Summary:Caddie has a history of magical thinking—of playing games in her head to cope with her surroundings—but it's never been this bad before.
When her parents split up, Don't touch becomes Caddie's mantra. Maybe if she keeps from touching another person's skin, Dad will come home. She knows it doesn't make sense, but her games have never been logical. Soon, despite Alabama's humidity, she's covering every inch of her skin and wearing evening gloves to school.
And that's where things get tricky. Even though Caddie's the new girl, it's hard to pass off her compulsions as artistic quirks. Friends notice things. Her drama class is all about interacting with her scene partners, especially Peter, who's auditioning for the role of Hamlet. Caddie desperately wants to play Ophelia, but if she does, she'll have to touch Peter . . . and kiss 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.
Powerful and gripping, Don’t Touch was virtually a favorite of mine simply from the concept itself as it follows two things that I find fascinating: theatre and psychology. Luckily, the execution itself is just as well-done as the synopsis, and Rachel M. Wilson creates a story that both lingers and provokes thought.
Ever since her parents divorced, Caddie has been afraid of being touched or touching someone else; believing that if she does, something horrible will happen to her family.
Don’t touch protects me from pain. Like an overzealous bodyguard whose last client died shaking hands. There are so many things in the world that can make you hurt, and people – people do it best. If I can’t touch them, they can’t hurt me.
But when Caddie signs up for drama class, she realizes that if she wants to play the role of Ophelia, she’ll have to touch Peter, who is auditioning for Hamlet. Part of her would like nothing better than to touch him, but the other side of her just can’t ignore the consequences of what might happen if she does…
Caddie herself is a wonderful character that you can’t help but sympathize for. Her fear is illogical and nonsensical to us, and there are times when you will admittedly just want to kick her for not being able to see the obvious. But, mostly, you’ll feel sorry for how badly she’s been blinded by this fear; and you’ll find yourself rooting for her to overcome it step by step.
The supporting characters are impressively developed as well. From Caddie’s fabulous group of friends that take her for who she is, to her parents, to her younger brother – the development in them is not lacking one bit. They each have their own distinct personalities and backstories that make them incredible and intriguing in their own rights; and it just makes the story that much more vibrant and intriguing.
The romance is a big part of the story here, and, in my opinion, it absolutely delivered. The romance between Caddie and Peter is slow-burning, but once it hits, it doesn’t stop coming. The chemistry between the two is absolutely fantastic, and I found Peter to be a fabulous and supportive love interest that complimented Caddie perfectly.
Few authors in the YA genre have the guts to write about a topic as personal and as distinct as OCD, but I found that Rachel M. Wilson handled it absolutely wonderfully. You really get a hand’s on look at what it’s like for people who have to live with this condition on an everyday basis, and it really gets you thinking.
I cannot recommend this enough – especially to those who suffer from anxiety or OCD themselves. This really changes your outlook on what these individuals have to go through, and you’ll find Caddie’s journey both inspiring and thought-provoking.
People talk about stage fright, but life is what’s scary. In a play, you know where to stand, what to say, and the ending’s already been written. I’ve played crazy characters, emotional wrecks, but no one of them ever stopped breathing.