It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Laurie Halse Anderson. I first read Speak as a sophomore in high school and it blew my mind (sidenote: I was taking a young adult literature course where Speak was the novel being discussed, and The Chancellor said something incredibly smart, and that’s how we met). I’ve made it a point to read everything she’s published since then, but a few novels have slipped through the cracks, and Twisted is one of them. I’m glad I finally got a chance to read it.
Twisted was not what I was expecting, or what I had heard about. I had heard accounts about domestic violence or an abusive man. Really, it’s about a very confused young man who has violent fantasies. Tyler Miller is a nerd, a socially inept member of his high school, until the Foul Deed occurs. Really, it’s called the Foul Deed more for his father’s reaction than the seriousness of the prank itself. Sentenced to a summer of character-building hard labor over the summer, Tyler develops a tan and a well-defined set of muscles. Suddenly, Bethany Millbury, the most attainable girl in school, sets her sights on him. She’s his secret crush–and the twin sister of his nemesis, Chip. And suddenly Tyler’s social world is turned upside down completely.
This book is slightly different, because it takes the point-of-view of a teenage boy. It’s honest and real and frank about the troubles facing male teens. I liked its blunt tone, and it made me think about how I relate to my teen and young adult students from a teacher’s point-of-view. I highly recommend this book.