Ethan seems to have an almost perfect family life. He lives together with his father, his stepmother and stepsister Haley. His parents are obviously madly in love with each other, he likes them both very much and he gets on pretty well with Haley, too. There is only one not so tiny thing that bugs him. Ethan can do anything, but Haley is always in the focus of his parents. He loves and adores his father who is a brilliant ‘white-hat’ hacker who works in IT security. So, he tries to impress him with a modified version of one of his Dad’s computer codes, a relatively harmless virus that knocks out his high school’s computer system.

Ethan’s coup even makes his way to the local news – but again: his father ignores him because at the same time Haley makes a big appearance with a new and shocking outfit. Ethan gets mad and jealous and when Hailey explains her sadness and accuses Ethan’s Dad of sexually molesting her, he doesn’t believe her at all. He takes sides with his father and accuses Hailey that she has destroyed his family with making all these things up only to be in the center of attention. It cannot be that his idol, the person he adores so much could be such a monster, or can it? When he hacks into one of his father’s old computers he makes a startling discovery that casts a slur at his Dad. What can Ethan do with this dark secret and what kind of person does this make him?

With about only 150 pages ‘Touch’ is a quite quick read. At the beginning you might think that the main topic is IT but soon it is all about dark family secrets and sexual molestation.

Ethan might not be a very likeable character when he takes side with the ‘bad guy’. But isn’t exactly that very realistic? Ethan is a teenager who loves and idolizes his father and strives to be exactly like him. He would know it if his father were a monster, wouldn’t he? These accuses simply cannot be true. So he starts a counter attack and speaks ill of Hailey on the Internet while Ethan’s Dad pretends to be innocent and manipulates his son in many ways. Ethan finally has to deal with his father not being the hero he thought him to be and this makes the story even more realistic and appropriate for young readers.

The story with its controversial and topical subject is fast-paced and thrilling but not too complicated and thus a perfect read also for reluctant teenage readers.

Series: Lorimer SideStreets
Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher: Lorimer
Language: English
ISBN-10: 145940369X
ISBN-13: 978-1459403697

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