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(Twisted #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three eager young sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia - dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering
Paperback, 314 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“They may use my body but my mind is free. In my mind I escape.”
----Gladys Lawson, an author, a microbiologist in pathology management and also volunteers as an inspirational mentor.

Lola Smirnova, an Ukrainian author, pens her debut book, Twisted that revolves around the horrifying truth and pain behind flesh trade. Written from her own experience, Smirnova spins her story in such a way that it'll grip you with the vivid and raw details about the sex trade.


Back in the 90’s, the cor
Michael Alexander
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a book reviewer specializing in the BDSM erotica genre, it’s rare for me to be asked to read and review a book that is outside my area of expertise. Such is the case for “Twisted” by Lola Smirnova, a fascinating and depressing look into the eastern European sex trade, with a healthy dose of “why drugs are bad for you.”

For years I’ve been an advocate of legalized prostitution, working from the premise that by legalizing the trade, the United States would take the power and money behind prosti
May 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Thanks to the publisher, author and NetGalley for a copy of the book.

I'm not really sure what to make of this one. Reading the blurb got me interested so I went for it. But??? Well??? I'm just not sure, because I'm not sure what it's meant to be or what the point of the story was. If anything it's left me feeling quite perplexed about it all.

In a nutshell, the book is about three sisters from the Ukraine who go to Luxembourg initially to work as prostitutes essentially. Coming from a hard, poor
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
This copy kindly provided by NetGalley on behalf of the publisher

I really don't know what I think about this one. There were parts (smaller stories within the larger one) that I really liked, while others I just didn't get at all, & some of it was almost pointless...

To start off I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. As began I thought it was going to be a tale of great things coming from a "doing whatever needs to be done" kind of situation. Then I thought it was going to be a
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: requested
Wow. This book is one hell of a read, from start to finish.

Based on true events, Twisted is a book about three sisters navigating life in the sex trade. Going into this book, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Whatever I had been expecting, however, didn't prepare me for my reading. This book is intense. It's dark and gritty and crass- definitely not for the faint of heart. The realism is a striking, and often a hard to swallow one.

It's no surprise to my regular blog readers that I often read er
Barbara Tsipouras
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not sure on what "shelf" to put this book. The story is sometimes shocking, graphic, repulsing and disgusting - but I can't feel sorry for these three girls. They made their choice. They chose this profession willingly because of the money and they earned lots of money.
The books shows to some extend the perversity of society but it implies that if you stay away from drugs and too much alcohol, get a nice contract and don't fall in love with any client everything is fine and you'll get rich.
Sandra  Valente
*I won Twisted in a competition*

I can’t believe I won Twisted approximately a year ago, and never had the chance to read it then. Before you go thinking it was due to the fact that it was one of those books one had to gently get into, either because of the provoking cover, or the book’s content, you’d be wrong. In fact, the first time I saw this cover and read the blurb, I was more than interested. Hence me entering to win a copy, not so?

Whilst still on holiday at the beginning of this year, it
Anita Lock
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A quick look at the cover of Twisted, one may draw the conclusion that it is a highly provocative erotica book. On the contrary, it does not fit that genre at all. Twisted is the raw and unsettling story about a young woman's experience in the sex trade. Amid the overwhelming premise of prostitution, Smirnova's eye-opening debut novel is filled with accounts of human tragedy.

Penned in first person, Smirnova's narrative relays the story of Julia Lazar, who leaves her post-Soviet and depressed soc
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it

When I was first approached by Book Publicity Services to see if I would be interested in reviewing this book, I was immediately intrigued by the premise. Not long previously I had attempted and failed to read three other New Adult titles where the MC was either selling her virginity or entering into a mistress situation for money. In all three cases, I had to abandon the books because the writing was awful and absolutely nothing about them rang even remotely true. With "Twisted", I thought fina
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Twisted is honest to the point that it is haunting. From the first page, Smirnova captured my attention, creating vivid scenes that chilled me to my bones. This book exposes a side of the European sex trade that those involved try to keep under wraps and takes the reader on a graphic journey through Smirnova's nightmares.

Twisted gives us a look into the life of a sex worker, showing us the dangers they face on a daily basis and giving us the insight of a former victim of this industry. Smirnova
Tanya Rae ~ TaSTy WordGasms
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark, hardcore, taboo
Wow! Not sure what to say after reading Twisted! It is sad to know that this book is based off of a true scenario. It is a good book full of prostitution, drug & alcohol abuse and who can blame them.
I would want to be on something to have to live the life that Lena, Julia (aka Jul's) & Natalia do. Although, Jul's is the one who is addicted.

There was a lot of Taboo sex going on and gross sex.... Some of it was hard to read and Jul's definitely was uncomfortable with the Taboo & gross stuff. Oh a
Alison Martinov
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Twisted automatically captures your attention as she brings you into the world of sex slavery. Unable to stop reading, you automatically feel captured by the woman's tumultuous experience. Be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.

As three young sisters strive to make their lives better, they endure the tribulations of the sex trade industry. Lola Smirnova offers an uncut peek into this world. As you read, you can't help but feel you are there with the author, in those rooms, observing like a
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
*** Copy provided for an honest review ***

THIS is what I want when I ask for a suspense filled thriller!!

It's sick and "twisted" and deep and dark and disgusting and I really enjoyed it. It lost a start because I felt it was trying to garner sympathy for the girls, when there is none. They chose this life for money..... so yano.... tough luck! but aside form that this was a great read, enough drama to make me wanna turn the page and enough seedy stuff to make me nervous of turning the page.

Tish smith
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, netgalley
Eye opening tale.
This book is for sure a eye opener.
Based around three sisters and their travel and work in the sex trade. It shows a lesser than "desirable" lifestyle and highlights the side no one wants to admit really happens.
This book has some dark features I'm intrigued to see where craved will take me and if the girls will again relocate after a tip off from a "friend".
Miranda Lynn
Well that was...twisted. Yup, I think this book got its name right.

This is a New Adult book in my opinion, but it is certainly not a romance, and not even what I would consider erotica. There is sex — lots of sex — but it's not written in a way that's supposed to turn you on.

Twisted is much more of a clinical documentation of what Eastern European prostitution is (or was?) really like. I actually think that this book reads almost like nonfiction at times, but that makes sence because I think I
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it
You will not regret buying Twisted. More than the sordid images and violently perverse incidents, Lola Smirnova’s socioeconomic justification and the moral, ethical and personal dilemmas that ensue from a life in the sex trade will linger in the reader’s mind long after reading.

However, reading Twisted is like driving through the red light district on a tour bus: it is a titillating, voyeuristic, winding ride that shows us all the points of interest, but it rarely shows more than a two-dimension
Ellen Klock
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short, but not sweet, Twisted by Lola Smirnova takes us into the world of human trafficking. Whether the author meant to take us along on this journey is a moot point as we find ourselves in Luxembourg City where three sisters work as "entertainers" in a local Cabaret, encouraging the purchase of cheap drinks for expensive prices in exchange for their favors. The more the customer spends, the bigger the favor. After a six month stint, they bring the money home to help support their family since ...more
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Kelsey at Book Publicity Services for sending me a copy of this book for review.

When I first saw the blurb for this book I thought it sounded very intriguing but I was quite worried, worried that I'd hate it or that it would be so horrible to read I'd have to stop. Yes there were some scenes that were hard to read, but this book is so gripping you can't put it down. I read it in 1 day whilst I was also at work.

Twisted follows the lives of three sisters Julia, Lena and Natalia, who
Isaiyan Morrison
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a Twisted Ride!

I was attracted by the book’s blurb and I hadn’t the slightest clue of what I was going to encounter. The title itself describes the book in a nutshell.

The story follows Julia and her sisters Lena and Natalia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, they find themselves poverty stricken and in desperate need of making some easy cash. Lena and Natalia leave first and Julia, lured about making easy money, shortly follows her sisters in the sex trade. Easy money but of course, noth
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Twisted is not a book I would normally pick up, but the cover grabbed me instantly and the blurb sealed the deal. While reading, I felt as though I had a front-row seat in Julia’s life, experiencing the life she led through her eyes – and what a horrifying life it was. This was not an easy book to read as some of the sex scenes are really graphic and really, really gross. That warning on the front of the book – yeah, you would want to take this one seriously. There are some truly shocki
Ange from Cover to Cover Book Blog
STARS: 5 eye opening stars!
POV: First

Wow! Lola Smirnova rips the band aid off and shows the world the ugly truth hidden underneath about the sex trade. It is not the romanticized version people have read about. This is not a book of happily ever afters and love triangles. This is a book of brutal honesty and digs deep in the bowel of the beast. It is not pretty and not for the weak of heart or stomach.

This was a breath of fresh air. Not because of the subject matter.
Christine Young
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I feel as though saying I enjoyed this book would make me look perverse ... but I did. I couldn't put it down. I am fascinated by the fact that this is something that happens in our world - even now. This is the story of Julia, a young girl trying to survive in Post-Soviet Ukraine while watching her family struggle to put food on the table. She sees people who go to University for years, get 'meaningful' jobs and can barely provide for their families. She sees others, who go to Luxembourg to wor ...more
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Twisted by Lola Smirnova immediately captures your attention from the first page as she brings you into the hidden world of sex slavery. Be warned, it is not for the faint of heart, it's a dark tale so take heed and is the first part of a trilogy.

This is a tale of three young sisters striving to make their lives better, as they endure the tribulations of the sex trade industry in Eastern Europe. Lola Smirnova offers an uncut peek into this world. As you read, you can't help but feel you are the
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An upcoming author, Lola Smirnova lives in South Africa and a native of Ukraine. 'Twisted' was inspired by a true story of the lives of three sisters, Lena, Julia, and Natalia, and the story is set in 1990's.

Julia Lazar is the youngest of the three and follows her sisters path into the cruel and bitter European sex trade and there raw experiences of it. The story gives light to Ukraine and takes us readers into a vile world of disturbing and tragic events of forced prostitution. The sisters head
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was definitely a darker book. It was very realistic in the way that things happened that you believed could actually happen to a person in real life. And the characters were they could have been people you knew. And that really brought this book home to me. It was the characters that had trouble and yet they were still very likable. Take Julia for example. In a different book she might have been portrayed as the pro
Erin Cataldi
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
There's something intriguing about reading sex worker's memoirs. It's dark, fascinating, and impossible to put down. This novel is a fictionalized account of what it takes to "make a living" working in the post-Soviet Ukrainian sex trade. Julie and her two sisters are desperate to find work, jobs are few and far between. When a friend tells the sisters how much money can be made by working in the "cabaret" (whore house) they decide to try their hand at making some quick money. Julie (the younges ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing

‘Twisted’ was definitely a fitting title for this book. ‘Twisted’ is also based on real life events. To begin my review I wasn’t to say I am terribly sorry that anyone has to go through these twisted events. I am glad that someone decided to share their story.
I think ‘Twisted’ was well written, it gave a lot of information in a short period of time so for me it was a fast read. I think the dialogue could use some polishing and just a tad bit more character development was needed. However that d
Darlene Cruz
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Entertainer Julia, lady of the night from Ukraine. You can figure it out by the book cover, well sort of. The activities in the making and the friends and foe of such. Hardcore knowledge of the life, what life?
Looks drew men mostly jerks-like the light draws moths. Secure in fantasy, never to come back to reality, wait not Julia, but Lena the middle sister. Guys could be excellent storyteller, what? Yeah, I have a wife and two kids, jerks. Fun girl, her muscular but graceful body to rugged and i
It's not my first book on this subject. I was always interested in how those girls who chose (or not) to work in sex industry live there lives. What do they think or feel when they go to bed with the man they don't like or even feel disgusted about. Imaging to do it no once but every day??
Anyway.. This is the first time when I've got the subject I am interested in AND a good quality of writing. It was flowing read with many angles the author used to be not judgmental but also fair.
Few things wer
Cyril Patrick Feerick
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the opening page, "Twisted" by Lola Smirnova captivates the reader with a gritty story about a woman working in the oldest profession. I was really impressed with this book. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. While it was extreme in parts and very shocking - This book was a real eye opener. The cover may be a bit misleading as there is nothing erotic about this, at times it felt tragic - it shows how an error of poor judgement can forever change a young persons life. I definit ...more
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Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine, who loves twisting a suspenseful tale through the dark lens of realism around the sexual underworld, so clocked in secrecy and shame. Lola’s work is inspired by real-life events and is meant for the open-minded readers who are not afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen.

Her debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in

Other books in the series

Twisted (2 books)
  • Craved

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
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“... discovering how freaky the freaks can be - and wonder at the certainty that I will never stop wondering.” 4 likes
“Although they are often called cabarets, and occasionally there is even strip-dancing involved, you shouldn't associate them with merrymaking or extravaganza...” 4 likes
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