Published: December 18th, 2012
Deadly Little Lessons (Touch #5)
By: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Hyperion Book CH
Camelia Hammond's trying junior year of high school is finally over...but her troubles aren't. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island. Determined to put family - and boyfriend - drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork.
At art school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. She finds a blog by someone named Neal Moche, a psychometric who might have clues to Sasha's whereabouts. There is something familiar about Neal, and Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.
But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she's to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?
The last book in a series. One that I started reading in 2011, a few months before book four was released. So I didn't have to wait from book to book, like many other readers (I know the agony from other series though). However these were just a fun, no pressure series (my version of book junk food) to read in between heavy hitters. That said, I had been enjoying the series but felt like book four was too much rehash and way too much romantic angst. I was hoping that this one would get back to the roots of the series, which started out fairly interesting and decently well-written. Yeah, access denied on that particular dream world/alternate reality.
So, the synopsis is a big fat liar. In the first paragraph, it says that Camelia goes to Rhode Island for a summer art program, to get away from her problems. In reality she goes to Rhode Island to find out what really happened to missing teen Sasha Beckerman, because she has gotten obsessed with the case in the wake of some major family problems. Her parents have been keeping a pretty big secret from Camelia and she finds out entirely by accident, when her Grandma calls the house looking for her Aunt Alexia. It was understandable that Camelia was freaked out, upset and angry about the secret and what it meant for her personally. My first WTF moment was when she went out of her way to hide it from Adam (her "boyfriend" - more on that later) and Kimmie & Wes (her two "best" friends who really are just there to play a part in all her drama). Yeah, so she bottles it all in and is a dick to everyone. Plus, she keeps taking Wes' car without his permission when he follows her to the art program and investigating the kidnapping on her own, with no help. She has no self-preservation instincts and doesn't like to think ahead, just so you know.
Probably my biggest issue with this book is the love triangle between Camelia, Adam and Ben - more specifically the resolution that Stolarz comes to after five books of angst and uncertainty. The issues has always been that Ben and Adam are both seriously good guys, with no real asshole tendencies that allow Camelia to make an easy romantic decision. Somehow in this book Adam becomes an insensitive asshole, who just wants Camelia to just get over her problems. After all, she should be focusing on their relationship and never giving anything difficult in second life. What the actual fuck???!!! And then later in the book, while she's still stringing along Adam knowing it won't ever go anywhere, Camelia reunites with Ben and they get together. This is less than an hour after finally deciding to cut Adam loose. After all, he was only her back-up plan. Also, the way she blew off her classes and assignments for the art program was really spastic. She acted like a complete moron to her teachers, skipped most of her classes and overall just didn't give a flying fuck about actually doing, y'know, art. Hence why the synopsis is so laughable!
Overall, the ending was predictable and all the plot twists were really uninspired. The romance and reunion of Camelia and Ben was so sickly sweet and goopy it makes me gag just thinking back on it. Camelia spent most of the book treating everyone like dirt, making stupid decisions and acting like a brat in general. Not the worst book I'ver ever read, but if you're new to the series I'd say don't even bother reading it. The "ending" (which gives more questions than real answers) will just piss you off. The payoff wasn't really worth the effort.
VERDICT: 2/5 Stars
**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**