Rayne's Reviews > Twisted Fate

Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
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Twisted Fate is, in all likelihood, one of the most poorly written novels I've ever read and definitely the most pathetic attempt at a YA psychological thriller I've ever had the misfortune of reading. The writing was atrocious, there was no point to the 1 billion different POVs in the novel, there was really no story, certainly no mystery for it was predictable as hell, and to call this novel the We Were Liars of 2015 is an insult to We Were Liars and the entire genre.

It sounds harsh, I know, but I can't help it. This novel left me steaming with anger and frustration because it is the type of poorly written novel that hangs entirely on a "mind-bending plot-twist" that's supposed to make me forget how badly plotted, terribly written, horribly characterized and senseless the whole things was because, wow, plot twist! Basically, it was like one of those last M. Night Shyamalan movies that smacked you in the face with a big twist in the hopes that it could redeem how boring, tedious, and pointless everything before it was. Except that I can't even concede Twisted Fate the honor of calling that ending a "plot-twist". It was evident from the beginning and there's nowhere in the novel a decent attempt at hiding it.

Twisted Fate has some of the flattest, most mind-numbingly boring characters I've ever read about. They were all supposed to be so deep and twisted and disturbed, and yet they all sounded so lifeless and forced, like chalk outlines of what they were supposed to be. And they all sounded alike and as equally monotonous because every single character in this novel gets a freaking POV. There are about 10 different POVs in the novel, and only two actually contributed to the "story", and I think I'm being generous. The rest either praised Sydney's amazing superiority for no reason I can discern, or fulfilled the chorus role in old Greek plays where the chorus would come out of nowhere and foreshadow horrible, terrible things, lamenting that the characters didn't see it coming. They should've come in when the novel started so I wouldn't have had to face the horrible, terrible thing that was actually finishing this novel.

We have two main characters, a pair of sisters called Sydney and Allison, who are total opposites. Sydney is the trouble maker, the rebellious but brilliant girl that reads for pleasure and skateboards, and Allison is the cutesy, sweet, naive girl that sees the good in everyone, bakes blueberry muffins and sounds like a freaking 5 year old. The reason why everyone bows down to Sydney's intellectual superiority, even adults, is because she reads a couple of unspecified books and knows how to use the word "philistine". I shit you not. I read! I know tons of words! I must be a fucking genius by this book's standards!

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Sydney was so unbelievably pretentious. She was so brilliant, she could skip school every day and go to detention every night and still be the class Valedictorian because she knew the word philistine, used it in a sentence once or twice and could play this stupid game in which they make anagrams while they get high. That's all the proof we get of her supposed superior intelligence. Her dialogues with this one other pretentious "genius" friend were so painfully awkward. He would string together preposterous sentences with big, pretentious words and let the world bask in his superior intellectual glow. Every time he talked, I remembered that scene from FRIENDS when Joey uses the thesaurus to write a letter because he wanted to sound smart.

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Then again, on Sydney's defense, every single piece of dialogue in this novel was painful. You know how sometimes, when an adult learns some phrase or lingo the youngsters are using, they start saying it all the freaking time? Like that time my aunt got a Facebook, learned of "Lol" and "YOLO" and started to write those two words at the end of every status update? Well, in this novel, the choice phrase was "420 Blaze it". I don't partake on weed smoking, but like everyone in the world, I know people that do and never in my life have I ever heard them use that phrase in all seriousness, much less every time they make the tiniest reference to smoking weed. It was awkward and forced, exactly like an adult trying to act like a teenager.

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Moreover, this novel refused to give details about anything. It mentioned skateboarding repeatedly, since it was the center of Sydney's "trouble making tendencies", and never actually went deeper than that. No tricks, techniques, only a passing reference to Tony Hawk, who's being out of the scene for, what?, ten years now? It mentioned hacking several times as well and the only related word mentioned is "coding". Again, no details. One of the most important aspects of the plot is that this guy edits films, and not once is there anything said about it. The novel just mentioned some broad, general activity and expected the reader to go along with it without any type of detail. That's lazy writing at its finest.

There is absolutely no depth to anything in this novel. It tries so, so hard to be profound and dark and twisted, and it honestly gave me secondhand embarrassment to see it flop repeatedly on the ground like a fish out of water. Simply put, this novel was just way out of its depth. It tried to be much more than it had the capacity to be. You can expect this novel to be as introspective, profound and cognizant as a Kim Kardashian diary entry.

The narration was flat and unexciting, delivered in such a monotonous way, I felt like I was taking a non-stop 3 day seminar on watching grass grow. The earth-shattering discoveries the characters made were told in the same way we heard about Allison picking blueberries for her muffins. Not even the abrupt climax carried any spark of excitement to it. The writing was so passive, so removed from the emotions of the characters or the intensity of the situation, that my reading experience was a flat-line from beginning to end.

I know some people will still be surprised by the ending, and I don't mean to disrespect them when I say the twist in the novel was evident from the very first page. That it was predictable is not even the real issue. I saw the plot twist in We Were Liars coming and I still enjoyed the novel, though that might have something to do with We Were Liars having actual substance to it, unlike this one, but that's not the point. It's not that it was predictable, or even that it was preposterous and badly constructed, it's just that the entire plot twist hinges entirely on misinformed psychology and on every single character deliberately ignoring all the radioactive red flags or indulging the main characters just cuz. Again, lazy writing.

Poorly written, barely and badly plotted, based on superficial research and general assumptions, not to mention the boring story and the uninteresting and flat characters, Twisted Fate is simply one of the most painful books I've read this year. It hurts to give such a brutal negative review, but the only positive thing I can give the book is the message about girls not having to stick to stereotypes, to be however and whoever they want to be and not live to fill specific expectations, which was awesome and was basically the only reason why I bothered to finish the novel, because that means the author's heart was in the right place and that she had some really good ideas, but, unfortunately, that was not enough to redeem the glaring flaws of every other single aspect of the novel.
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Reading Progress

September 11, 2014 – Started Reading
September 11, 2014 – Shelved
September 11, 2014 – Shelved as: 2015
September 13, 2014 – Finished Reading
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: annoying-mc
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: can-i-get-my-hours-back
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: characters-flat-as-a-board
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: disappointing
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: i-expected-better
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: i-regret-this-decision
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: love-triangle
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: mystery
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: psychological
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: school-life
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: stand-alone-novel
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: stalking-means-love
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: there-s-romance-in-there-somewhere
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: thriller
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: totally-saw-that-coming
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: unpopular-opinion
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: victims-of-the-insta-love-monster
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: yes-this-is-a-rant
September 20, 2014 – Shelved as: young-adult

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cillian (new)

Cillian Even worse than Dear Killer?
:P


Rayne Wow. You put me in quite the tight spot.

Uh...Um...Eh...This question is too hard. Both books are just so, so bad. But if I had to make a choice... well...um... Does not compute. All systems crashing. Brain melting. Forced shut down.


message 3: by Cillian (new)

Cillian Oh, noes!
I just made you choose between getting dismembered or gutted.
OR SHOT IN THE HEAD!


Rayne At the risk of sounding like a total drama queen, I would actually consider for a minute being dismembered or gutted (OR SHOT IN THE HEAD!) over reading any of those two books again.

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message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan Mitchell Would you tell us what the twist is please? I don't want to read this book anymore but I want to know the ending!!!


message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda A ^^ I want to know too, but I feel like if it is truly that obvious then if you just told us the plot we could figure out the ending....


Rayne Brenda wrote: "^^ I want to know too, but I feel like if it is truly that obvious then if you just told us the plot we could figure out the ending...."

Hey Megan and Brenda,

Thank you for your comments! Well, I felt it was pretty predictable a twist, Brenda, but if you're still intrigued, I'd encourage you to read the book and find out for yourself. Far be it from me to dissuade anyone from reading a book, any book, even one I hated, but if you're sure you don't want to read it, I'll tag the following spoiler and I'll try to summarize the plot of the novel for you. The other spoiler tag has the ending for you, Megan!

Here's a small summary of the plot for, Brenda. (view spoiler)

This one's for you, Megan. Be completely sure you want to read it. I'd hate to ruin a book for you, if you're not sure. If you are, here you go :) : (view spoiler)


message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan Mitchell W.O.W. I love a good twist but I ruined it enough for myself already by reading too many reviews. Thanks so much for responding :)


message 9: by Brenda (new)

Brenda A Oooohh (view spoiler)


message 10: by Rayne (new) - rated it 1 star

Rayne Megan wrote: "W.O.W. I love a good twist but I ruined it enough for myself already by reading too many reviews. Thanks so much for responding :)"

Hey Megan,

It was a good twist, in theory. Removed from the actual novel, it sounds pretty amazing. Even as I wrote it down for you I kept thinking "damn, that sounds good." But the truth is that it was not like that in the novel. The whole twist was so poorly constructed into the story, the story itself so badly written, the twist lost all of its potential impact in this novel, so I honestly don't think you're missing out of anything for having spoiled yourself this twist. Thank you for your comment and happy reading!


message 11: by Rayne (last edited Feb 07, 2015 06:44AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Rayne Brenda wrote: "Oooohh (view spoiler)"

Hey Brenda,

(view spoiler)


message 12: by Brenda (new)

Brenda A Ah, yes. We'll just gloss over how random that is, I suppose? Haha. Thanks for the input though, I don't feel much like I'm missing out even now.


Mercedes Hoover I'm alittle late on this. My friend read this book. She told me how mad it made her and she wasn't she she understood or liked it, but encouraged me to give it a try, knowing we have slightly different tastes and point of views in books. I read, predicted, and knew exactly what was happening and going to happen the whole time. Kind of killing any excitement you could try to pull out of this book. It's such a good idea, just had the wrong Author.


message 14: by Rayne (new) - rated it 1 star

Rayne Mercedes wrote: "I'm alittle late on this. My friend read this book. She told me how mad it made her and she wasn't she she understood or liked it, but encouraged me to give it a try, knowing we have slightly diffe..."

Hey Mercedes!

Yeah, that's one of my biggest issues with this book. It's ridiculously predictable, and yet the whole thing still feels so wrong. This book had some interesting elements, and you're probably right, in another author's hands, maybe it could've worked better.


message 15: by Rayne (new) - rated it 1 star

Rayne Mercedes wrote: "I'm alittle late on this. My friend read this book. She told me how mad it made her and she wasn't she she understood or liked it, but encouraged me to give it a try, knowing we have slightly diffe..."

Hey Mercedes!

Yeah, that's one of my biggest issues with this book. It's ridiculously predictable, and yet the whole thing still feels so wrong. This book had some interesting elements, and you're probably right, in another author's hands, maybe it could've worked better.


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