Untouchable is an exciting dystopian story about an independent outcast called Tessa. She is part of a cast in her society that is considered less than human and is required to fight daily for her life. During an attempt to plunder a high-ranking party, Tessa finds herself caught and taken into the custody of the Queen. In a cacophony of surprise, Tessa is dropped into a sort of game in which she must escape before the year is up, or else she must start over. Tessa’s only advantage in this world? Unlike all the other players, Tessa remembers who she is and what happened before she was sent there. Joined by a fantastic group of characters like the lovable Nurse, the resilient Ehrys, and the joyful Krystal along with many others.
This book was a very enjoyable read! The plot moved quickly and was the driving force of the story. The characters were unique and interesting to read about. The point of view character, Tessa, is a funny storyteller with a very dry sense of humor that had me laughing out loud often.
The world in which this book takes place is very intriguing and I am excited for a sequel to get to read more about it. The descriptions of the locations in the book were vivid but not too overly detailed, which I appreciated. MC writes to some difficult common debates like that of eugenics and how it will come to affect our society.
I would give this book 5/5 stars. The bit of a cliffhanger ending had me feeling twisty inside and excited to follow Tessa into her next adventure. Fans of dystopian fiction like the Hunger Games would really enjoy this novel.
Interview with MC Pending
- How long have you been writing or when did you start?
I started writing as soon as I could pick up a pencil. I used to staple printing paper together and write “books” with illustrations and everything. I wrote my books about animals, mostly. At some point I got older and started writing for real, and by for real I mean in my notes app on my phone.
- What comes first for you – the plot or the characters – and why?
Definitely the characters. I’m not much of a plotter to begin with, but usually I’ll have the simplest idea and then get right to work on the characters. My idea for Untouchable was very vague, but as soon as I started writing I knew I needed the main character to be a kickbutt short girl who was afraid of love. While the plot of Untouchable has change drastically, the characters are the same as they were in 8th grade.
- Which part of Untouchable did you have the hardest time writing?
I had a hard time writing the beginning because it was too fast paced. Someone told me it was cheesy and read like a kid’s movie or something and so I brainstormed and invented the character of Tiny and his companions. I also struggled with the romantic scenes because I felt they were cliche or too mushy. So I rewrote those scenes many, many times and added some water and rocks.
- Can you share a tiny bit about your plans for the sequel?
The sequel should be coming out this year! Tessa’s story continues, and it’s quite an emotional rollercoaster. She encounters elevators, dirt pirates, children, fancy watches, and many other scary things. But she finally takes a shower!
- How would you describe Untouchable’s ideal reader?
Someone who loves characters and their interactions over the plot. Someone who isn’t looking for a masterpiece, but a fun, quick read and unforgettable moments. Someone who likes dancing in the rain scenes. Someone who is ready to cry (most readers do. I don’t make the rules). I’d say that if you grew up reading the hunger games and other dystopian books, you’ll love Untouchable.
- If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
I would run away from Tessa because she’d want to kill me probably. I’d give Beck a hug and tell him all my life problems. I’d call Ehrys up if I needed a hit man. I’d tell Krystal the latest “tea” and expect her to do the same. I would challenge Nurse to an arm wrestling match just so I could hold his hand and then I’d slip a ring on his finger and trick him into marrying me.
- What was the hardest scene of Untouchable to write, and why?
The scene where /someone/ confesses their feelings was probably the scene I struggled with the most. It was fun to write, but it kept falling flat or just feeling unnatural. I rewrote the last half of the book specifically for that scene to work, and it wasn’t working. But really it just took time, and I kept coming back to it and making changes, and now it’s probably one of the most memorable scenes in the book.
- What POV do you prefer to write in and why?
I like writing in first person present tense because first person is extra fun and present tense is risky. I changed the whole book into present tense because it felt like the words were suspended in the moment, and that at any point everything could change. I also feel like present tense just flows better for a quick paced book like Untouchable. Tessa has been a very fun pov to write and I’ll be very sad to say goodbye to her one day.
- Are you more of a plotter or a pantser? What is your writing process like?
Pantser! I don’t go in completely blind, but I definitely don’t outline. I write myself all caps notes about what’s supposed to happen, but I usually don’t stick to it. I’ll get an idea in the middle of writing and then change the whole novel in that moment. Also I write out of order! Don’t ask me why, but I can’t write anything in order. I absolutely wrote the last scene in book 2 first.
- What is a book that you would recommend to readers who enjoyed Untouchable?
I would have to recommend the 2010’s dystopian books like the Hunger Games. I’d also say Six of Crows, though it’s very much fantasy, it’s a character-driven book and quite humorous. The Shatter Me series also shares some similarities, but it’s a lot more romance-y and I would only recommend the first three books because I didn’t like the rest.
Chatting with MC was wonderful and if you can’t already tell I 100% recommend her book to anyone looking for a great dystopian read. Thank you so much to MC for allowing me to reach out and talk with you a little bit! I will drop a link to purchase her book (which just came out in hardback edition!) below. Until next time my friends!