I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rogue Touch by Christine Woodward
Published by Hyperion on June 18th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Twenty-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.
‘What is it that drives a person to survive, even when she has nothing to live for?’
Can you imagine living your life being unable to touch anyone? Having to completely cover your skin even in the middle of summer because an accidental brush of an arm could send someone into a coma? Never being able to let someone touch you? Anna Marie, a Southern girl from Caldecott County, Mississppi, is forced to live like that every day since she put her boyfriend Cody in a coma when he was just trying to kiss her.
The story begins as I would have expected with Rogue discovering her latent mutant powers. But that’s where the similarities end because her story then launches into a completely foreign story where Rogue is being raised by her Aunt and includes mutants that don’t exist in the normal Marvel universe. This newly invented mutants name is James (or Touch) and he also serves as the complicated and awkward love interest. Awkward because, well, Rogue can’t touch anyone so we’re subjected to lines like:
“This time Touch kissed me. On the other side of the wool I could feel his mouth open just the tiniest bit. I had never even French kissed before […], and I knew that if I was normal, that’s what we would be doing right at this moment. But Touch was mostly getting a whole lot of wool on his tongue. He pulled away and picked a strand or two.”
To be clear, Rogue was wearing a hat/mask over her face, thus the picking of the fibers from his tongue. (Awkward, right?)
The romance took up a huge amount of this story and it was severely disappointing considering what I loved first and foremost with these female superheroes was how strong and independent thy were. I’m not saying they weren’t involved in any romances (Rogue and Gambit, anyone?) but there was always an action-backed story going on that added to the awesome. The romance was just way overkill and was emphasized on wayyyy too much.
When I became aware of this books existence, I squealed as loud as I could get away with since I was at work. A little background for you all, I am a HUGE fan of X-Men. Have been since I was real little. I loved the cartoon, I love the movies, I have tons of comic books and I even had huge posters on my walls. One of them was of Rogue. She was one of my favorites so I know quite a bit about her fictional background. For those of you that also have this knowledge may find yourself disappointed in this story. I know I sure was. Personally, I would have loved to see her background involving Mystique being delved into. Back before Rogue even became affiliated with the X-Men she was actually considered ‘evil’ and was a part of the Brotherhood of Mutants and Mystique was her adopted mother. That would have been awesome shit right there, but instead we get Rogue traveling all over the United States trying to evade the police with nothing much else happening. Well, except for some hot make out scenes with a wool mask over her face. Not.
So now that I’ve admitted to being one super giant X-Men nerd, I think I’m done here.