Sorry for the book teaser, but I took the easy way out and posted the cover (very cool, isn't it?) and links for this entry before I left for lunch today. Tired of the issues accompanying uploading blog photos from home I decided a place holder was appropriate. There is a lot of interest in this title as my humble little blog had a half dozen hits+ on statscounter with bloggers looking for the book. So, without further ado, today at lunch I finished reading Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Entering his senior year of high school, Tyler Miller is performing community service and restitution being assigned to the school janitors, working weekends with landscaping, and making scheduled visits with his parole officer. Atoning for his sins, spray painting graffiti on the school, Tyler has found somewhat of a silver lining in his punishment because the "hard labor had turned me from Nerd Boy into Tyler the Amazing Hulk, with ripped muscles and enough testosterone to power a nuclear generator" (p. 2). Dealing with his crush on Bethany Millbury, his best friend Yoda's interest in his sister Hannah, and understanding the fickleness of instant popularity, Tyler enters his final year in school determined to survive. However, further complicating his goal is an increasingly unnerving relationship with his father and the fact that Bethany, who finally notices him, is the daughter of his father's boss. When Tyler is falsely accused of perpetrating a heinous crime against Bethany after a party, his world begins to crumble and the only thing left to do is choose.
Twisted is a thoughtful and wonderfully well crafted snapshot of senior year. From sports hazing to underage parties, family problems to unrequited love, Anderson provides Tyler with a believable voice allowing readers to experience pure emotion and teenage angst. Throughout the book various vignettes, specifically the football after party and Yoda's gymnasium hazing, are presented realistically and void of overwhelming drama. The familiar blaming of a usual suspect, in this case Tyler, will take readers back to their own high school days. While the closing scene's with Tyler and his father was resolved a bit too neatly and quickly for my taste, Tyler's own maturity, as well as the subsequent growth of Hannah and Yoda, is believable.
Now, I must return this book to technical services for cataloging before someone (namely the cataloger) misses it.
Tags: Laurie Halse Anderson, Twisted, YA literature, YA fiction