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A Touch Mortal
     

A Touch Mortal

3.9 53
by Leah Clifford
 

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Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All

Overview

Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

And that's only the beginning of the end.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Clifford's cryptic first novel, Eden, depressed on a Jersey beach and contemplating suicide, is swept off her feet by a captivating stranger, Az, and his friend Gabriel, who are really angels. Gabe soon learns from "Upstairs" that Eden is destined to kill herself; meanwhile, her love for Az makes her a target for the Fallen, so Az and Gabe hasten Eden's suicide, in order to protect her. The plan succeeds, and Eden becomes a "Sider," one of a legion of immortally undead teens on the streets of New York. Eden has the additional "talent" of annihilating Siders who tire of their existence, which makes her a veritable rock star in the community—but loathed by the Fallen. Clifford matches the dark subject matter with a lugubrious tone, peppered with dry wit, as the gothic misfits navigate their purgatory. Though the almost casual treatment of suicide—and its portrayal as an act of true love—is questionable, Clifford's target audience (and readers who take an imaginative interest in representations of the afterlife) are likely to interpret Eden's death as a symbolic act of transformation, rather than of self-destruction. Ages 14-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Dana Benge
Troubled teen Eden falls for Az not knowing he's a fallen angel. Az, to protect her from the evil fallen angel, Luke, who tortures mortals like kids play with puppies, orchestrates Eden's suicide by feigning his own. Caught somewhere between life and death, Heaven and Hell, Eden is thrust into an entirely different world that she learns to navigate until the final confrontation between Luke, Eden, and Az changes Eden's world once again. This debut novel about the eternal struggle between good and evil had potential but the rushed, choppy, and at times nonexistent transitions leave the reader struggling to understand the direction of the plot much less the deeper spiritual implications that the author only hinted at. Events happen with a randomness that leaves the reader confused, and there is a lack of strong cause/effect relationships giving the feeling that the author rushed through the writing. There are flashes of strong if somewhat inconsistent characterization and realistic dialogue, but even these aren't enough to make the reader care about the characters or to pull the dangling plot strands together to form a coherent narrative. Reviewer: Dana Benge
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Riddled with manipulations, betrayals, and secrets, this tale begins at the Jersey shore where high school senior Eden meets and (exasperatingly) immediately connects with Az when moments before she'd been contemplating suicide. Az, a half-fallen angel, and his friend Gabe, an angel currently Bound to Upstairs, discover that Eden is pathless and is apparently destined to commit suicide. She'll become a Sider, a supposedly immortal being kept secret from Upstairs who passes Touch (a sort of chaotic virus that hinders inhibitions and pushes mortals over the emotional edge). When the Fallen take a special interest in Eden, an unthinkable betrayal with far-reaching consequences leaves her with unheard of power. Foreshadowing and dialogue herald impending doom. The uneven pacing that denies the leads (and readers) a chance to get to know one another at the novel's beginning picks up in its final (and better) third, offering interesting twists and a movielike climax with sequel-justifying loose ends. Peripheral characters steal the spotlight, namely Gabe and caustic, loyal, and a little crazy Kristen, who runs a Bronx enclave of Siders and poaches clothing from the deceased. In this genre, Clifford's use of suicide as a plot device feels uncomfortable. While there is some nice descriptive prose, the dark subject matter and language make this an additional purchase for public libraries where mature teens are looking for the next paranormal read to check off their lists.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

An otherwise intriguing twist on the paranormal is let down by forced melodrama and inexplicable secrets. Goth girl Eden—ignored by her mother, forgotten by her friends— is contemplating suicide when she meets the boy of her dreams. Luscious Az makes life worth living, and Eden spends an idyllic summer with Az and his gay best friend, Gabriel. Unbeknownst to Eden, Az is an angel, or at least used to be one. Now he's half-Fallen, caught between heaven and hell, holding onto Upstairs through painful effort and the assistance of the still-holy Gabriel. Az's enemy, Luke (three guesses as to his true identity), wants to drag Az fully into the ranks of the Fallen, and he will surely torture Eden if he finds her. But Eden's no ordinary girl. After an apparent tragedy breaks her spirit, Eden becomes a Sider, an undead suicide non-survivor, wandering the boroughs of New York in Goth finery. She makes both friends and enemies among the Siders (although the motivation of both is thoroughly unclear) and gains notoriety as a sort of afterlife Jack Kevorkian, helping failed teen suicides to a more successful death. Eden struggles to survive with the help of her potty-mouthed celestial posse. Those enamored enough of troubled-but-cute heroes won't mind the chaotic prose, plot holes and unlikable side characters—and will be thrilled by the setup for volume two. (Fantasy. YA)

Kirkus Reviews

An otherwise intriguing twist on the paranormal is let down by forced melodrama and inexplicable secrets. Goth girl Eden—ignored by her mother, forgotten by her friends— is contemplating suicide when she meets the boy of her dreams. Luscious Az makes life worth living, and Eden spends an idyllic summer with Az and his gay best friend, Gabriel. Unbeknownst to Eden, Az is an angel, or at least used to be one. Now he's half-Fallen, caught between heaven and hell, holding onto Upstairs through painful effort and the assistance of the still-holy Gabriel. Az's enemy, Luke (three guesses as to his true identity), wants to drag Az fully into the ranks of the Fallen, and he will surely torture Eden if he finds her. But Eden's no ordinary girl. After an apparent tragedy breaks her spirit, Eden becomes a Sider, an undead suicide non-survivor, wandering the boroughs of New York in Goth finery. She makes both friends and enemies among the Siders (although the motivation of both is thoroughly unclear) and gains notoriety as a sort of afterlife Jack Kevorkian, helping failed teen suicides to a more successful death. Eden struggles to survive with the help of her potty-mouthed celestial posse. Those enamored enough of troubled-but-cute heroes won't mind the chaotic prose, plot holes and unlikable side characters—and will be thrilled by the setup for volume two. (Fantasy. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062004994
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/22/2011
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Meet the Author

Leah Clifford is the author of A Touch Mortal and A Touch Morbid. She was also an extreme-cave-tour guide, a pizza delivery girl, a waitress, and a grocery store clerk before becoming a full-time writer. She lives near Cleveland, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Touch Mortal 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
A_Good_Addiction More than 1 year ago
Eden is snarky and spunky, able to handle herself in an array of situations, and both relatable and likable from the start. When Az first comes walking up, right on page one, her reaction to him is amusing and starts pulling the reader in right away. Clifford doesn't bother with unnecessary build up in their forming relationship, shifting quickly to the root of their relationship and the launching point of the story itself. Eden's quips provide plenty of humor and build her character, and the reader sees several different sides of her as the story progresses, not all of them flattering. Despite the large number of important characters, the personalities are all distinct enough to keep the characters straight and introduced in a staggered manner to keep there from being an information overload. There is strong character development throughout, many coming full circle and showing several sides, all handled amazingly well. There are some gritty undercurrents to this book, with an overall darker and sad air, but several huge points of deeper meaning. Some are given in a subtle manner and others more straightforward, but the thought and reason Clifford put into things is very clear and worthy of praise. There is a big air of suicide in this book, stemming from what happens to people who commit suicide in the world Clifford has built. Clifford has done something different with suicides in her world, and handled it gracefully without glorifying the act. The different angles and views even within the world and characters are presented throughout the book, from reasons that seemed important when someone committed the act to later realizing maybe it wasn't so great. I truly appreciated the way all this was handled and explained, without sugarcoating. The aftermath is handled in a different but well done way, and even the way one person can be the only reason someone doesn't fall into the temptation is presented in such an unflinching manner. The ties to real life, particularly the innumerable views, beliefs and mindsets about suicides, are perhaps one of the reasons I felt so much for and with this book. Clifford has blended the fantasy with the real in a very smooth fashion, and there are huge connections and implications into every day experiences and life, coming from different sides, that will give something for most every kind of reader. Even with the gritty notes and the honest and unadulterated look into the deeper parts of everyone, Clifford handles it gracefully and inoffensively. The overall plot is brilliant, and steadily builds with subtle hints to the future and deep intricacies, leading to an explosive, lengthy climax that keeps things moving at a deliciously rapid pace for the last hundred pages or so of the book. The final build up is well worth it, with many completely unexpected twists and turns and shocking truths throw out of nowhere. Even with the strong plot, there is also a constant focus on the characters and their development and reactions, and these two aspects are handled and blended strongly and nearly flawlessly.
Edyaline More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. The plot was very intresting; unlike any other angel type book I've ever read. Definitly worth your time! :)
Devyn__Burton More than 1 year ago
I have deep interests in ghosts, the afterlife and angels. It's not easy to pick up a YA book that can easily feel that need of mine. I really wasn't expecting much when picking up A Touch Mortal. I was terribly excited about the concept but wasn't sure anyone could pull off something original, something to make my gears turn again. I had never finished a book based on the afterlife, I was looking for something to change that. The book had a bumpy start; I'm not going to lie. I remember thinking "Oh God, not another love story." But I kept pushing myself through the book, by the third chapter I was completely sucked into this new world. A world full of Touch, Siders, The Fallen-a world that is so much more than 'just an angel book.' The book kept me thinking "What next?" which in turn kept me turning pages. Clifford gives the reader several pieces of the massive plot puzzle and slowly puts the pieces together around the middle marking point of the book I was very pleased with this book. It was nice to pick up a book with twists and turns that actually took you by surprise. It was a beautiful debut novel. I can't wait for the sequel. A Touch Mortal isn't a small book, it's a book you want to dedicate a book to because I assure you won't want to put it down!
ReadingAngel002 More than 1 year ago
Wow. I'm trying to think of how to write this review, and that is all that comes to my head, just wow! This book was so intense, so crazy, so exciting. I flew through this book in record time and it left me dying for more! This is not just another angel book. This is a whole new paranormal type that is in a league of it's own. I don't want to spoil anything, so I can't tell you what our new paranormal is, but I absolutely loved it. Eden is a great lead female. She was so strong, and so smart. There was a great tete a tete that went on between her and another character throughout where one would say a qoute from a poem, and the other would guess who wrote it. I loved trying to see if I could figure it out as well. (They are so much smarter than me....lol). Eden was deterinded and independent, but also knew when to lean on others to make herself stronger. Our male leads in this book were great as well, although my favorite guy wasn't even the love interest! They were so smart and sexy. They were also completely mysterious and kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what had actually happened and what might happen next. This book had a really dark feel to it, but it wasn't heavy or hard to read. I loved the dark and crazy feel. The ending was amazing! I loved that a lot of the threads were wrapped up, but I was left hanging on the edge of the cliff, dying for more. The ending was so shocking that I'm still reeling from it! This book releases tomorrow and I'm telling you all that you NEED to go and get a copy now!!! You won't regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I just have the sample but it's confusing can't really keep the characters sperate. It sounds cool but it's too confusing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trust me i put this book down after abot 20 pages i couldnt follow along and was confused as to what was happening but then a few days later i picked it back up and got to the better part and it was way better and easier to undersatnd so trusr me keep reading it will get better ..... hopefully
Sumiiruka More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down once I started. Makes me think of all the things that are really out there, and we might never find out. Grab hold of your seats, and make yourselves comfortable my friends because this is one ride that will keep you coming back for more. I can't wait for the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a good book. It sounds like it may be like others dealing with angels/fallen angels but it's not. Just wasn't what I was really expecting as I read further along. I believe others will find it very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I may have to read this, just because the main character and I have the same first name. Will review when I finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was pretty awesome! Cant wait to finish the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a total sexy read if you have read it it starts out with a girl who honestly feels like crap turn out to have he worst life ever her hole world has been turned upside down she was forced to kill her self so one of the bounded luke did not end up ripping herto sherds to get az another thing is that nobody remembers who she is th only peole that knpw who she is are az gabe and herself . tthe cool thing i the way the siders atay alive is that tey give humans stuff called th touch it comes othe tips of there fingerd she meets new pwople like kirsten and adam lilly jared and many ohers .this is the life of eden
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont read it I could't get into it and like the other posters said.......DONT WASTE YOUR TIME IT SUCKS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poorwriting and unbelievable, confusing terms. Very disapointing to pay for and not like
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BookPortrait More than 1 year ago
When I read that stories are about angels and/or fallen angels, I tend to think that the story is going to follow a fairly familiar pattern. A Touch Mortal was definitely something different and gave more complexity to the age-old good vs. evil battle. Eden's life isn't what she would call happy. It seems as though she's becoming more and more invisible to everyone around her, and she's struggling to find something to live for. Then she meets Az and Gabe. There's something different about them, but she can't quite place it. Against her better judgement, she goes to dinner with Az. Two weeks later their relationship has become very involved, but Az knows this can't happen. To protect Eden, Az does the unthinkable... Eden is suddenly plunged into an unknown world, one of good and bad angels (Bound and Fallen) and Siders, other people like her. As Eden spends more time in this new world, she finds herself at the center of an old battle, unsure of whom she can trust with her life...or her heart. A Touch Mortal is a new take on an angel story, one with a much darker edge. I enjoyed the inventiveness of this story as well as the gradual transformations of Eden and Gabe. They both grew stronger throughout the book, proving that what is expected is not always what's right or what will happen. I also especially liked Kristen's character and her poetry quotations. Her interesting shopping habits and her snappy dialogue with Eden added yet another dimension to the book. The suspense of what side would win built throughout the book, and I was kept guessing until the end about what exactly would happen and what the truth behind everything was. However, I did have a few problems with this novel. I felt as though it was missing some important connections and explanations, causing the world-building to feel incomplete. While the story is worth deciphering things, there were several scenes that still left me confused. It is worth noting that there are several mentions of suicide in the book, and while the the subject is not explored, it is not treated lightly either. Finally, there are two time skips in this book, but rather than hurt the story, they actually move it forward. With interesting characters and an even more intriguing world, A Touch Mortal is the first book of what promises to be a good trilogy. I'll be looking forward to reading A Touch Morbid!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NookBookMommy More than 1 year ago
This is seriously one of the worst books I've read... As previous posts have mentioned, every other word is the F bomb. I'm all for the occasional curse word for punch, but this book was ridiculous with how many words were used, and at inappropriate times. Some of the characters are supposed to be angels and even they're cussing. Not appropriate. I could not get into the plot at all. And I really tried. I read almost half before I gave up. I never give up, but between the same recurring events (Touching people over and over) and having to re-read things to understand them (like Siders, etc.), I couldn't continue. I hated Eden's character from the beginning and I was hoping she would change. Instead, I changed my book to a new one. If you are looking for a great read, this read is not it.
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