I picked this up after reading Tamara Rose Blodgett's fantastic review of the book. So glad I did. It was fabulous. From the first to last page I was sucked into Jenny's story.
Jenny is inflicted with a curse that causes people to break out into the plague whenever she touches them. I would love to say that she tries to lead a "normal" life but she doesn't. How could she even attempt to. She goes on because she knows her dad (her only family) needs her. Not only can she never touch anyone, she is tormented for her shyness and social awkwardness by an evil hag named Ashleigh Goodling. Ashleigh has her own power of touch and her boyfriend Seth can heal with his touch. When Jenny steals Seth from Ashleigh all hell breaks loose in thier small town.
What I loved:
Jenny- I see a lot myself in her. I was a completely shy socially awkward teenager. I endured my fair share of teasing for ridiculous reasons that I couldn't change. She is a character that I think alot of young and old girls (like me) can identify with.
Jenny and Seth have crazy chemistry. The scenes they are together are my favorite parts of the whole book.
Ashleigh- love to hate her. She was great and JL Bryan gave her alot of depth.
The ending was amazing. I thought I might just read this as a stand alone novel and pass on the rest of the series. Needless to say half way through this book I downloaded the other two on my kindle.
What I didn't:
I really don't have a lot that I didn't like about the book. Other reviewers have commented that it rings of CARRIE by Stephen King. I have never read the book or watched the movie so I can't really fault the book for that. I do know the general concept of CARRIE so I do see how people can see the similarities.
I think some readers will be put off by the back and forth chapters that are split between Ashleigh and Jenny. Often, time overlaps and you see the story from both sides. It could get confusing, I guess. I'm an old pro at this type of style. I've managed to make it through all of George RR Martins' Game Of Thrones series. The back and forth of characters and timelines is nothing compared to those books. Also don't let that comparison scare you off. Martin gives very tedious description of landscapes, food and goes off on tangents about rugs. No such problems in this book. Bryan flawlessly flows from character to character. It's really a beautifully executed book.
Really the book deserves FIVE freaking HUGE STARS.
This book is really intened for older YA readers. It has lots of sex, some violence and drug use. At the very least it needs to be read by a teen whose parents have taken the time to discuss these issues with them. I think there a lot of hot topics in this book and possibly reading this book with your teen might be a good way to bridge those topics.
*As Rhianon Frater points out JL Bryan does not endorse this book as a YA novel* That was my error and not his.