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Touched Hardcover – August 14, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From 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, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


" . . . unique and impossible to put down." -- YA Books Central

"Definitely emotional, thought provoking, fabulous." -- The Book Hook-up

"Touched is a book that will help you understand who and what you really what to become."--Sofia Loves Reading

"Balog's story is original with lots of twists and turns that I didn't see coming and the ending completely blew my mind." -- After the Last Page

"I can't recommend this book enough. It mixes all of her best skills in with a wonderful cast of characters, well-crafted themes, and solid writing." -- Dreaming Reviews

"It's a story that I know will stay with me for a long time. I loved it!" -- Hippies, Beauty, & Books Reviews

"My final grade for this book is an A+. Not only is it a breath of fresh air in a genre that is full of the same, but it pulls off a unique and creative storyline in a way that made me feel overcome with emotion and empathy for the characters and had me turning the pages until about 3 a.m. This is one of those books that pulls you into its pages and when you finish reading it, you have to re-orient yourself to the real world. In other words, the best sort of book." -- Into the Mystic

"Such a bittersweet ending I did not expect. I will admit quite freely that the tears were racing each other down my cheeks as I reached the end." -- Gothic Angel Book Reviews

"This author just knows how to get to the a good way of course." -- The Page Turner

 "Addictive and mysterious." -- The Reader Bee --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385740328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385740326
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,515,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

While the other neighborhood children were out getting fresh air and sunlight playing Zim Zam and freeze tag, Cyn Balog preferred to be locked in her bedroom, writing. When she emerged, with her growth only slightly stunted, she graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Shoelace Tying or something. She'd wanted to major in Writing, but certain "wise elders" in her life told her that career writers must learn to subsist on three Saltines a day, and being part-Italian, Cyn adamantly refused to give up Pasta Sundays.

Cyn now lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. She rarely listens to "wise elders" anymore, still eats pasta regularly and is currently looking for a way to get back her figure, possibly by taking up Zim Zam or freeze tag. Her first novel, FAIRY TALE (Delacorte), is a 2009 RITA finalist in the young adult category, and her second novel, SLEEPLESS, which School Library Journal calls "an interesting, quick-paced, and compelling paranormal romance" and Kirkus calls "a lovely read," released this year. Two more young adult paranormal novels, STARSTRUCK and LIVING BACKWARDS, will be released in 2011 and 2012. Visit her online at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Welling on August 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First Impressions: Cyn Balog is one of my favorite Young Adult authors. I've officially read all of her books that are currently available to the public and I believe her writing has become better and better with every release. I adored Fairytale, loved Sleepless, and I thought Starstruck was hilarious. When I first heard about Cyn's latest book, Touched, I knew I would have to have it in my possession. Putting the cover art aside (we all know it's beautiful), the synopsis sounded awesome.

First 50 Pages: There were a few things that I really loved about Touched immediately. First, the story is told from a male's perspective and because how rare that is to find, it became an automatic perk. Personally, I'm a little tired of reading about females all of the time! This was a nice change up for me. Second, I loved the idea behind Nick's unique ability/curse. I'll get to that one more in the next section. Third, I really liked the setting. I don't live too far from the Jersey shore and my family and I frequently enjoy going to New Jersey's many beaches during the summer months. Plus, it wasn't at all stereotypical and I appreciated the lack of Snookie-ness. I also loved how quick the pace of the story was. There wasn't one part where I felt restless or bored with the author's writing.

Characters & Plot: This part of my review is going to be impossible to write without giving away some spoilers, so readers beware! With that said, I'm going to start by covering the general plot line.

Nick has been "Touched" since he was born. Now, what exactly does that mean? For Nick, it means he can see the future through memories, almost like a script. When he makes a decision, he receives a flow of images or memories that lead to a possible future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amy on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Turning the Pages on August 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Touched is not a book to start when you are even slightly distracted. There is no slow introduction to Nick's life and his ability to see his future. We are immediately thrown into one of his scripts and what happens when he deviates from it. The idea of our futures being changed by such small things we or others do is interesting, but Balog takes that and makes us wonder what we would do if we knew what we had lost or gained with each change.

I loved the idea of how Nick didn't just see his immediate future, but that once he'd been on script for a while he saw everything about that life until his death. It made it so much sadder when he changes something and realizes everything he's lost, such as the numerous wives, children, and grandchildren that will never be. The romance plot line was sweet, although everything seemed to happen very fast between Nick and Taryn. And the ending was definitely not one I'd seen coming.

Touched is a great and quick read that I would recommend for paranormal lovers. I will definitely be check out more work by Cyn Balog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chandra Haun on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Touched by Cyn Balog is the story I never saw coming. This is unusual for a novel about a boy who can see the future. Just when I thought I knew where the story might go, it did a complete turn knocking me off my feet every time. Nick Cross tries so hard to stay "on script" to prevent the pain and loss he suffers every time the future changes. His is not the only one who suffers his mother suffers too. Always knowing what is going to happen in his future has not really helped Nick, as much as ostracized him.

Nick as a main character is relatable to anyone who has felt like they did not fit or just did not belong. Also, no one has to experience the grief of losing something or someone they never knew they were going to have in the future like Nick. Nick is considerably stronger than his mother is simply because he craves function and have a life, instead of locking himself away like his mother. When Nick is not too sure how much longer he can continue going this way, he meets Taryn.

Taryn is not just any other girl, when Nick touches her hand, the future "You Wills" just stop. Nick gets to be a normal, awkward teenage boy around Taryn. In addition, Taryn has to be a strong like Nick, because the wrong people seem to be drawn to her. Taryn is like a savior to Nick, and Nick in turn is a savior to Taryn. Both of them have been through a lot, and they understand each other better than they do themselves almost. I really like the fact that both Nick and Taryn can hold their own, and they are not completely dependent on each other all the time.

The biggest factor I loved in Touched is even with the glimpses of the future Cyn Balog keeps the reader hidden in the dark. The story is woven beautifully to catch readers by surprise.
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