Touch by Jus Accardo
Series: Denazen #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: October 9, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages: 3598 (Location)
Source: Borrowed from Dark Angel Reader
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. (Summary from goodreads.com)
Let me tell you, this premise has been done before. Kale can't touch anyone unless he wants to turn them into tiny bits of ash. Anyone, that is, except for Dez. He can touch her all he wants, which he discovers when he tries to kill her because she has many ties to the program that has been using him as a weapon his entire life. Ties she didn't know existed. Then she discovers that there is this whole company dedicated to finding "gifted" people and using them for their own nasty devices. This has been done so many times before, so at first I was put off. But as I kept reading, it became about more than the plot. This book is about the tension, the action, the discoveries, and the characters.
I really loved Dez. She was an adrenalin junkie, tough to the core. She didn't take crap from anyone. Her voice was quickly defined and a whole lot of fun. She definitely feels real. She's got relationship issues of all sorts: dad, friend, romance. I instantly sympathized with her because her dad is such a douche. And Kale...what a hot mess--the good kind! It's impossible not to be entranced by his naivety, which is ironic, considering he has done some pretty unthinkable things like, you know, murder. But he's pretty tortured. Literally and emotionally. He didn't know that what he was doing was wrong, because he had been doing it his entire life. The losers at Denazen locked him up and forced him to do their bidding, along with tons of other Sixes (which is what the people with special gifts are).
The action in this book is super intense. There's some normal fighting, along with some kickass paranormal aspects. It was crazy. The romance is also yummy and made my stomach buzz. It's not insta-love, which is good. I mean, Kale tried to kill Dez. But aside from that it was really interesting to read about Dez teaching Kale how to do things and why people do them--like holding hands. There's a lot of sexual tension between them from the beginning and when they finally kiss the clouds opened up and golden light poured out and all I heard was, "HALLELUJAH HALLELUJAH!"
The writing was very crisp. It wasn't elaborate or winding with beautiful prose, but sometimes that's good. Accardo's words made me feel everything I talked about above in a deep, gut-punch way. The writing really helps you get immersed in the story and lose your surroundings.
All in all, this book rocked my socks off. If you don't want to read it, then I don't think you're human.