakespeare, but after reading this, I am really excited about picking up Hamlet. I loved how the play was incorporated into this novel—not just for the purpose of it being a play that Caddie wants to audition for—but also because how it draws parallels with the characters in this debut. Ophelia and Caddie actually have a lot in common as it turns out, and the play is also used well as something that helps Caddie through her journey to battle her demons.

Don’t Touch is a riveting novel that I devoured in no time. It’s powerful plot line and fantastically drawn characters just make it even better. I haven’t read anything like this and I seriously don’t think any other mental illness book can top this. Highly recommended!

Because I loved this book so much, Finding Bliss in Books is offering one hardback copy


1. No cheating. Duplicate entries will be removed and you will be disqualified.
2. This giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.
3. Finding Bliss in Books is not responsible for any lost items.


  1. I adore contemporary books, especially if their more serious. I also want to see the connection with Shakespeare.

  2. i love the blurbs and the cover
    thx u for the chance..

  3. I really love the sound of this book especially with how it deals with anxiety, something that affects our society today. Great review hun, glad to hear the secondary characters are awesome too!

  4. Oh man, I really enjoyed this book too! The speed of the romance was just perfect- nice and slow, just as you'd expect when one of the members of the relationship has difficulty touching others.
    Also- Hamlet is really good! Definitely worth reading :D

  5. Awesome review Mel! This sounds like a really interesting read with a unique concept and complex protagonist. Mental illness in YA is always a sensitive issue, but in this case it sounds like it is portrayed accurately and realistically. The cover definitely pulls you in, and I'd love the chance to read this :)

  6. Ohhh wow this sounds so interestingg. Eeek! Nice review! The giveaway looks awesome :D

  7. Sounds unique,interesting,I would love to read this book!
    Thanks for the great review and giveaway :)

  8. I read this book a few months ago, and I absolutely loved it! I would love to win a hardcover copy :)

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  9. I'm always up for reading a book that deals with difficult topics. I find it fascinating to read about things that other people are going through that I don't know much about. But like you've said, a lot of times they can be hit or miss.

  10. The blurb sounds really interesting, thank you for the chance to win this :)

  11. I have a slight OCD as well. I am very curious how this is written.

  12. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE that it deals with a different type of OCD - and that it's about her growing, finding her passion and finding courage to deal with her illness in order to get the life she wants.

    LOVE that there's theater involved in the plot!

    thank you :)

  13. What a fantastic review, Mel! I love how the author greatly handled the mental illness aspect as well as having secondary characters that are as strong as the MC. I would definitely check this out after reading your review! (:

  14. I think that this sounds very interesting! Thanks for the honest review and giveaway!

  15. It sounds really interesting. I'm not that familiar with OCD and all its manifestations so I could use some education. Thanks.

    BTW, I screwed up in the Rafflecopter and pasted the wrong thing where the tweet URL should be on 8/25/2014. The actual tweet URL is:

  16. For fans of Laurie Halse Anderson? Oh, golly, Mel, how did you know I am a HUGE fan of hers? I've gotten an ARC of this one too, and I'm going to head onto it immediately! I've never been quite a fan of Shakespeare either, but I love the way his works is incorporated with this novel. Thank you for this gorgeous review, I'm intrigued!

  17. Books about people dealing with mental illness and life always intrigue and inspire me, and this book has not only this but also Shakespeare? Sounds great! :D

  18. I would love to read this because the plot and cover definitely caught my attention! I thought about a story where a girl doesn't want to be touched, and it's come to life :D so yeah, I definitely want to read this!

  19. Wow this review makes me very curious, I really want to read this book, it seems so interesting!

  20. i would like to win as it seems to have unique story!

  21. i really want to win this it seems interesting

  22. I'd really like to read this.. I've read very positive reviews :)

  23. I've never heard of anything like this, and it sounds so good! I'm not a huge fan of Shakespeare either but I'm curious to see how everything ties together. I'm glad to see that you liked it!


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