Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{March 5, 2011}   Hannah’s Touch, by Laura Langston

Synopsis from Orca Books: “When sixteen-year-old Hannah gets stung, she rises out of her body, where she’s greeted by her dead boyfriend, Logan, and a loving but unseen presence.  She wants to stay with them.  They say no.  She must go back.  There’s something she must do.  But Hannah can’t figure out what it is.  Nor can she make sense of the weird things happening around her.  Since the sting, she seems to have the ability to heal.  Hannah doesn’t know what to think.  And then she faces another challenge: Logan has a purpose in mind for her new gift.  And it’s a purpose Hannah can’t bear to face.”


Orca Book Publishers is an organization that produces fiction for reluctant readers, especially readers on the lower spectrum, with a reading level between second grade and fourth grade.  Hannah’s Touch comes from the Orca Soundings series, which is for those ages 12+, and is written in a way that the reader, especially a reluctant reader, can easily understand.  

Most of the Orca Books I’ve read so far have dealt with real life situations, and I’ve really enjoyed that, but I’m a huge paranormal junky, so Hannah’s Touch was a real treat!  While still dealing with real life situations and utilizing the coming of age theme, Langston reaches out to readers who also crave a bit of the unexplained. 

After a bee sting nearly kills Hannah, she begins to notice that she’s not exactly normal anymore: she now has the power to heal.  Grappling with her new identity, Hannah must decide what to do with her “gift,” and she must overcome her hurt and anger in order to do what is right.  Langston does a wonderful job capturing the teenage voice in this novel.  Hannah struggles with forgiveness and guilt, both directly related to her boyfriend’s death the previous year.  As the story is told in first person, the reader has firsthand knowledge of Hannah’s thoughts and feelings, which helps keep the reader connected throughout the story.  And, while some of the prose may seem choppy, jumping quickly from one incident to another, it does not take away from the story.  Instead, it quickens the pace, adding to the urgent tone of the novel, as Hannah must make her decision about her new powers soon, before the opportunity is lost.  Three stars. 

This is actually a series book, the second of three.  I have not yet read the other two books, but am on the lookout for them!  My library does not carry them, but as the third book was just released three days ago, I’m sure tracking them down won’t be too hard!  I’ll keep you posted.

Check out my Orca Book Publishers page for more information, titles, and reviews for reluctant readers!


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