fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsA Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

Full disclosure: I didn’t finish this book. I didn’t even get that far in. But I’m a firm believer that life’s too short to read bad books. A Touch Mortal hit one of my biggest peeves about YA paranormal romance, and it hit it really quickly.

It starts out with what could be an interesting premise: teenage Eden is somehow slipping from the minds of everyone around her, and doesn’t know why her friends and family are ignoring her. She’s depressed about this and contemplating suicide when she meets two young men on the beach. One of them picks her up with some cheesy lines, and we’re off to the Insta-love Races.

In this case, it’s not even exactly insta-love, but love that is almost entirely developed offscreen. Eden and Az have one date, then the narrative jumps ahead two weeks for some reason, and now they’re in love. Eden is young and inexperienced, so I sort of expect her to assign a lot of importance to the relationship, no matter how brief.

But where Leah Clifford lost me was when Az wonders, “But what will happen to me if you don’t love me anymore?” This guy is an angel. He’s I don’t even know how old, but his world will fall apart if he loses this girl he’s been dating for two weeks. And we readers can’t even feel the intensity of this love, because it was developed during the time jump instead of where we could see it.

A Touch Mortal is just too melodramatic to me, with a lot of intense emotions being told to us but not really shown on the page enough to get me invested. On to the next book.

If you’re looking for a great YA novel about a girl who falls in love with an angel, might I recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor? It has all the emotion and supernatural mystery you could desire and is fantastically written.

Touch — (2011-2013) Publisher: Eden didn’t expect Az. Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings. Yeah. So long happily-ever-after. Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven. She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own. And that’s only the beginning of the end.

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  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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