Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: Twisted

Laurie Halse Anderson
Contemporary YA

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father's boss' daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy, and Tyler's secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in school, in his family, and in the world.

So those of you who have read any of Laurie Halse Anderson's other books will know what I'm talking about when I say I was expecting an emotional roller coaster. And while I REALLY LIKED the book, and in a lot of ways it was a roller coaster, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. 

When I started reading this, I was wondering when it would get to the OMG-STOP-NO-DON'T-DO-THIS moments that I experienced while reading Wintergirls, Catalyst, and Speak (all of these are MUST READS) (BUT LIKE REALLY, GO READ THEM NOW) because in the beginnings of those books, there was already this dark, deep, and intense atmosphere to them, whereas Twisted started out lighter (when I say lighter, I mean lighter in when compared to her other books. In itself, it wasn't light at all)

But enough with the comparisons.

Twisted was one of those books that are hysterically funny and really thought-provoking at the same time (think like, John Green) . In between clutching my belly and thinking 'did i really just read that?!' I was comparing those scenes at the school to my school and my life and realized that while it was on a totally different scale (thank god), some of the elements were kinda similar. In fact, while at times it seemed a little cliche, it was totally realistic!! (yes, I am aware that I just contradicted myself) I mean, don't all cliches come from real life anyway?

A word about the characters. I loved Tyler. I can't say I understood all of him and agreed with the things he did, but there were reasons why he did those things, and he was stupid, sweet, funny and totally realistic in his thoughts and reactions. Bethany, on the other hand, (his love interest) was totally unreal. She was written like the supposed "popular girls" in the movies. Gorgeous, mean, and absolutely CLUELESS, which reeeeeeeaaaaaallly bothered me. To Tyler's credit, at least he never said he thought she was smart.

At the end, I'm glad to say that I did get my OMG-STOP-DON'T-DO-THIS moment that I've come to associate with this author, and thankfully it was worth the wait. By the way, that moment was intense and it dealt with a serious topic so I wouldn't recommend it to a younger reader.

All in all, aside from certain unrealistic characters (Tyler's parents and Bethany) I really liked this book. I just want to add, that maybe the characters seemed unrealistic because I've never met anyone like them. In that case, if you have, you'll love it. Twisted gets a 75% grade from me.

Oh, and welcome to my blog! :) -Esty

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