Review: A TOUCH MORTAL by Leah Clifford

A Touch Mortal (A Touch Trilogy, #1)
Leah Clifford
432 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 22nd, 2011
Source: Hardcover from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


So long happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.

   Eden’s mind is full of dark thoughts. Her life has nothing to boast of. And suicide is something she contemplates freely. When Az and Gabe come strolling down the beach on the day when Eden’s mind is the darkest, everything changes. Az practically saves her – she doesn’t yearn for death anymore. But to Az, Eden is better dead than alive.

   So begins Leah Clifford’s young-adult debut that is sure to leave your mind whirring. Going in, I didn’t know what to expect – other than a large dosing of paranormal. My feelings were pretty scattered as I read through, and though I enjoyed the novel overall, there are a few things that might turn some people off.

  A Touch Mortal has some aspects that lean toward the darker side of YA. Suicide isn’t something everyone likes to read about – and it doesn’t exactly make you feel ‘happy’ to read about either. And despite the fact that I was a little wary when the very first pages revolved around suicide, I didn’t have a hard time reading it. The only way for the novel to move forward was by suicide, so I’ll give you this: it happens in the beginning and that’s all.

  Cuss words. While I’m comfortable reading almost anything YA has out there, I have a… certain pet-peeve towards cussing. When used in intense circumstances, scattered maybe two-three in a book, I don’t mind, its understandable why the protagonist (or any character for that matter) uses the word. In A Touch Mortal, we find F-bombs dropped in nearly every page. It gets overwhelming, it gets annoying, and it gets disgusting. I felt like calling it a DNF on more than one occasion.

  Despite it all, I read through. A Touch Mortal, the first in Leah Clifford’s trilogy, was very different, compared to what’s out there. The story is unlike any other I’ve ever read. Suicide, angels, immortality, betrayal – A Touch Mortal finds a way to combine the three and more. And at the same time, it will leave you wanting more.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

December 3, 2011



  1. Reply


    December 2, 2011

    Wow this sounds awesome! I have the same issue with cussing though! It's often unnecessary. I really like this premise though. Awesome review!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. Reply

    Rummanah Aasi

    December 2, 2011

    Like you I don't mind cussing as long as it serves a purpose. This one sounds like it's for just there. I'm actually really surprised it has so much since there's angels in the book. I don't think this one is for me but I do know a few who might be interested. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hafsah!

  3. Reply

    Lauren M

    December 2, 2011

    A Touch Mortal was really out there. I found it a little jumbled, but the concept was really original. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hafsah! :)

  4. Reply


    December 2, 2011

    @Giselle it really does/ cussing is not annoying 4 me
    great review

  5. Reply

    ashelynn hetland

    December 3, 2011

    this is my FAVORITE book of the year! i love this book and Leah Clifford, and i'm stoked you did too! :)

  6. Reply


    December 4, 2011

    I've been hearing mixed reviews for this one. I've still been so curious to read it though. Something about it is alluring to my taste. I'll just have to read it to see :)

  7. Reply

    Nicole@The More the Merrier

    December 4, 2011

    I'm not sure how I feel about excessive cussing in a book. I don't think I've come across this issue yet. Of course some of the books I've read had cussing(odd word) but they weren't used excessively. Hmm…I think I want to give this one a try, it sounds compelling. Thanks for the review

  8. Reply


    December 5, 2011

    I have been wanting to read this book for quite a while now I read the sample on Nook and I loved it. I actually don't mind the cussing and the fact that the story first starts off with suicide. I'm glad Leah Clifford tackled these because it makes the book more real and more easy to relate to. I can't wait to read A Touch Mortal.

  9. Reply

    Jolene and Family

    December 6, 2011

    I really love darker YA reads and am so intrigued with this, I can't wait to get my hands on it. I actually don't mind cussing at all in books, sometimes I feel like it's such a part of the character. Great review, I know I'm a little nervous with the suicide being in there, but can't wait to read it

  10. Reply


    February 6, 2012

    Thanks for your honest review and pointing out certain issues that people might not be aware of in the book.

  11. Reply


    October 10, 2012

    I really need to grab this book of my shelf and give it a read. I am so torn by all the reviews I have read. What to do?

  12. Reply


    November 4, 2012

    I finally read this one. Your review was right on. Overall I ended up enjoying this book but it took a bit. It did leave me wanting more though. I just started the next in the series.