Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)'s Reviews > Twisted

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
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's review
Sep 24, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: challenged-book, contemporary, ya, read-in-2010, own
Read from September 24 to 25, 2010

Twisted centers on Tyler, the used to be nerd, now somewhat bad boy who bloomed into a full grown, six foot hottie over the summer. With his newfound ripped physique, he may actually have a chance with the hottest girl in the school, the girl of his dreams, but his feelings have to contend with his dysfunctional family and his slowly crumbling world.

Character-wise, Tyler is fantastic. I couldn’t put the book down because I was just so attached to the guy. Anderson writes from the teenage male perspective and does it so wondrously. Tyler is the epitome of teenage boy. He’s moody and angry and lustful and beyond hormonal, but he’s also a real character.

Tyler's funny and cares about his mom and his sister and he tries so hard to be a good guy. The things that happen to him are a bit out of his control, but that’s where the book gets so good. The escalating tension builds so much throughout the story that I found myself just waiting for the explosion and Anderson does not disappoint.

Tyler’s inner thoughts are vividly raw with his emotions. His past mistake (just the one really) becomes the center of his world, the single factor that drives his senior year. Anderson probes Tyler’s family life so we see way past the pristine surface to a family that is falling apart bit by bit; from Tyler, a high school senior on parole, to Hannah, the freshman who wants to express herself and break free from her parents rules, to the mom who is fast becoming and alcoholic, and finally to the dad who is overworked, easily agitated, and constantly verbally abusive. Like I said, the family is twisted, but their imperfections are what make the entire story so easy to just get.

The book is stamped “THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR CHILDREN” but it isn’t really all that graphic, at least in my opinion. Sure, there’s talk of erections and cold showers and a scene alluding to masturbation, but Tyler is 18 years old. If people don’t think that teens know, think about, or have sex, then they’re fooling themselves. Tyler’s world doesn’t even revolve around the opposite sex. The plot focuses much more on him as a person and how much he has changed and how his family is a little twisted. This is definitely not for the younger crowd, but with the warning right there in the beginning, I don’t see how/why it needs to be challenged in high schools.

Twisted is an incredibly well-written book that’s easy to relate to and impossible to put down. Filled with lusty thoughts an uproarious humor, Anderson taps into the teenage male psyche in a way few female authors are able to do. Take the time to read this book, you won’t regret it.

Opening line: I spent the last Friday of summer vacation spreading hot, sticky tar across the roof of George Washington High. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line (I have two): I scared myself, because once you've thought long and hard enough about doing something that is colossally stupid, you feel like you've actually done it, and then you're never quite sure what your limits are. ~ pg. 95

The guy in the mirror looked like somebody had wrapped his heart in barbed wire and pulled. He wasn’t just a loser. He was lost, no-compass lost, don’t-speak-the-language lost.
I have screwed up everything. ~ pg. 189

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