Claire North

ARC August Update: Week Two

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We’re already halfway through August and I am so far behind in my ARC August goals! You may have noticed that I did not have an update last week, as I hadn’t even started on my reading list. And at this point I’ve only managed to finish two of the books on my list. Life has just been crazy this month and I haven’t been able to spend as much time reading as I’d like and sadly I’m not sure it’s going to slow down. However, I’m still going to try to get through as much of my list as I can.

Read so far…


All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – This book was very hard to put down – a great summer thriller.

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris – This book was almost a DNF. It was a very dark and difficult read.

Currently Reading…


A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl – This book sounds perfect for a fangirl like me.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North – This is taking me much longer to get through than I thought it would.

On Deck…


The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry – I really enjoyed Barry previous novels and cannot wait to read this one, especially as it deals with the Salem history.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue – Room has been on my reading list forever, but I still haven’t gotten to it. However I won’t pass up a chance to read the ARC of her new novel.

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight – All of her novels sound good, and I’ve been looking forward to getting to this for a while now.

Given how far behind I’ve fallen it seems unlikely that I’ll be able to make it through my entire reading list for ARC August, but I’m hoping to at least get as far as these three books. We’ll see where I stand next week!

ARC August 2016
ARC August is hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. You can find more on the books I’m reading during ARC August here.

CJ’s Bookshelf: Touch by Claire North

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TouchClaire North has followed up her debut novel, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, with another beautifully written tale of intrigue and fantasy. In Touch there are ghosts among the population – spirits whose souls escaped their bodies at the time of death and can now move from person to person at the slightest touch. However, someone knows about them and has begun hunting these beings – someone who doesn’t care if innocent mortals are killed in the process.

While The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August  told the story of a man living the same life over and over again, the main character of Touch – known as “Kepler” though we’re never given his (or her) real name – has been alive and jumping from body to body for centuries. North’s writing style is very evident throughout Touch. Much like Harry August, the novel is told from the first person with frequent flashbacks to other times, and other bodies the narrator has inhabited.

What makes Touch unique – not just from North’s previous novel, but from many novels in general – is that the reader never really knows who the narrator is. We are never given Kepler’s real name or even original gender. He/She travels from body to body with no apparent preference for male or female. At first I really wanted to know who Kepler had been when he/she had been alive, but by the end of the book that no longer mattered; Kepler was Kepler.

I loved North’s writing style – it’s so fluid. There were several times when she described Kepler moving from body to body in a quick chain of succession and the way she described it was so interesting, not just in word choice, but structure:

I am hungry
and now I am full,
desperate to pee by the carriage window
eating crisps in the seat by the door.
I wear silk.
I wear nylon.

And on it goes. North frequently uses new paragraphs to denote the change from one body to another – even mid-sentence – which helps to create the transition, and allows the reader to feel the abruptness of the switch that the skins feel. It’s a great effect, and shows just how much thought North has put into telling her story.

If you enjoyed The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, then you will definitely enjoy this book. There are a lot of similarities in the writing style, but teh story is different enough for it to stand alone. If, like me, you loved Harry August but the science aspects were sometimes a little over your head, then you will love this book. It has all the best qualities of Harry August and an equally compelling plot, without the science to wrap your head around.