A Touch Mortal is a YA paranormal/fantasy romance by Leah Clifford.
Eden's life is empty. Half the time her mother doesn't even seem to remember she exists. She doesn't see a future for herself. She never has. In all honesty, Eden doesn't see the point in living any farther than her current seventeen years.
It is as she is contemplating this very choice, a choice she's thought about before, that two guys walk up to her on the beach. One, the darker haired of the two, unleashes a killer grin and a disarmingly cheesy pick-up line. But he makes her smile like no one else has... ever.
His name is Az. And he's an angel.
Eden herself won't stay mortal for much longer. After a horrifying, painful set of events, she finds out she is a Sider, a being not quite part of Heaven, nor Hell. But she's not a regular Sider either. Sider's have Touch, a poison-like substance that they pass on by touching humans. Depending on who you touch, that person could end up committing suicide after going through a downward spiral you caused. Yeah, not pleasant. But if you don't pass it on, you can become insane with the pain of not releasing it.
Yet Eden has a unique ability that makes her sought after by every side... including those she would like to not be noticed by, as she has unwittingly become part of an intense battle...
My synopsis might be a bit sloppy, and I'm sorry for that. A Touch Mortal is one of those books that jumps into its plot so fast, its hard to delicately and subtly present the basic premise of it. But hopefully I got you a bit interested, nevertheless.
Because not only does A Touch Mortal give off a gritty, edgy tone immediately, it follows through. To begin with a main character (Eden) contemplating her own suicide - well, it's not an opener you get that often. Leah Clifford is clearly writing this novel with the Gothic, more punk-like gal in mind - which works very well in the book. And even I, not even close to goth, still found the tone and unique presentation of A Touch Mortal to be engrossing.
Now, Eden's foul mouth isn't a trait I personally enjoy (there is honestly a lot of swearing), but the characters and different plot lines throughout the novel have a original and magnetic quality very quickly. It felt fresh and new to me. I've honestly never read a book with this sort of premise before - which is awesome.
Every once and a while I was confused with the intricacies of Touch, and it took me a while to fully understand it - but I was constantly intrigued and interested by Eden and the cast of characters. Eden is definitely a strong, decisive, independent female - and also fiercely caring. I thought she was a great as different brand of protagonist, though occasionally I felt like I was being told, not obviously, how cool she was.
A Touch Mortal is creepy, Gothic, and shocking - I never really had any idea what was going to happen next. It has an indie vibe, and is persistent in bucking all the cliches. This was my first YA angel-centric read, but I was happily surprised to find it not obsessed with the romance part of it, and more focused on a character that is in the middle of something big, but refuses to back down.
I felt it was an impressive paranormal tale - especially for a debut!