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4.0 11
by Cyn Balog

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Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn't? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over . . . and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn't work.

But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something's about to happen that Nick never could have


Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn't? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over . . . and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn't work.

But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something's about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift . . . and there's no way to stop things from happening. Or is there?

In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he's about to discover--or the choice he will be forced to make. . . .

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Nick Cross hears a voice in the back of his mind that tells him his future. That's how he knows he's going to save little Emma Reese from drowning, just as soon as he gets back to the lifeguard stand. Running behind, he impulsively stops to save another teen from getting hit by a truck, and that one decision changes the course on which he thought he was headed. Now his future is thrown out of sync. As Nick tries to pull everything back on track by alternating between following "the script" and veering off it, nothing happens the way he wants. The only thing that he's sure about is that he needs to stay away from Taryn, the girl whose life he saved. Teens will enjoy the fantasy element of Nick's gift/curse while struggling with him to learn the origins of it. Nick narrates his story, so readers are pulled in with what he's told to do (the voice appears in italics) and what he really does. As he learns more about his past and his ability, readers go along for the ride. A few twists and turns help keep the plot moving, along with Nick and Taryn's friendship.—Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, IL
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
I have never read a book written by this author, so I did not know what to expect. I was absolutely astounded at how quickly I was caught up in this in the story and had no intention of putting the book down until I finished it. The first three sentences go like this, "It had taken years, but finally, I had everything down. Perfect. For three months, everything had been perfect. But of course I went and screwed it up." Nick is an odd character and just about everyone in the town think he is crazy. He can actually see into the future. He can see both very simple things and very important things and tries to live his life according to what he knows and he never varies from the "script." However, when he follows his heart and deviates from the script in order to save Taryn from being hit by a car, his life and future change. When Taryn lived, another person died by drowning and Nick never got over guilt as it was his choice to go off script. I really liked this book, but I will admit that in some places it was difficult to understand exactly what was going on. This is a very different type of book and one that should be read for fun and enjoyment. The characters were well portrayed and interesting. It moves along and I really wanted to find out how it was going to end. I was satisfied with the ending and continued to think about it long after finishing the book. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
VOYA - Summer Hayes
The voice has been in Nick Cross's head for as long as he can remember. Relentless and insistent, it directs every one of Nick's actions in a domino-like sequence of events that he can see stretching out into his future until his eventual death. Everything is fine as long as Nick follows the script running through his head, but the minute he deviates from it, a million possible futures start crowding his mind. When he makes a split-second decision to save a girl's life, another is lost in the process, and everything is suddenly thrown into uncertainty. A growing relationship with Taryn, the girl saved by Nick, brings a welcome distraction, but he soon learns that her family's secrets are firmly bound up with his own and he may not like the answers she has for his questions. Free will and the butterfly effect—two theories with perennial appeal to teens—are woven together in this ambitious novel that examines choice and action. The engaging premise and brisk pacing should be enough to hook readers, but Balog struggles technically with rough transitions, convenient plot devices, and some murky passages. Nick and Taryn are sympathetic, if not wholly compelling, characters, although it is not clear why they find each other so attractive. More philosophical readers may be disappointed with the tidy ending, but there is plenty here for teens to ponder and discuss. Reviewer: Summer Hayes
Kirkus Reviews
Every thought, every action has a consequence, and one unscripted moment can change everything. For a record three months, 17-year-old Nick Cross has carefully listened to the unrelenting voices in his head as they lead him toward a future he desperately wants. But when Nick ultimately chooses to ignore the "You Wills" that tell him to save the life of a beautiful stranger, the result is devastating. Nick's ability to see the future is "a living nightmare," and Balog brings his torment to life for readers by allowing the voices in Nick's head to constantly interrupt his narration with flashes from the future. Unfortunately, this clever technique largely falls by the wayside in the second half of the novel, and what is left is disappointingly ordinary. In addition, while the action is high in the beginning and readers will likely find Nick and his struggles compelling, the latter part of the story packs less of a punch. Perhaps most importantly, the romance between Nick and Taryn, a girl with more than a few of her own secrets, never quite seems to ignite, making what could have been a riveting race to change the future considerably less compelling. In the end, it is a frustratingly ho-hum read that could have been much, much more. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

CYN BALOG has always wanted to be a fortune teller on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. She is the author of Fairy Tale, Sleepless, Starstruck, Touched, and Dead River, and lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Touched 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
As far as characters go, they were written well – especially the main character Nick. He could have gotten lost in his thoughts of the future, but his personality shone through. It was easy to see why he was looked to as one of the town crazies (his mother being the other one). As much as he tried to reign in that which made him different, it is nearly impossible to do so, especially when lives are on the line. One of the main parts of the story is the “script”, which is what Nick tries to follow in order to have the future go as planned. However, reading about what Nick is supposed to do right before he does it and having this take place again and again and again is tedious. I understand that it was written that way to have the reader know what Nick knows, but the fact that it is shown to us so many times makes me feel like we, the readers, shouldn’t be so smart as to catch on and comprehend that he’s following the “script”. I think there could have been an easier way to get the point across. The girl, Taryn, comes into Nick’s world and she is what creates all of the chaos in his life this time, though apparently the chaos happens a lot anyways. This time is different though because of the Book of Touch, which complicates matters even more. It’s an interesting twist and if you suspend belief you can buy into it’s existence in a world where one can see the future. ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Amabe421 More than 1 year ago
This book was really interesting. I really enjoyed it. It's nice to have something that is different in YA and though the idea of having powers is not new the way that it's gone about is. I loved the different powers and how they are acquired. Some of them seemed pretty scary, and some of them also come with other consequences. It was explained well so I was never confused about it. I was pulled right into this story and had to keep reading to know what was going on and if there was any way to change things for Nick and Taryn. Nick is known as a freak by everyone in town. People call him Crazy Cross, and really he doesn't blame them. He goes through his life on what he calls a script. He sees the future in bits and piece's, but throughout his days he sees what he is going to do next and if he goes off from it, it can change the future. He has seen many different futures for himself. Some were good some were bad. He had a pretty perfect future this time and so he had been sticking to script for the past three moths, afraid to mess up his current future. Then he goes off of script to save Taryn from being hit by a truck and everything changes. Unfortunately now, no matter how much he goes off script (which causes him and his mother a lot of pain since they both have this curse and are connected) he can't change the outcome of what he sees happening. I really liked Nick. He is a character you really feel bad for and want the best for him and everyone involved. Taryn is a really great character too. She sees the real Nick, not the crazy messed up Nick that everyone else sees. She wants to be around him and spend time with him. She knows about his Touch, more than even he does. She is also going through her own situation. There is more to her than we see at first too. Even with what she is dealing with, she really wants to be around Nick. He makes her happy. She really starts to bond with him even though he keeps trying to push her away. She is really sweet, smart, and patient. This book was filled with suspense. I loved going through this story in Nicks head. I could really feel how frustrating the whole situation was for him. I understood why he was angry at his mother, why he was pushing Taryn away, why he goes on or off script. I could almost imagine the pain he was in when fighting the script and different futures are cycling through his head. I could feel his guilt for not saving the little girl. This book was so interesting and kept me intrigued the whole time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't expect much when I picked this book up but I was astounded. TOUCHED takes some getting used to, because the main character has a unique way of acting. But there are so many twists and turns in this book that I stayed up late into the night reading it. I also like that it isn't part of a series. The endeing is phenomenal and packs a huge punch! I won't be forgetting this book anytime soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting depth of a teenage boy's mind with a new kind of magic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Touched is a great read! It was super hard to put down. I loved the characters, & the story. It was very orignal, & had a sweet ending. You should defently read it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its true
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So, it's supposedly like max ride? I thinks it's coollokking and i am first tinsau Sometjinge