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Touched by Cyn Balog


by Cyn Balog

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Surprisingly good. Sure, the way the story resolved itself could be pointed out as a sort of plot hole, but it happens so frequently in movies that this is excusable. ( )
  seekayou | Aug 20, 2013 |
4.5 stars!

I reviewed this book with Ana on The Book Hookup

***This book was provided by Net Galley but did not influence the review***

Our Review:

♥ How you felt at the end:
Ana: When I finished this book I felt like I’d been on a long journey. Not in a bad way at all…just in that way that makes you have to take a deep breath and stop to think about all that’s happened. This is an intense story, one that you have to commit to. You have to pay attention to what’s going on in order to keep things straight. But it’s definitely worth it.
Celeste: My husband and kids were next door at the neighbors, but I stayed home to finish this book. Then I ran over and told everyone in my immediate area, “I just finished such a good book!!!” Fabulous read. It was definitely emotional, thought provoking, fabulous. :)

♥ The story:
Ana: This was really different. The way in which Nick could see and almost interact with the future was fascinating. I must admit that at the very beginning I was a bit confused and it took a little bit of time for me to adjust to the way the story progressed, but once I was over that, I found the story to be well written and it captured both my attention and my heart. The premise that what you wish for in life may also be a curse is one we all know of…we’ve all heard the old saying “be careful what you wish for”. But to watch it play out in the lives of these characters was really intriguing.
Celeste: So different! I loved that it was from a male POV for the added bonus. Nick Cross can see into the future, but if he changes his actions he also changes the future. It is physically and emotionally draining, and he just wishes he were normal. I think I even felt exhausted from all his “cycling” and “You Wills”. All he wants is to have friends and dreams of even a girlfriend. It seems so out of reach until the day he is supposed to save a little girl’s life….but meets Taryn. Whether it was fate or coincidence, this meeting changed everything. Touched is such a great stand alone paranormal story with plenty of mystery, magic and romance.

♥ The characters:
Ana: I loved Nick’s tenacity. Faced with such an awful curse, to be able to see not only your future but that of those around you, he still managed to try to make his life as “normal” as possible. Although he had become a bit jaded by all he’d seen, he never stopped believing that he could make a difference. It broke my heart that he had to live his life as an outsider because of this ability and I wanted so badly for him to be happy. I loved Nan. Nick’s grandmother was such a strong lady who kept him grounded. Taryn holds the key to helping him figure out the what and why of his life and, although I wasn’t sure how to feel about her in the beginning, I grew to like her as well.
Celeste: Wow, such a change from the usual characters we get. Nick was a really good person, he was just cursed. It actually turned out that he was quite good looking, but looks were not a focus in this novel (and it was still THAT good!!). He was so lonely but still seemed to keep going, always wanting to do the right thing. His mother, who also was cursed, was weak. I had no respect for her. His Nan on the other hand, she never got a break or rest, or any thanks from her own daughter. She was so selfless. I loved Taryn from the beginning. She was totally beautiful, but again, it was not a focus. She too was looking for a real friendship. Then there were a few secondary characters, like Evan “Spinchter”. I loved Nick’s nickname for him. I also loved learning why he was the way he was.

♥ The relationships:
Ana: The relationship I loved the most was the one between Nick and his grandmother. She supported him unquestioningly and protected him in her own way. She was his rock and his home and what she ultimately does for him changes everything. I still don’t quite know what to feel about Nick’s mother. I can understand her and her behaviour in many ways but, at the same time, I didn’t like many of her decisions. I guess I’ve got a love/hate relationship with her at the moment. At first I found Taryn to be a flighty character whose intentions weren’t clear. But as the story progressed, I came to understand that she fought her own curse and how her life was intertwined with Nick’s in an undeniable way.
Celeste: I agree, Ana. Nick’s relationship with his Nan was the best. She was definitely his anchor. I also loved Nick and Taryn’s relationship. They were meant to be together, but neither seemed like they could believe it. They didn’t fall head over heels in love, they built up a trust and became friends with no agendas before anything else happened. I loved it.

♥ The end:
Ana: I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just say that I didn’t see it coming…and I liked it.
Celeste: WOW. I felt pretty moved by the ending. I had tears in my eyes at one point and was all, “no no no no no” and then of course I kept reading and was like, “what what what what what.” The author did a fabulous job and like Ana, I won’t say anything else except go read this book when it comes out, you won’t regret it! :) ( )
  celeste.harrington | Apr 30, 2013 |
This a a quick read about how when family makes choices it can effect future generations. The book also is about what it would be like to see the future and how each thing you do changes that future. ( )
  TeamDewey | Mar 4, 2013 |
Nick has memories of the future and they constantly are telling him exactly what to do. Every time he changes what he likes to think of as “the Script” something in his future changes too, usually for the worse. This time it all goes wrong when he saves Taryn from being hit by a truck. This makes him late to his lifeguard job and a little girl drowns. While horrible, this is how he meets Taryn and discovers that she too is unique. His future script stops playing, when he touches her .

Sadly, I think I’m going to give up on this author. I loved Fairy Tale and didn’t like Sleepless. I gave up on this one and that makes more dislikes than likes. This book was just so strange. I tried to go with it, but I just couldn’t. The writing style is really choppy because Nick’s future is constantly shifting. For a guy he spent a lot of time thinking about his life and future. Maybe that makes sense but it came across a little whinny and it was boring. Things hadn’t improved by the time he met Taryn, so I just gave up. ( )
  readr | Dec 4, 2012 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Touched started out promising, but the focus is all on Nick’s romance, and his voice sounds more like a whiny girl than a hero.

Opening Sentence: It had taken years, but finally, I had everything down.

The Review:

Nick’s mind is filled with memories — of things that haven’t happened yet. He calls them memories, but they’re really visions of his future. Every deviation from his script changes everything. He sees hundreds of different futures every time and has to pick the one he likes before he can even function. Because he always knows what’s about to happen, it’s pretty much impossible for him to be normal — he’s always this close to slipping up and talking about something that either never happened, or hasn’t happened yet. Which is why his classmates call him Crazy Cross.

Through his memories, Nick’s lived a lot of great, normal lives — a wife he adored (adores? Tenses are hard when discussing this book!), children, grandchildren. If he could just stay on the right script, he could have it all. Then enters Taryn. Beautiful and distracting, she takes him off course so far that every single future ahead of him leads to disaster. Taryn needs to find a way to break her family’s “curse” and, finding a kindred soul in Nick, wants his help to do it.

Really, really great premise, right? Except the moment Taryn steps on stage, the whole thing deviates and degenerates to revolve around her. If the book had been written from her POV, this wouldn’t be so bad. Which leads me to Nick — I couldn’t reconcile the narrator with a guy. Every time I reverted to thinking of him as a girl. A weak one, at that. It made it impossible for me to invest in his character.

I loved their family’s secrets, the ways they’ve changed the characters and how wrong the characters were about 1) the secrets and 2) their family. It made for both great plot development, but also added to the characters. Not enough to make me care about them, but the effort was definitely there. When Taryn reveals to Nick exactly where his powers come from, we learn how his curse ties him to her. I expected more characters or world-building to happen here, something to complicate what’s otherwise a straight-forward mystery.

Cyn Balog’s writing style isn’t anything special — which might have contributed to the less than dynamic narrative voice — though it does read easily. The conversation is stilted and the humor is super forced, but I bring all that back onto the characterization that lacks here. What I really liked about this novel was the premise, even if it didn’t manage to follow through. If you had a choice, would you want to know? To choose between futures is a burden, not a gift. And if you had one wish — would you regret what you wished for?

Notable Scene:

I shook my head. “I can only see my own future. And I don’t even see that very well. Like I said.”

“Oh.” She bit her lip, another one of the cutest little mannerisms I’d ever seen on a girl. “She’s not a fortune-teller, anyway. She’s a bibliomancer.”

“A what?”

“She can tell a person’s future by passages in certain books.”

“Passages in books? Sounds shady.”

“It’s an ancient practice,” Taryn said. “Dates back to medieval times, or so my grandmother says.”

I raised my eyebrows. “So, like, what does she do? Open a book and just tell a person’s future from it?”

FTC Advisory: Delacorte Press/Random House provided me with a copy of Touched. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Nov 8, 2012 |
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Nick is tormented by visions of "future memories," and although he can risk changing these events if he goes "off script," the results are often worse than what he has seen, but when he meets Taryn one summer at the Jersey shore he begins to understand where this hated power comes from and what it means.… (more)

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