Remy O’Malley heals people with touch — but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.
Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her — if Asher doesn’t kill her first.
This is Book One in the Touched trilogy.
Living with an abusive stepfather is awful. With a mother who keeps begging her not to report the abuse to the authority, Remy feels betrayed, hurt and unloved. When her biological father decides to step in and take her away from the abusive household, Remy is unsure of whether she truly deserves to have a fresh start. People from her new school seem nice. Her stepmother and half-sister are kind and supportive but for some reason she can’t explain, Remy feels like she is being watched. Is she just being paranoid or is there something really wrong happening?
Although Remy has gone through a lot of pain and tough situation, I like that she is a fighter. She never expects others to take care of her and she is always looking for ways to help herself become stronger. With a healing ability that somewhat fascinates and infuriates her abusive stepfather, Remy chooses not to heal herself rapidly, hoping that her stepfather would leave her alone and stop coming up with new ways to torture her. It’s really sad for me to see how much pain Remy has to go through and I question why her mother never does anything to protect her. Because Remy can’t rely on her mother to save her, she stops trusting people. And when she learns that her biological father never means to abandon her, she has a hard time sorting through her feelings for her mother. I too have a hard time seeing why a mother would choose to put her daughter in harm’s way, and even though her mother is also a victim of abuse, I don’t feel like I have much sympathy for her.
While some Protectors hunt Healers out of cruelty, fear and hatred, not every Protector feels the same degree of animosity towards Healers. Although the story behind why the Protectors started a war against the Healers sounds kinda plain, I like the idea of how the sense of touch is lost when a Protector kills a Healer. I guess being immortal without the ability to feel sensual is quite an awful punishment but if you ask me whether or not the Healers deserved to die, my answer is a definite no. It’s morally unjust to end a human life through killing, don’t you think?
Asher and Remy form an interesting pair. Being a Protector, Asher bears the instinct to protect. Even after he becomes immortal and craves to drain the power of a Healer to temporarily feel human senses, I like that he chooses not to give in to his craving. When Asher becomes aware of his duty to protect Remy, he chooses to fulfill his role instead of walking away. It’s surely not an easy path for Asher but I like that he values the preciousness of innocent human lives. I also like that Remy doesn’t fall head over heels for Asher right away. The spark of romance doesn’t seem forced and while they feel mutually attracted to one another, I like that there isn’t any rush in making them become a couple. It’s pleasant to watch them gradually get to know one another and open up to accepting and trusting each other. I like that the relationship is romantic but not cheesy.
What I find quite interesting is that in a way, reading Touched is like watching how the question of “who protects whom” is being played over and over:
- Are adults supposed to be protecting their children?
- Does the role of a father involves protecting and offering shelter for his child?
- Can a daughter be demanded to save her mother?
- Can the authority really protect the lives of the innocence?
I guess the theme of “who protects whom” will continue to play a part throughout the trilogy, but what really lingers in my mind after finishing the book is whether it’s an act of self-defense or murder when a victim gets so angry that he or she aims to kill the abuser in order to stop the pain. I don’t think I have an easy answer to that but I appreciate the way how Jackson approaches the topic in the story.
If you ask me how I think of the book, I’d say Touched surprised me.
With a pretty cover, I sort of assumed Touched would be a light read with a somewhat steamy romance. What I didn’t expect was how much time I spent pondering on issues like morality, ethics and values after reading the book. I literally spent hours thinking before turning on my computer to write this review. Who would have thought?!
Although this is the first time I read a book by Corrine Jackson, I don’t think it will be my last. I like her writing style and I really like the way how she doesn’t shy away from approaching tough topics through putting her characters in rough situations and gruesome conditions.
I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading the next installment of this series.