Friday, October 21, 2011

Touch by Jus Accardo: Book Review

Title: Touch (Denazen No.1)
Author: Jus Accardo
Pages: 251
Published: October 9th, 2011 by Entangled Publishing
Summary:When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home. Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized. Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.
A secret Kale will kill to protect.

My Thoughts:

Disturbing and lovely, Touch by Jus Accardo will leave your heart pounding as the race to live begins. Jus Accardo's unique voice fights its way through the melee that is young adult fiction, braving the streets of fantasy and holding its own amongst the high rollers and big dreamers.

A novel that is real and rough as much as it is sweet and emotional, Touch is the story of a girl who wants nothing more than to piss off her father--an emotionally distant man who doesn't seem to care much about anything to do with her--and the boy who has just discovered there is more to life than captivity. Dez, our adrenaline junkie narrator, has no other goals than to have fun and tick off her father so that maybe, just maybe, he'd finally notice she was alive. But, on the way home from a party she crosses paths with a boy running from some men dressed in lycra. And while she ponders the hilarity of their suits, she also is more than keen to the fact that the boy, Kale, is running for more than just a game, he fears the men chasing him.

So, Dez decides to help Kale by hiding Kale and taking him home with her. Because what could upset daddy dearest more than a boy in the house with her in the wee hours of the morning? Except, Kale turns out to already know her father and the events that bring Kale and Dez together will teach Dez there is more to her fathers distance than she could have ever thought possible.

One of the reasons that I so enjoy young adult novels is because of their ability to portray periods of a persons life that it is their first time experiencing aka first loves, first loss, milestones and so on. There is just something about the firsts in life that amaze and enthrall me. Touch is the epitome of firsts. Kale, the boy who Dez finds has a gift. And while Kale doesn't find it so much a gift, he has the ability to kill with his touch. So, as you can imagine, Kale hasn't really been able to get close to anyone in that regard. He has never been able to touch anyone until he meets Dez.

Never, ever underestimate the power of human physical contact. Because while you can talk and flirt and discuss things of importance with someone, that first touch of skin--a finger grazing a hand, a hand caressing the length of a neck--there is this feeling of knowing that person in a completely different way. So, for Kale, that small little thing of being able to touch Dez, surmounts into something akin to a constant sizzle of energy, happiness and lust. Making almost every experience Kale has throughout the book a first for him and an epic win for me. Kale is innocent and sweet but on the other end, he has no problem killing if its something that need be done. He is amazingly layered and conflicted and I couldn't help but feel for everything he'd been through and everything he was going through.
I opened my mouth to tell him he didn't need to beg, that I wanted this as much as he did, but his actions stopped me. Lowering himself, he slid one arm under the hollow of my back, the other resting across my stomach. Reaching over, he grabbed my hand and laced his fingers with mind. As he nuzzled my stomach, a soft noise escaped his throat.

The wind outside picked up as Kale's breathing evened. I wrapped my arms around him and closed my eyes.

"I understand now, Dez," he whispered sleepily. "I understand the hand thing."
Dez, on the flip side, has done just about everything. On a path to be noticed, she is always out for the next adventure, but while she comes off as abrasive and crass quite often, she has this kind layer interwoven into her basic makeup. She may not have been a lab rat, but emotional heartache can cause its own kind of damage. Besides, Dez is more than just rebellious, she also just wants to be loved. Dez, for some may have been a difficult character to relate to, for me, she was perfect. She's lived a life for so long where emotions were a weakness that she couldn't afford. With a father who she could only disappoint, she grew a skin so thick that it seemed only adrenaline could penetrate. It's made her into a fighter and a girl who says what she thinks and does what she must to survive. Dez is strength. And while strength is important, it always has a weakness somewhere and that is what gives Dez her humanity.
I got to my feet and turned away. I didn't want Kale--or anyone for that matter--to see the tears trailing down my cheeks.

"How could he do this to her? To me?" I whirled around, voice uneven. Forget the tears--bring on the anger. "How could he lock her away and tell me she was dead! She's been there this whole time?"
A story that blind sighted me with its awesomeness, Touch was original and fun and undoubtedly its own kind of adrenaline rush. And while there are still quite a few unanswered questions, such as why is Dez the only one Kale can touch? Overall, it was some of the most fun I've had in ages. I recommend Touch to those who like Young Adult, X-Men, Fantasy type of books. Also, this book has a lot of swearing and some sexual content and I recommend it for older readers.

The Author

The Book

Buy Touch by Jus Accardo!

(Available in Paperback and Kindle)


  1. Oh FINE!!! I was really trying to wait until this came out in paperback- but I suppose I'll go get it for my Nook!!! Everyone I trust deeply is RAVING about this one, so I obviously need it immediately!

  2. Your review just made me cry a little...dead serious! You said everything that needed to be said about this book! I can't wait for book #2 and book #3 and supposedly we are going to get novellas!!! I'm really happy you picked that first quote! GAH!!! I'm still totally in love with this book and I wish I could read it again for the first time. I wonder if I could find a Six to erase some of my memory?!

  3. I so need to read this one. Oh and then you so sealed the deal with the X-men mention. I needs it NOW! Needs it I tells ya!! ;D

  4. @Ashley - Run! You won't regret it. :D

    @Jacinda - I know! I'm so excited to see what happens next. Although I'm a little baffled by the ending. I feel like a dunce because I don't get it (except she wasn't touching the flowers...I get that). But, yah, I read about the novellas on her site. YAY!

    @Melissa - Yes...yes you do. o_o It's totally XMEN. I so watched that movie last night, too. Could I just say that I want the Fass more than ANYTHING, now! :D Michael Fassbender, NOM NOM!

  5. Oh wow, I like the sound of that! I didn't give it much thought because the girl with attention issues seemed like it might be kind of annoying, but I trust you when you say she was likable. I also LOVE the sound of Kale. How sad it must be not to be able to touch anyone. And then to be able to touch a girl, well, I can see what you're saying about the importance of touch!

  6. This sounds AWESOME. The idea is original. Kale sounds broken and sexy at the same time. I'm going to steal this for one of my Reel Shelf booklist and putting this one on my tbr pile. Thanks for the rec, Jen!

  7. Great review! I really want to read this one, the idea of not being able to touch anyone is so interesting.

  8. I don't know...maybe when I feel like reading YA books again...the cover somehow puts me off and I don't know why. Your review was very emotional and lovely though, thanks!

  9. WOW! I'm really fascinated by the way the author seems to have portrayed the power of touch. Seems like she translated it well, especially after reading that first scene. Beautiful Review.

    P.S. Who would run away from men in Lycra? I guess they didn't look like Eric!

  10. MMMM- Lovely and disturbing, my two favorite things....

    Ive heard nothing but good things about this one, must TBR it now....:D

  11. Between you and Jacinda, you've made this book skyrocket to the top of my MUST READ list:) It sounds completely amazing and I love when a book your not expecting much from just blows you away. Win.

  12. I'm happy to head that this was such a good read. This is a really excellent review. I love the differences between Kale, who hasn't experience much and Dez who has experienced everything. Thanks so much!

  13. Great review. Thanks for posting this one.


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