Becky's Reviews > Twisted

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
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's review
Mar 02, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: children-and-ya
Recommended for: teens and adults looking for a gripping read
Read in January, 2007

felt the first half of this book was the best part -- the voice is at its strongest and most authentic, and Tyler's conflicts (with his parents, his peers, and himself) seemed the most realistic and interesting.

After a while, though I felt like a bunch of stock characters were being trotted out in front of me -- the plucky little sister, the long-suffering nerdier-than-thou best friend, the clueless parents (Tyler's father is particularly one-dimensional and over-the-top), the snob and jock cliques at school.

What saves the book is how Tyler moves through this world of rather flat supporting characters. I thought the book was going to be about the struggle of a reformed nerd dating a "popular" girl. But no, Laurie Halse Anderson did not spin out that tired old story. Instead, the story takes a left turn and things get a lot worse for Tyler. He doesn't get the girl, but it turns out he doesn't want the girl after all, once he sees a few different sides of her personality. He gets into big trouble because of her anyway, and the second half of the book deals with how he deals with the trouble.

He pretty much goes ballistic, but for some reason this part of the book is not compelling. Perhaps it's because Tyler spends so much of it in relative isolation -- locked in his "holding cell" at school, estranged from his best friend -- I'm not sure why it didn't work for me. So much of it seemed to take forever, especially all the business about his father's gun.

There's no denying Anderson's talent and reputation, and the book is good enough to warrant reading in one long shot -- you're not going to want to walk away from it -- but it's not my favorite of her books.

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