I had previously read Anxiety is Really Strange by Steve Haines and Forgiveness is Really Strange by Masi Noor, so when I saw this new title within this little series available on NetGalley I decided to pick it up. Touch is Really Strange, by Steve Haines, is a graphic novel which looks at how touch changes our perception of the world, as well as how it can impact our emotions.
I thought that the main body of the novel was done well, the graphics have a beautiful but plain styling to them which I like and the information is interesting. There are footnotes to expand on details if you want the information, but if you’re there for the bare bones you don’t need to pay attention to those.
I like how the book covers physical responses to touch, as well as how touch as a sense allows us to feel our place in the world and also the emotional impact that touch such as hugs can have. The pandemic was mentioned in here, saying that it’s a difficult time for touch at the moment, which I appreciated, but it made the next section even more odd.
The end portion of the graphic novel is made up of exercises in touch to try… with a partner. Now I know that there will be a decent number of people who are living with other people right now, who might even be willing to do this. But there are large numbers of people living alone. After having mentioned earlier on in the novel that it’s difficult for those who crave touch due to the social distancing restrictions, why would you then put a bunch of exercises into the book which all involve touching someone else? It just felt really odd and out of touch. I know that this book needs to be relatable after the pandemic times, but in that case I think it would’ve been better to leave out any direct mention of it at all.
Without that weird touching section this would’ve been a 3 star read, but with that addition? I’ve dropped it down to 2 stars. But if you do happen to live with someone who would be willing to try out touch exercises with you, then give this graphic novel a go!