Full disclosure: I didn’t finish this book. I didn’t even get that far in. But I’m a firm believer that life’s too short to read bad books. A Touch Mortal hit one of my biggest peeves about YA paranormal romance, and it hit it really quickly.
It starts out with what could be an interesting premise: teenage Eden is somehow slipping from the minds of everyone around her, and doesn’t know why her friends and family are ignoring her. She’s depressed about this and contemplating suicide when she meets two young men on the beach. One of them picks her up with some cheesy lines, and we’re off to the Insta-love Races.
In this case, it’s not even exactly insta-love, but love that is almost entirely developed offscreen. Eden and Az have one date, then the narrative jumps ahead two weeks for some reason, and now they’re in love. Eden is young and inexperienced, so I sort of expect her to assign a lot of importance to the relationship, no matter how brief. But where Leah Clifford lost me was when Az wonders, “But what will happen to me if you don’t love me anymore?” This guy is an angel. He’s I don’t even know how old, but his world will fall apart if he loses this girl he’s been dating for two weeks. And we readers can’t even feel the intensity of this love, because it was developed during the time jump instead of where we could see it.
A Touch Mortal is just too melodramatic to me, with a lot of intense emotions being told to us but not really shown on the page enough to get me invested. On to the next book.
If you’re looking for a great YA novel about a girl who falls in love with an angel, might I recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor? It has all the emotion and supernatural mystery you could desire and is fantastically written — and its sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, comes out in November 2012!