Release Date: June 18, 2013
Published by: Hyperion
Source: ARC provided by Netgalley
Eighteen-year-old Anna Marie was just fired for the third time--this time from a bakery. Why can't she hold a job? Well, for starters, she dresses . . . differently. She looks like a Goth girl to the extreme, her shock of white hair contrasting with her head-to-toe black garb, her face the only skin she chooses to reveal. But Anna Marie doesn't have a choice. Her skin, her touch, is a deadly weapon that must be concealed. She accidentally put her first boyfriend, Cody, in a coma when they kissed. Horrified, she ran away to Jackson, Mississippi, where she's been living alone in a cramped apartment and scraping by on food stamps.
Then she meets otherworldly James and everything changes. He's just like her--completely alone and also on the run. To elude James's mysterious and dangerous family, the pair takes to the highway. As they cross the country, their simmering attraction intensifies and they both open up about their secretive pasts. James reveals that his true name is Touch and he christens Anna Marie Rogue. But with danger at their heels, they know they can't run forever. Rogue must decide if she'll unleash her devastating powers once again, which she swore never to do, in order to save the only person who seems truly to understand and accept her.
Rogue Touch was an imaginative story with an unpredictable twist and a bittersweet ending.
Anna Marie, better known as Rogue, has always been a fascinating character with extraordinary powers. Her ability to absorb others' thoughts and talents can be very advantageous, but for those on the receiving end of Rogue's "gift", it can mean falling into a comatose state without knowing if you'll ever wake up.
Woodward's story explores Rogue's life when her powers are still new and she has no idea how to control them. This causes her to struggle emotionally, financially, and socially. She's attempting to come to terms with the fact that there isn't anywhere that she really fits in. And most likely never will.
Her emotional struggles come from the guilt and heartache she suffers from knowing that she is responsible for placing her childhood friend in a coma. The financial struggles are a result of her limited career opportunities due to her awkward appearance and preference to work around as few people as possible. Her social issues occur because she is unable to make physical contact with others and can't explain why.
But all of this changes when she meets Touch. He enters her life unexpectedly and introduces her to many first experiences. And even though Rogue is somewhat wary because Touch is mysterious and she can't shake the feeling that he's not being completely honest with her, it's the first time that anyone has ever accepted her when knowing what she's capable of.
During their time together, they find themselves being pursued by Touch's people as well as law enforcement. They steal money, cars, and clothes just to get by. But despite their predicament and the danger they face, Rogue can't help but to feel a sense of joy. After all, she has Touch. And for the first time, she's falling in love.
Woodward did a commendable job of taking a well-known heroine and adding more depth and emotion to her character. I love the idea of stories like these being created for the ladies of the Marvel Universe and I hope that we'll see more novels like this very soon.