TOUCH by Prose Francine


Age Range: 14 & up
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After a trial living arrangement with her unstable mother and her mother’s self-obsessed boyfriend, ninth grader Maisie returns home to her father and their blended family—with new “gigantic mega-boobs.” She immediately notices differences in her best (and only) friends since preschool: an aloofness from Chris and Kevin and a budding physical relationship with Shakes (nicknamed for his disability). The tension among them comes to a head when the boys harass her and touch her breasts in the back of the school bus. The boys are telling one story; Maisie has several versions. All are true on some level, but Maisie must work through her trauma—of the incident itself, the loss of friendship and the heartaches of growing up—to determine which one is fact. Maisie’s role as a victim, her blame from the students and administration and her hypocritical stepmother’s ethics are rich fodder for discussion, but her plot-driven rehashing of the events turns the story into an “issue book” that fails to spark any emotional attachment in readers. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-137517-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2009