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Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

I had been anxiously awaiting Laurie Halse Anderson's latest release (and not only because my cybils compatriots kept e-mailing each other about it), so when my library's copy finally* arrived on Thursday, it jumped to the top of my "To Be Read" pile**

I wasn't really sure what to expect from Twisted. I loved Speak and the way Anderson had captured the voice of Melinda, but I wondered what she would do when her protagonist was (gasp!) a teenage boy!

Tyler, almost 18, is starting his senior year at a high school where he was basically invisible until the very end of his junior year (for reasons that I'm going to let you find out about on your own and also involve a parole officer). While at a Halloween party, some pictures get taken with a cell phone, Tyler gets blamed, and things just spiral out of control from there.

What I love about Anderson's writing though, is how fully-developed her characters, and their relationships, are. Anderson doesn't spend a lot of time on long descriptions with lots of adjectives and physical characteristics; rather, she describes her characters through their actions, thereby bringing them to life. For example, there's Hannah, Tyler's little sister, who starts going out with Tyler's best friend Calvin, aka Yoda, and the reader sees her through Tyler's eyes. On the first day of school, as she and Tyler get off the bus, she immediately rolls up the hem of her skirt to show off her new belly-button ring. When the two siblings happen to show up at the same Halloween party, they quickly make a deal to keep this a secret from their parents. Tyler's parents and many of his classmates are just as fully realized.

And can I just say, yay for plot twists. I really had absolutely no idea where this one was going. (Yay also for the fact that the dust jacket told us absolutely nothing about the book. I hate it when the dust jacket gives away the entire storyline***)

Excuse me, I must now go and read Catalyst, Prom, and Fever 1793.

*Granted, the book technically just came out, according to amazon, um, yesterday -- so I shouldn't really be complaining.

** Which is really more like a wicker basket filled with library books, and various stacks floating around my room.

*** Or when the preview gives away the entire movie. For example, watch the trailer for In Good Company -- it's only 30 seconds long and shows you absolutely everything of importance that will happen in the movie.


Little Willow said...

I really liked how much Hannah meant to the story and what she symbolized: the supportive sister, the little sister that he didn't want to grow up, and so on. That scene you mentioned showed that she was look-but-don't-touch with her outfit, yet still young and innocent with her enthusiasm for school and growing up.

I saw a sneak preview of IGCo when it was still called Synergy (which, happily, made me think of Jem!) and I was impressed by the performances of both Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid.

Jackie said...

Yay! Fever is my 3rd favorite of hers. After you read it go read or peruse An American Plague by Jim Murphy. It's surreal.

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