Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

1732D3C0-E7C8-418C-AD2F-2BC512C50558Genre:  Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Print 250
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Rating: ★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I purchased on my own.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

Final Thoughts

Twisted is another novel written by Laurie Halse Anderson that follows the life of Tyler. Tyler was your average high school geek who had no friends until he made a mistake that would not only ruin him but could’ve cost him his future. To please his overbearing father, Tyler agrees to attend a work event for his Dad’s company. While there, Tyler runs into a classmate who hates him and his sister, Tyler’s crush. Following his Dad’s company’s party, Tyler grows closer to his sister and his crush. Tyler will face many challenges in this novel which include accusations of assault, his father, and self-doubt. Laurie Halse Anderson dives into a different perspective by shedding light on dealing with emotional abuse and the stigma’s associated with growing up male. Tyler’s father is emotionally abusive and controlling. His father aims to control everything in the family which takes a toll on each member. Everyone in Tyler’s life sees him as a threat except for his friends, mother, and sister. Even after an incident occurs, that somehow leads to Tyler accused of a crime he did not commit. His life is a series of unfortunate events, pressures from his dad, and the challenges of high school. Tyler lets the weight of life almost push him to the brink of leaving. Tyler must learn to stand up for himself or lose himself in the process.

When does it go from being a good parent and wanting what’s best for your child, to being a controlling father? Is there a line and who’s going to tell you when you cross it as a parent?

The author takes a unique approach to tell the story of a controlling father and how one person can change the dynamic of a family. This book focuses on forgiveness, anger, self-doubt, and personal discovery. Halse Anderson takes the time to develop each supporting character and intertwine them as the story unfolds. I felt the plot twist lacked development and I wanted more light shed of his father’s emotionally abusive tendencies. I did feel the author truly captured the emotions of the family as they dealt with the father. Each moment in the story felt real and when the characters cried, so do I.Halse Anderson showcases the obstacles associated with growing up as a male.

This book is intended for mature ages, upper middle school, and high school. If anyone is a victim of emotional abuse, this book does contain items that may trigger memories. I would recommend this book for any developing male looking to gain a better understanding of the stressors associated with a “pushy” father. Halse Andersons dives into stigma’s associated with being male.

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Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

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