Review: Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra

Publication Date: October 14th, 2008
MTV Books
Format: Paperback, 279 pages
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Kara Martinez has been trying to be “normal” ever since the accident that took her father’s life when she was eleven years old. She’s buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be — compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.
Because Kara has a gift — one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person’s fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she’s been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she’s been warned about — until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it’s her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it’s too late…or lead her even further into danger?

I’m always excited to find books that are literally difficult to put down. I came across Invisible Touch through Alexa’s  review. For once, my bookshelves-stalking skills paid off! We generally have the same tastes in books so I trust her judgement completely. I ordered this book sometime in the summer and obviously, had just got around to reading it.  I picked it off my shelf last night and devoured it almost in one sitting. I’m sleepless and it feels like an entire construction crew is jackhammering the skull off my head. But I can’t say I have any regrets. I loved every wakeful minute spent reading this. 
  • Kara Martinez and her family had been struggling to be whole since her father was killed in a boat accident. Aside from having to deal with the grief, she’d had to play a game of pretend with practically everyone she knows. She’d also been keeping a secret – a secret that could have her institutionalized for being insane. On the day that her father was killed, she was pronounced dead…for eleven whole minutes. She woke up with a disturbing ability to see ghosts and signs on people foretelling of an imminent danger. Her latest premonition involved people she knew and a boy who knew more than he’d let on. 
  • Rubik’s Cube. Almost the entirety of the novel was a puzzle to be solved. There wasn’t any obvious answers nor there were any easy ones. I’ve never been a fan of mystery solving books but this one had me completely engrossed. The mark of a good mystery novel, if I may say so myself. 
  • Compelling Characters. The primary reason why this book gave me a sleepless night was because of its characters. Once you start reading about Kara, you’d have this inane desire to keep going. Her subdued beauty and traits clashed with her intense need to just break out, to be free from grief, to be free from all the pretences and to finally break free from the wall she barricaded around her. Often times, I wanted to shake this girl; I wanted her to cry and scream out her frustration. I wanted her to stop making everyone feel like everything was okay by pretending. It was completely exhausting. But no matter how frustrated I got, Kara was that type of character that I can’t just abandon. Her character has this ability to draw you in until you’re completely vested in the story. The family dynamics around Kara was to be expected of a family in grief. Her mother’s need to coddle her to the point of suffocation was her way of protecting what was left of her family. Jason, Kara’s brother folded into himself. There was something about his quiet anger that made me feel like he was also ashamed; ashamed for all his shortcomings as the man of the family. I also loved her best friend, Danielle. They were two sides of the same coin; each one hid a secret and had the same fear. I’ll get to Anthony Garcia in a bit. He deserves his own billing 🙂 I just think that Ms Parra created a cast of characters that were deeper than their token roles in Kara’s life. 
  • Toe-curling Romance.  I’m a big fan of forbidden romances and there was just a touch of that here. Anthony was from the wrong side of the tracks and Kara was absolutely not allowed to date him. I guess if there were any other stories that this novel would be akin to, I’d say Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles would be its close relative. He had some questionable reactions that were better explained toward the end. I loved his intensity; it jelled well with Kara’s constant insecurities. He was tenderness and sweetness and ferocity rolled into one package of hot Latin blood. *sigh* 
“If one day I was taken away…would you wait for me to come back?”
Concerned moved across his face. “Where are you going?”
“Just tell me, please. I need to know, without telling you anything else.”
I swallowed and blinked back tears.
“I’d go after you,” he said.” 

Sorry, this book is one of my favourites. I just can’t find any!

If the page-turning mystery does not entice you to chomp this up, then the romance is sure to engage you in. 

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