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2.93 of 5 stars 2.93  ·  rating details  ·  800 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Did they, or didn't they?

Did she, or didn't she?

Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life, the tal
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by HarperTeen (first published June 1st 2009)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Sorry, there's no cover art available yet for TOUCH by Francine Prose, but I recommend it as a good read no matter what they decide to do with the cover. Prose is the author of such YA titles as AFTER and BULLYVILLE, and TOUCH is sure to please her previous fans and help create new ones.

TOUCH is the story of trauma and its ability to manipulate the truth. Maisie has three very good friends - Shakes, Chris, and Kevin. They've been f
I must be getting tired of YA literature, because this one just didn't do it for me. Or maybe I'm still recovering from the emotional slap in the face that was Speak. Either way, I just wasn't a fan.

It was mostly the main character - although unreliable narrators can be good in a story, I didn't feel that way about Maisie. She didn't just lie to the other characters in the book, she lied to the reader. She gives us her account of an event, spends the story vehemently insisting that it's true, a
I felt like I was in stuck in some sort of time loop thing (like Sam and Dean were in a previous episode of Supernatural, if you know what I'm talking about) the entire time I was reading. The story jumps from all different points of time, back and forth, back again, and so forth. Maisie's recount of the "bus incident" is like a scratched DVD with a mind of its own: it plays the first scene, then replays itself, but with an added twist. So each time Maisie tells her story, it's another version o ...more
Touch by Francine Prose was one of those books that received so much attention before the release. I was super excited to begin the book because how can you not with that summary!?

First person view is the most unreliable source as Prose demonstrates. In this type of book she picked the right match. Both the reader and the narrator have trouble understanding what truly happen in the back of the bus, and somewhere in the multiple retellings Maisie lost the truth. In an ongoing therapy session we u
Original/full review here:

Touch had a very edgy and gripping premise that really made me want to pick it up and read it. However, I find this totally irrelevant as I felt the actual story carried it out very inadequately, failing to meet it's potential.

Maisie, though she could at times be funny, was not a very likable character and I felt totally detached from her and her story. I hated the fact that she didn't try to take more control over her life
Four friends...friends since preschool see their lives and relationship disintegrate as they reach their teens. Kevin, Chris, Shakes (Edward), and Maisie are dealing with hormonal angst when they start high school. Shakes and Maisie draw closer than friendship dictates and their relationship takes on a new level. Whether spurred on by jealously, hormones, or peers, Chris and Kevin assault Maisie on the bus. They are enamored with her 'big boobs' as Maisie calls them, and they ask to touch them. ...more
Touch is a story about freshman Maisie who growing up has been friends with three boys Chris, Kevin and Shakes. They have been friends since diapers. Things change when Maisie moves to live with her mom, and comes back her freshman year. She grew up and the boys do not know how to handle the change. One morning, things take a turn on their friendship. Something happens on the bus that causes the friendships to be questioned and tested. Maisie struggles with what really happened and what she want ...more
Touch has a really good premise. I like the description, reading about the mystery of what happened that fateful day on the bus. But... the book fell flat for me. The description on the cover flap is the high point- the actual novel is more meh.

The writing is good. It sounds young, it's clipped with short sentences, but that's the point (I'm assuming). Maisie is, after all, only 14. She's not some wise-old adult. She doesn't have a mature voice, and that's fine. Although sometimes, Maisie would
Nov 03, 2014 Brooke is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The name of the book I’ve read for this 6 weeks is called Touch by Francine Prose. Francine is an American writer who graduated from Radcliffe College. In 1988, she received the PEN Translation Prize and was nominated for National Book Award for Fiction.
This book is about a young girl named Maisie who’s had three guy best friends since they were very little. As Maisie grew older, they started to become somewhat attracted to her. In the back of the bus that they rode in, the boys were touching Ma
I read this book to see if it is appropriate to place on the shelf in a MS library. I think so, but some colleagues are reading it too so I will get other opinions. Another good read for middle school kids and how puberty, divorce, step-parents, and the media can affect teens lives.
So this book is about a girl with parents who are divorced so she's going through the "evil stepmother" phase. And she had three boy best friends growing up and it wasn't a big deal until one year she decided to live with her mother. She moved and then decided that she didn't want to live with her anymore and move back with her father and that's when things changed. Her best friends weren't treating her the same since she developed and things became awkward and real. Which then leads to the
Sofia Martignoni
I am not a fan of this book.
I was really excited about this story because I read the back of the book and I LOVED IT so I went into this with high expectations.
It is a pretty short book but it took me FOREVER to finish it because I just could not get into it.
The story is about a girl, Maisie, who grew up with her three best friends (guys) until she decided to move in with her mom in another state. She comes back later on and her body has changed (yes she got boobs and keeps whining about it). W
Nobody knows what really happened that day on the school bus. Not even Maisie knows the truth of what happened to her anymore. The boys, her former best friends, say one thing. Maisie tells a different story. Who is actually telling the truth? Are either of them telling the truth or only their version of the truth?

I don't have a whole lot to say about Touch. It was a very fascinating story about how the someone can tell what they think is the truth while in reality they don't really know what ha
Diane Ferbrache
It’s freshman year and something happened to Maisie on the school bus. Stepmom is suing the school district, Maisie is seeing a counselor, and no one at school is speaking to Maisie, which is actually an improvement over the jiggling coins and drawings on the bathroom wall. What really happened is unclear, even to Maisie, except for one thing – she has lost her best friend.
This is a story of growing up, changing bodies, changing attitudes, how confusing emotions can lead to mistakes, and how l
I read this book in one sitting partially because it was a quick read and partially because I just had to know what would happen. Maisie Marbury's three best friends are Kevin, Chris, and Shakes... all boys. They've been best friends since preschool. But when Maisie goes away for a year to visit her mom in Wisconsin, she comes back and they're not so close anymore. Everyone has changed, and Maisie tries to deny it, but she knows nothing will ever be the same. Especially when one day, at the bac ...more
Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes news. With just a few words and a touch, the kids and their community are changed forever.

From nationally acclaimed author Fran
Touch had a fascinating storyline from the start. You were constantly wondering, " What REALLY happened?" Since, Maisie's story was always changing, never really keeping the same details. While that made Touch interesting, it still made for a bit of confusion, because I could never keep what she was saying about the incident in a straight line.

Maisie's character was mostly well developed. Though, her friends and family were another story. Sure you could keep them in line knowing just the basics
E. Anderson
This distressing, sad, but ultimately hopeful novel captured me instantaneously. Maisie's story is unfortunately similar to things we hear of happening at high schools around the country, but what I love about this particular telling is that it captures Maisie as a person, not simply as a victim. Having spent all her life three boys for best friends, Maisie never expected these boys to betray her in this terrible way. Returning from a year out west with her mother, she's come home hoping that he ...more
I heard Prose interviewed on NPR a few weeks ago talking about this book and thought I would give it a shot.

The short novel takes place in a small town in Philadelphia and tells the story of 14 year-old Maise and her 3 best friends (all boys). When Maise comes back after a year away and a teenage growth spurt, she is surprised to discover that her friends don't treat her quite the same as before. Written in first person, Prose does a decent job of getting into the mind of a 14-year old girl and
Maisie is 14 and her best friends are, and have been since preschool, boys: Kevin, Chris and Shakes. Maisie lives with her dad and stepmom, who she has battles with daily, so for her 8th grade year Maisie decides to live with her mom and her new stepdad. By the time she returns for her 9th grade year her biggest hope is that everything will still be the same with her friends, but things have changed, especially with Maisie’s body: she now has large breasts. The boys don’t know how to treat her a ...more
Many women around the world have been harassed in some sort of way. It may be forms of verbal harassment, or cyber harassment but a lot of harassment against women is sexual.Francine Prose captures the emotional and difficult journey of a fourteen year old girl who gets sexually harassed by her three best guy friends at the back of a school bus.

The story starts off with Maisie, the fourteen year old main character, telling a repetitive dream she is having to her therapist. Maisie gives her the
Something happened to Maisie when she and 3 other boys, her best friends, were at the back of the bus during a school trip. But none of them are telling the truth. Soon, the story explodes and parents, the school and lawyers are called in. It becomes news and everyone’s lives are changed.

Touch is a good book for young teenagers who want to be introduced to more “dramatic” genres of YA fiction, sub-genres involving molestation, rape, and so on and so forth. The subject matter here is on molestati
What really happened that day in the back of the school bus? This story is tragically realistic, and it is written well for its intended age group. It can be hard to find something for junior high and early high school students on a tough topic like inappropriate touching or sexual assault without being a full-on troubling teen novel about rape, incest, or other disturbing sexual violence. While its important to hear the voices of female victims of any type of assault, "Touch" tells a more subtl ...more
When Maisie comes back home after living with her Mom for a year, she finds things have changed between her and her three best friends, Shakes, Kevin, and Chris. Having boys as friends never seemed like a big deal until Maisie's body began to develop and it seemed to her that all the boys cared about now were her breasts. They all try to remain friends during the summer but things seem strained. Then, things totally fall apart when Kevin and Chris get jealous after Shakes and Maisie seem to deve ...more
"Touch" takes on the subject of adolescence in today's society. Francine Prose effectively conveys the confused feelings our teenagers have to face in this modern culture. Maisie, the protagonist, finds herself in a web of drama, distortions, half-truths, and pressure from family, the law, the school's administration, her peers, and her once childhood friends. While having to deal with this, she also must sort through her own personal confusion of feelings that the physical changes in her body c ...more
Something happened to Maisie on the bus. Something involving her and her three best friends who just happen to be boys. But Maisie's story doesn't match up with the boys' story and now there are awful, horrible rumors flying through the school. Maisie's life becomes miserable and despite the efforts of her "wicked stepmother" Joan to get the boys punished, Maisie just wishes that everything could go back to the way it used to be.

So this was a really quick read, short and small pages--but I was
Maddie Andrews
"Touch" by Francine Prose reveals the adolescent and relationship issues that our society has today. Maisie has three best friends that harassed her in the back of the bus. Each time she told the story it was like a scratched disc replaying but saying different things each time. Everyday they spent together before the incident everything felt different, as if there friendship was withering away. Shakes, Maisie's favorite out of the three, started to become more than best friends with her. He sta ...more
Danielle Beyer
Prose’s Touch is a True Eye-Opener

Have you ever gone through a bad experience and found yourself thinking it is absolutely terrible? Well, the reality of life is that someone else out in the world is most likely going through something even worse, even though what you experienced might have been terrible. Maisie(the main character) experiences something no teenage girl should ever have to go through. But throughout the book Maisie realizes how her situation compares to others in the world. Pros
Radha Sukhu
What do you do when no one knows the truth – not even yourself?

Touch by Francine Prose
HarperTeen, New York, 2009.

“Touch” by Francine Prose may peak interest by the title alone, but the novel itself addresses many issues that young adolescents face in today’s society, such as acceptance, puberty, and family disputes. Maisie Willard was best friends with Shakes, Chris, and Kevin from pre-school until she moved to Wisconsin to live with her mother for a year. When she returned, raging hormones caus
From preschool onward, Maisie has been best friends with three boys from her neighborhood, Kevin, Chris, and her closest friend Shakes (nicknamed for the shaking caused by his cerebral palsy). The three of them had spent childhood through adolescence running, shouting, and playing together until Maisie moved away for a year. Then when she came back everything changed. Maisie wasn't one of them anymore -- she was a girl to them now. And then the incident on the back of the school bus happened.

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Francine Prose (born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American novelist. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. She has sat on the board of judges for the PEN/Newman's Own Award, and her novel Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is now teaching at Bard College.

More about Francine Prose...
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 Blue Angel Goldengrove Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife

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