Sunday, August 22, 2010

Touch by Francine Prose

Published: June 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 272
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads


What really happened at the back of the bus?

Did they, or didn't they?
Did she, or didn't she?

Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes news. With just a few words and a touch, the kids and their community are changed forever.

From nationally acclaimed author Francine Prose comes an unforgettable story about the difficulties of telling the truth, the consequences of lying, and the most dangerous twist of all—the possibility that you yourself will come to believe something that you know isn't true.

This was a short book to read and may be a good one for an ISU project, especialy for someone who is a reluctant reader. Maisie is a girl who becomes isolated from the rest of her schoolmates when an incident occurs on the bus. While reading this story, I could really feel for this poor girl. Not only was she going through some real-life physicaly changes with her body but emotional ones as well. All of of her life she had been 'one of the guys'. From childhood, it was her and three other boys. When you are young, it does not matter if your friends are girls or boys, they are just friends. Maisie moves away for a year, develops breasts and BOOM! She is from another planet. It is bad enough that she is not comfortable with her own body yet but now the relationships she had as a child have also developed and changed. This story is about finding a way to be comfortable with yourself and finding a way to speak up. I was sad for her to see her friendships change so drastically but I never really felt like I was 'in her shoes'. The character didn't draw me in as emotionally as other books have.

Maisie did what many people do. In a panic and highly-charged emotional situation, it is hard to recall what is real and what is imagined. When something terrible happens, it is easier for you to become detached from what is going on. Right up until the end of the book I was questioning -

Did they? Didn't they?
Did she? Didn't she?

I love it when books still make you question what is happening right until the end. Even though I didn't feel like I connected with Maisie (except for feeling sorry for her), I still found it to be a quick, satifying read.

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