Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Twisted – Laurie Halse Anderson

Twisted – Laurie Halse Anderson

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background—average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. 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’s 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 the school, in his family, and in the world. 
In Twisted, the acclaimed Laurie Halse Anderson tackles a very controversial subject: what it means to be a man today. Fans and new readers alike will be captured by Tyler’s pitch perfect, funny voice, the surprising narrative arc, and the thoughtful moral dilemmas that are at the heart of all of the author’s award-winning, widely read work.

Review: I saw this book at B&N and bought it without knowing anything about it. I didn’t even read the back cover. All I knew was that I liked this author’s other books, so I thought I’d give this one a try. I was not disappointed.

After a summer of doing landscaping work, Tyler’s new muscles attract the attention of Bethany, the most popular girl in school. At first, he’s thrilled, but after he gets blamed for posting naked pictures of Bethany on the Internet, his life starts to spin out of control. Twisted is intense and very realistic.

Even without reading the back cover, it quickly became obvious where this story was heading. The foreshadowing and the references to death/murder/suicide are strong. This made the plot a little too predictable for my tastes. I also had a hard time connecting with Tyler. He has a good sense of humor, but he doesn’t seem as deep as the other narrators in Laurie Halse Anderson’s books.

I did love the author’s approach to the naked-picture scandal. These scandals impact more than just the person in the pictures. Tyler is just as much a victim as Bethany. He is harassed, threatened, falsely accused, and treated like a criminal until his innocence is proven. When we hear stories about teens posting naked pictures on the Internet, we don’t think about everybody who is involved. Victims like Tyler are often ignored. Focusing on Tyler instead of on Bethany is a unique approach to a familiar story.

I didn’t like Twisted as much as I like Speak, but it did give me a lot to think about.


  1. I haven't read anything by this author, but from what I have heard she writes about quite interesting things. I would love to read Speak and Wintergirls, and now also this one :D I have a feeling I will love this author.
    I'm glad you liked this book. :)

    Cucie @ Cucie reads

    1. Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my favorite YA authors. I loved Speak, and I really liked Wintergirls. I’m reading The Impossible Knife of Memory right now.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!