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Review: Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Touching the Surface

by Kimberly Sabatini

Genre: YA Paranormal
Hardback: 352 Pages
Publication: October 30, 2012 by Simon Pulse


When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

◆ A copy was provided by Kimberly Sabatini for review ◆

I have mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand, it's light and funny. With the mystery of why Elliot is a third timer, it has the potential to be deep and complex, but the story is relatively simple overall. At the same time, this is one reason why the story didn't exactly work for me. All it really does is alternates between the present with Elliot in Ombil and the past through the delves into people's memories. Even at the end when Elliot pieces together her past and comes to terms with herself, I didn't feel as if I'd learned anything of consequence about the characters and humanity. Or even that I'd read a story with an interesting take on life after death, since the story focuses on the drama with Elliot figuring out her past life and her love-hate relationship with Trevor.

It's too bad that we never do get to learn much about Ombil. While I understand that the story's focus is on the character relationships, Ombil is an interesting world, and I'm sorry that we never get to see more of it or of the other inhabitants and what they do here. The story takes place in a very short span of time, and we never do get to know anyone other than the central characters to the story, namely Elliot and Trevor, and even then I don't have much of an opinion on them going out of the story.

I never really connected with any of the characters. They tend to be melodramatic and TALK IN CAPS WHEN THEY'RE EMOTIONAL and are flat for the most part, even Elliot and Trevor as they learn more about their hearts. Elliot is loudspoken and selfish--and hard to like. She acts as if everyone should follow her, and when things don't go her way she gets depressed and mopey and puts the blame on others. She doesn't spend much time trying to look beneath the surface or trying to look through someone else's perspective. I wanted to feel sorry for her situation, but I couldn't when she acts the way she does. As for two boys, one is perfectly likable and the other is perfectly broken. The typical good boy and bad boy. The romance was bland and predictable. Unfortunately, it dominates a large portion of the plot.

Those who like a light paranormal romance with humor may find enjoy this read. However, the humor and story didn't quite work out for me. While I enjoyed the light reading, I ended up skimming many of the delves. I didn't like the constant scene switching and how scenes would get cut off when Elliot emerged from a delve. I don't know that this could have been avoided given the nature of the story, but I don't like it when a story relies on constant scence switches to move a plot forward.

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1 comment on "Review: Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini"
  1. Not connecting with characters always makes it hard to like a book. I also like to have more world-building. Thanks for the honesty! :)



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