Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Review: Twisted




http://blog.syracuse.com/shelflife/2008/05/Twisted.jpg 
I picked up Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson at the recommendation of my students.  Several of my senior boys swear that it is the only book they have ever enjoyed.  They've made comments like, "If more books were like Twisted, I might actually like to read." I simply had to know ntwhat had gotten them so interested!

Twisted is the story of Tyler Miller, a high school senior.  Tyler has spent most of his life as a mostly-friendless dork.  At the end of his junior year, he vented some of his frustration by doing graffiti on the school.... which led to a criminal record and community service.  As an unexpected side product of his summer of manual labor, Tyler's physique turns from "nerd" to "stud."  Add this to the bad-boy reputation he acquired from his run-in with the law, and Tyler's senior year suddenly has to potential to be different.  Most significantly, the gorgeous Bethany Milbury (who Tyler has been secretly lusting after for years) is now pursuing him.  Life has the potential to be pretty good--aside from the fact that Tyler's father has crazy, violent mood swings and the principal of his high school seems to be out to get him.

I can definitely understand why my high school boys liked this book so much.  Tyler is written very realistically--as are the scenes where he leers at Bethany.  The novel really captures a teen boy's struggle with all the pressures and desires that he faces.  Anderson manages to capture Tyler's raging hormones, his sweet personality, and the pressure he feels from his father.

I continue to be impressed with Anderson as an author.  Twisted is completely male-dominanted and utterly unlike Wintergirls.... which is also completely unlike Chains and Forge.  Unlike many young adult authors, who do one thing well and stick with it, Anderson continues to explore new topics and new perspectives.  Her work is definitely worth checking out!

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