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.Touch has a really good premise. I like the description, reading about the mystery of what happened that fateful day on the bus. But... the book fell flat for me. The description on the cover flap is the high point- the actual novel is more meh.
The writing is good. It sounds young, it's clipped with short sentences, but that's the point (I'm assuming). Maisie is, after all, only 14. She's not some wise-old adult. She doesn't have a mature voice, and that's fine. Although sometimes, Maisie would come to some revelation, and would try to be wise. I didn't think that really worked, but it was only a few times, so it wasn't too bad.
The characters aren't bad. But they're not all that interesting either. Maisie tries to be tough- and for the most part, she handles everything pretty well. But she's immature and tends to wallow in her pity. She's somewhat close-minded, as she can't seem to understand that her step-mother isn't really all that bad and actually is trying to help in her own way. (Or at least, I think so.) Maisie has 3 childhood friends, all boys. Two of them aren't very important and don't have any personality but that they can be rude and well, like young teenage boys. Shakes, on the other hand, is distinguished by the fact that he has some slight problems. He doesn't walk properly, he has to think before he speaks, he shakes and twitches, which is where his nickname came from.
The ending was a split between predictable and unexpected. Mostly predictable, although some things were a surprise. I guess though, that's life. The ending is realistic and resolved, but it doesn't feel complete. I was a bit put out at the ending. But then again, I had to force myself to finish this book. I feel like there was supposed to be this major twist- Maisie figuring out the truth- but it was so obvious it was coming, that I wasn't very interested or stunned.
Overall, Touch is decent. But it's by no means amazing. It's a tale of a girl who maybe something happened to on the back of a bus, and the discovery of figuring out the truth. Read if you find that you're interested in the description, but don't get your hopes up all that high, is what I say. The novel isn't nearly captivating enough to live up to the description.