Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review/Guest Post: At First Touch by Mattie Dunman

Hello Fellow Page Turners,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the At First Touch tour. As part of this tour, I'm including my review, a guest post, and an awesome giveaway. But before we get into my review, let's learn more about the author.

Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.

Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.

She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.

Mattie is currently working on the second book in the First Touch series, and is ecstatic about her new release, At First Touch.

You can buy At First Touch on Amazon

And now let's get into my review:

At First Touch
by Mattie Dunman
Paranormal Young Adult
Received for Review
Released on: May 28, 2013
Published by: Self-Published
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Liz Hannigan has been on the run since she was twelve years old.

Her mother is dead. Her father has lost his job. And thanks to an experimental procedure, Liz is now able to ‘download’ the contents of every brain around her with a simple touch. Forced to hide from both the federal government and a darkling group of morally deficient scientists known as the Coalition determined to exploit her abilities, she moves with her father to the bucolic coal town of Pound, West Virginia. 

But the hunt for Liz and her abilities hasn’t ended, and her hopes for peace are shattered when she inadvertently downloads the enigmatic Carey Drake, whose unusual good looks and charm conceal a secret as shocking as her own. Stunned by the knowledge that she has found someone else who has extraordinary abilities, Liz finds herself drawn to Carey, discovering a deep attraction, and dares to hope for the first time she might find love. 

But when an agent of the Coalition begins stalking her, Liz must find a way to work with the government agency she most mistrusts as she strives to build a longed-for normal life and take down the agent who has tracked her down. Caught up in a struggle to save herself and those she loves, the girl who sees all is blind to true danger until it is too late.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

An Overview of the Novel: Liz is tired of running, but that's all she's ever known and she doesn't anticipate being able to stop running anytime soon. She's wanted by the government and by a rogue agency. And it's all because of that stupid accident. The one that caused her to be able to download people's minds after just one touch. One touch and she can know anything about them. 

And yes the FBI and the rogue agency find that particular talent very useful. But when Liz moves to a small town, she makes friends for the first time. And she meets Carey, he's a guy who is different too. She starts gaining feelings for him. But can you really fall in love when you might have to pick up and move at any given moment. 

Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this novel as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour team. I am not receiving any compensation for my review nor was I obligated to write a good review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I actually really liked this one. I thought the synopsis sounded good and so I decided to give it a shot. What I didn't expect was to fall in love with this novel. From page one to the very end, I was hooked. I loved the characters and I loved the plot too.

I have read a lot of books about telepathy, but I really really liked this one. Dunman's writing forced me to become engaged in the text and left me wanting to turn the pages faster and faster.

This novel was a brilliant start to a series that I'm definitely going to be keeping tabs on. The whole idea of being able to download somebody's mind was a different twist than the telepathy books I'm used to and I found the idea to be really intriguing. I just loved everything about this one. Definitely recommend it. 

In Summary: A brilliant book that caught my attention. This book had an interesting premise, great characters, and was impeccably written. I adored it. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book was actually very clean. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to even most the sensitive readers. 

The Wrap-up: I really enjoyed this novel. I'll be honest I was hoping that this book would be a fun, enjoyable read, but I really didn't have that high of expectations for it. I was blown away by how much I loved it. 

And now here's the guest post by Mattie:

What if we were all telepathic...

When I sat down to write At First Touch, I wasn’t thinking about developing a character who could read minds. I was creating someone who had seen the worst of people and was still fighting. As the story developed, it became clear that Liz’s ability to ‘download’ the minds of those around her wasn’t the main problem; it was how people in power perceived her and sought to use her for their own purposes.

But it got me thinking. There are so many books, movies, etc. about people who can read minds or other variations on the theme. What is it about knowing the thoughts of everyone around us that is so fascinating?

When I was a lowly undergraduate, I majored in Psychology. I’m one of those people who can be standing in line at a grocery store and have the person behind me tap my shoulder and tell me their life story, and the thought of pursuing that odd knack as a career was tempting for a while. It certainly gave me lots of inspiration as a writer; but I think the real draw was that elusive idea that learning about the brain would make it easier to read people, understand the way they think, why they behave the way they do. In short, I wanted to be a mind-reader.

Everyone is a bit of a mind-reader. It’s how we know to stop asking the boss for a raise when he gets a certain tone in his voice, why we recognize when our significant other is about to end things, or how we know the time is right to ask our parents for that raise in allowance. We base our reactions on a lifetime of memories and precedence, and most of the time we’re right.

So why do we dream about more?

I recently read an article about developments in ‘synthetic telepathy,’ which is intended to create a connection between our thoughts and technology. So eventually, this area of research hopes to produce the ability to send a text or email with a thought, to give commands on a video game telepathically, along with other, more practical implementations. Can you imagine if covert military operatives were able to communicate brain to brain instead of relying on whispers or signals? Or individuals suffering from strokes, ALS, or other debilitating conditions that prevent speech being able to hold conversations in their heads? The implications are staggering.

Of course, I wasn’t thinking about any of this when I created Liz; I just wanted to see what it would be like if she were burdened by knowing everything about anyone she came in contact with, and how that would change her as a person. And I’ve come to the conclusion that even if mind-reading technology comes along in the near future, I want to stick with the old-fashioned kind and just try to gauge the mood of whoever I’m talking to by using facial expressions and tone of voice.

After what I’ve put poor Liz through, I don’t know how much of a ‘gift’ mind-reading really is.

Thanks for stopping by! And be sure to enter this sweet giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Danica Page

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