Original review can be found here: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/?p=36741.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Twisted
. While the book blurb is vague, it does hint at what to expect within its pages. My emotions ranged from outrage to confusion at various points and never settled on calm. But I was okay with that. I enjoyed not knowing what to anticipate, and therefore, had no spoiled expectations. I related to some of the things the characters experienced, but shook my head at their asinine choices. Talk about a rollercoaster ride! All that aside, I enjoyed Twisted
from an entertainment perspective. This book becomes so deep you’ll almost feel lost in its abyss of desperation. Tough topics (rape, mother/daughter relationships, and mental health issues) are dealt with in a sensitive yet realistic manner. I really couldn’t get a handle on how I felt at times because I was outraged with what was happening to Sarah Hausman, and how her family was dealing with her predicament. So began my love/hate relationship with Twisted
. Even though I stayed riveted to the pages and sat on the edge of my seat throughout, I also wanted to stop reading and bleach my brain. Yeah, there were portions of Twisted
—the drama, stupidity, and almost carefree mindset of the characters—that sent me over the edge.
That said, Brody is a damn fine writer. She made me care enough about the characters that I became upset by the events in the novel. The mark of any great writer is their ability to engage a reader so much they’ll yell at their book, throw it, and maybe even cuss out the characters. And yes, it’s possible I may have done one or all of those things. I don’t think I’ve ever been so infuriated by a character’s decisions in my life. I’m talking about Sarah here. The story begins with her freshman dance. We’re introduced to her mentality and personality before, during, and after a despicable attack. This part of her story made me cringe and spiked my blood pressure. I’m still not over it, and it’s been a couple of weeks since I read Twisted. But it’s the attack on Sarah that starts the ball rolling, and let me say, I wasn’t expecting anything that happened as a result. The suspense is there; the psychological aspect is there, and Brody weaves these aspects together in a way that leaves you trying to figure out the real story and what’s the truth.
I wasn’t sure what Brody was trying to say with Sarah’s attack and the resulting blame laid on her shoulders, but again, Brody excels at making me loathe the entire situation. My frustration level with these characters reached an all time high with Sarah’s parents’ unwillingness to believe her once she confesses to being raped. I didn’t want to continue reading because Sarah’s story was going nowhere good, but I kept hope alive. If you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll see just how often I vent while reading. I couldn’t back Sarah in her decisions. I wanted her mother to step up and be a real mother; I wanted Sarah to stand up for herself; and I wanted something positive to happen to these characters to show some redemption or growth. We sort of get that in the end, but it’s not convincing enough for me.
The other protagonist in Twisted
is Judith. She presents a perfect existence on paper (great boyfriend, college ambitions, happy home life), yet you know something is off about her. I kept thinking, “no one has it that good,” and didn’t realize just what Judith’s role in the story was. Even during the big reveal, I didn’t get it. I respect that Brody wanted to do something different (believe me, Judith isn’t who you think) but I felt the twist regarding Judith’s relationship to Sarah was so far out there, I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
The family relationships are written realistically but they're almost too realistic for my tastes. Judith has a great relationship with her dad, but her mother is MIA. And Sarah is a daddy’s girl but can’t find common ground with her mom. Sarah’s relationship with her mother is the one I most related to. Sarah’s constant need for approval from her mother and her mother’s lack of trust in her hit home more than once. Why can’t mothers and their teenage daughters just get along? LOL!
Another thing that bugged me was not being able to tell what era the story takes place in—whether the 90s or early 2000s—because there’s very little mention of modern conveniences like cell phones or laptops. That may not seem like a big deal, but I like to live in the world of the characters I’m reading about. Not being able to get a good handle on that hinders my ability to relate and delve into the story.
I’m surprised at how immature Sarah is for a 14 year old. It’s as if her mother never sat her down and talked to her about anything a young woman should know. That pissed me off more than you can imagine. In this day and age, a mother owes it to her daughter to have serious talks about the world and what to expect, how to protect yourself, and the rights we have as human beings. Sarah’s mom is a big letdown, and Brody really does an excellent job of creating a character most people will hate.
Judith (or Judy as she’s called) mentions her father has a “cute, tight butt.”
Who says that about their dad? This almost turned me off to reading any further, but I pushed through. Funny enough, I now understand how this should have hinted at one of the twisted aspects of the story.
For e-readers, you may have an issue with the Kindle format. It’s wonky to the umpteenth degree. The font switches from page to page, and sections are separated with no rhyme or reason. That’s something I’d like to see fixed in the finalized version.Twisted
is just that—twisted. From beginning to end, you’ll find yourself glued to its pages, dying to find out what the hell is going on. But once the big reveal hits, all the missing pieces fall into place for you, as well as Sarah, it’s shocking. Most of the novel is one big block of repressed events that leave the reader lost and the characters confused. I don’t know if I like the ending and it weighs on my thoughts of whether I’ll read the book again or not. Although, I really want to, just to see if I pick up on anything I might have missed. I’m hesitant to recommend Twisted because of the heavy subject matter, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide.I was provided an ARC of Twisted by the publisher Belle Books and NetGalley for an honest review.