Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Touch Mortal (Touch Mortal Book 1) by Leah Clifford

This book hit my radar before BEA when I tried to win a copy- no such luck.  So, when I saw that Leah was signing at BEA, I was totally excited!!  I knew going into BEA that Leah was from the Cleveland area and that was pretty cool because I grew up in a Cleveland suburb myself.  Little did I know that Leah actually grew up 2 towns away from my hometown.  It was surreal!  Nothing cool EVER happens in the county that I grew up in.  We have corn, cows, and subdivisions- sometimes all in the same place!  Authors of wicked awesome books do not come from that place, but now I can be proud of the fact that Leah Clifford and Scott Tracey- writers of phenomenal books- are living proof that some good does come out of that part of Ohio.  High five, guys!! Now, on to the summary and review- in which I defend Leah (and her book) from Goodreads trash talk.

Here's the Goodreads Blurb:

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.
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.

I honestly did not know what to expect from this book.  I had no idea what the supernatural element in it was.  I figured with all the Mortal talk, maybe it would be immortals like the Evermore books.  I'll even go so far as to admit to reading half of the first chapter before reading the dust jacket blurbs.  I went in pretty blind.  After reading the book, I did read a number of reviews of it on Goodreads and I click dislike on a number of them.  I can agree with those reviewers who felt that the book was a bit disjointed or jumpy.  It is.  But I felt like it had a purpose.  To me, it reminded me of a show I once saw about what near death experiences are like.  They are jumpy, disconnected and disconcerting.  The limbo that Eden feels that her life is in, to me, it's like a near death experience.  You're there but not.  You're gone but you come back.  I think that that is kind of how Eden feels a lot of the time.  I know it is how Az describes feeling.  He wants to be good, to keep his promises, to be loyal, he's ashamed of the wings but he also has moments where he's tempted to Fall then, in a flash he remembers that he shouldn't.  Gabe feels this too.  He wants to Confess but he promised Kristin that he would help her.  He can't lie and doesn't like the secrets but he doesn't want to harm Kristin or Eden and the others like them.  The book is about being caught between.  Eden is caught between Upstairs and Downstairs.  So is Az.  Gabe is caught between the Mortal world and Upstairs.  Another reason that the jumping worked for me was that Eden was learning things about herself and her world in fits and starts so we were coming along for the ride.  I'll also agree that I found the world and everything in it a bit confusing at first but this is the first book in a series and I caught on by about halfway through.  Remember, we're along for the ride and learning with Eden so I felt it was appropriate.

Now, for why this book is made of awesome.  I don't know that I can put my finger on it.  It was just special, different and unique.  I've read other fallen angel and angel related books but this felt different and in some ways more real.  If you are Catholic or a religious scholar, you know about Purgatory and I felt like that was what the Siders' existence was like.  They are in limbo.  I liked that there was something beyond Up and Downstairs.  I also felt like the story kept me on my toes.  I kept wondering with Gabe and Adam- is there some kind of obligatory YA love triangle going on?  If there is who is in it?  Is it a love trapezoid?  Some kind of love rhombus?  All the way up to the end I was wondering what the heck was going to happen.  The only predictable thing to me was Libby.  Cheerleaders are evil.  Seriously.  If I had to pick someone who was going to stab you in the back, it's the popular girl- every time.  Sorry to popular cheerleaders everywhere, but it is true.  And my favorite thing?  Az being short for.... well.  You'll see.  It totally had me giggling for a second wondering if Sam and Dean Winchester were going to come running in with chalk, salt and holy water.  I think I like Leah's Az over Supernatural's Yellow Eyed Demon- that dude was creepy.  This switch up reminded me of Henry from The Goddess Test.  Love to see old characters in a new light.  All around, I loved this book.  I am going to make my husband read it soon and I think I'll force a copy on our local library, seeing that they do not yet have one.  (Shame on them!)  You should give it a try too!

This is a book for readers 14 and up.  There is a fair amount of swearing- nothing you won't hear in the halls of your local high school- and talk of suicide/self harm.  There are also some pretty violent scenes.  That being said this book is worth the read for readers mature enough to handle the themes.

A Touch Mortal gets 5 Fairies for sexy angels and demons, pink hair streaks and the appreciation of coffee.

You can find out more about Leah on her blog and you can follow her on Twitter to keep up to date on her writing and touring schedule.  Oh, and if you read this far I owe you a treat... like the cover for the second book!


Alexa said...

Hmm I'm on the fence about this one. I do like the concept behind it but I don't really like books that jump around too much or are overly religious. I feel that lately anyone who does a book on angels or demons tends to include too much religion into their books.

Thanks for the great review though, it certainly has me thinking.

Megan said...

I did not find it overly religious. And I think that to do Angels and Demons you have to have religion in the book. The creatures are religiously based after all. I loved how open and loving Gabe portrayed Upstairs at one point. I don't want to give too much away but Gabriel is not a typical angel.

Cecilia said...

You have a nice blog! new follower :)

Megan said...

thanks!! I super appreciate the follow! :)