Monday, September 10, 2012

Review of Touched by Cyn Balog

Title/Author: Touched by Cyn Balog
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte BFYR, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "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..."

Guys, I'm jumping on the whole Cyn Balog bandwagon here, because I really enjoyed Touched!! I'm ashamed to say that I'd never read anything by her before, even when I've had Sleepless sitting on my shelf for almost 2 years now.

It's not often you find a male narrator in YA these days, or it could be that I'm just not reading the right ones. And a male narrator done well? One that I can absolutely root for and feel connected with? I only come across those maybe once or twice a year. And Nick Cross is one of those for 2012.

I LOVED the voice Cyn Balog gave him and that while he had all this extra bagage and because of that seemed like an old soul, he was still very much also a teenage boy. With all the insecurities and hormones and basically just all boyness. And I loved it. It was amazing to get swept up in the struggles he faces because of his ability to see the future and girl trouble and family issues, but also the happy moments. It was SO good and I was completely hooked.

I loved this version of how seeing the future can impact your life! The script thing is insane and the whole cycling Nick goes through every time he goes off-script is mindboggling. Loosing futures like that would have a less strong person hide from the world. Which is exactly what his mother does.
Which is also something I struggled with throughout the novel: I had zero respect for his mother. She seemed so selfish and just made my skin crawl.
However, there was a bright point in Nick's family: his grandmother. That lady is one in a thousand and she brought a smile to my face so many times!

I also really enjoyed the interaction between Nick and Taryn and I actually believed the whole insta-love thing from his side of it. Because if you see a future together in your mind and know so much about someone from said flashes of the future, I can understand loving them pretty quickly.

So, you say, why does this novel not get the full five stars?

Well, there was just this little problem I had with the ending. The last two or three chapters felt like they could have been their own book. Or maybe should have been. At the end I was trying to figure out how Cyn Balog would wrap all of it up in a neat fashion. And the did wrap it up, there was just still some tape and sprinkles missing.
It felt a bit like a cop out. I don't want to spoil anything, but from the general feel of the book, I wouldn't have expected this ending, it didn't fit it in my opinion. It felt rushed and easy and it made me close my ereader with a frown instead of the smile I was envisioning the whole time.

But really, I'd still recommend this book, because it was pretty great! It had a wonderful MALE narrator that I could easily relate to, a VERY interesting magical system and just all around awesomeness. I'm just a bit bummed about the ending.

My rating: 4 stars

1 comment:

  1. I think I get what you mean about the cop-out ending (I felt that way with the ending of Jenny Han's summer series).

    But otherwise the book sounds like a lot of fun and I've actually read Cyn Balog before, now that I think about it. I Read Getting Caught which she co-wrote with Mandy Hubbard and it was a great book.