Saturday 29 September 2007

Twisted by: Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson
Viking Press
ISBN 9780670061013

Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of 5 novels and 3 picture books. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards and many recommendations. Each of her books that I have
read has been excellent and this one is no exception. The dust jacket states "Everybody told me to be a man … Nobody told me how." Anderson captures the essence of the journey from a boy to a man.

Tyler Miller had been caught defacing school property, and now he is a hero to some, and an outcast to others, and is trying to find his way in the world. He has done community service all summer at the school, and worked for a landscaping company.

Now he must return to school and face the students and teachers who know what he did and the punishment he received for it. The school year begins badly; at a party he is knocked into a tray of glasses and cuts the feet of the Alpha female of the school, who happens to be the women of his dreams, Bethany Milbury.

Tyler is forced to take Bethany a cake as an apology for the accident. They become friends, and seem to be sort of dating. Then Bethany gets trashed at a party, and Tyler does the right thing. Yet Tyler broke his curfew from the court and that is just the beginning of some serious problems in his life. Unfortunately someone takes advantage of Bethany while she is drunk and most people think it is Tyler because of his reputation.

Most people think he did it. The cops keep coming by. He is attacked in school and out of school. He struggles with what to do, how to be a man. Can he learn how to be a man; can he take control of his life that seems completely out of control?

This book does an amazing job of capturing the angst of growing up, of finding your place in the world. It shows clearly the transition from boy to man, and then end of high school and moving on to the rest of life.

Anderson, as a woman, surprised me with he ability to write about becoming a man; her insight and clarity are awesome. This book should become a classic. Much like her earlier novel Speak I believe this book should be on the reading list for every high school or university Children's Literature course.

The book leaves you wanting more. The reader will want to know what happens next. Where is Tyler in a year, 3, 5 or 10? These questions will haunt you after you finish the book.

Anderson's blog is Mad Woman in the Forest.

(First Published in Imprint 2007-09-28 as 'Short Titles With Varied Depths.')
For my review of Speak click here.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think that the book is emo and sad

Anonymous said...

Amazing book, great book for a high school boy (like me) to read. Has a good lesson about growing up and making sound decisions, shows that no matter how hard things get there's always a way to fix things. Great ending, and overall great book.

Anonymous said...

It`s not a good book, it`s about a guy who wants to kill himself!!!! Why are all her books so negative?!?!

Anonymous said...

This was the best book i have ever read!

Anonymous said...

i love this book. I just started reading it for a book report i'm supposed to do in class ! It's such a good book. I just can't stop reading "TWISTED." I'm not a huge fan of books, but this book is amazing ! You are a very talented writer(:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the book. I couldnt put it down. But the ending was a little bit unsatisfying. I feel like there wasnt enough closure.
I cant stop asking myself what the hell happened afterwards. How did he and bethany handle it. I know he kind of wrote her off but they would have to talk at some point.

I think the book needs an epilogue. Not a sequel. Just an epilogue, short and sweet

Anonymous said...

I absolutley loooved Twisted, it was so ineresting i couldnt even put the book down i would definetley recommend this book to a friend i just really wish it ended better it left me very unsatisfied a sequel would be nice

Anonymous said...

Amazing book, these are real teenage emotions and for some people, real problems that they have to deal with. this book is inspirational and amazingly wekk written and a fast read cover to cover.

Anonymous said...

soo im a guy that does not read a lot of books but this was one of the best book that i ever read. But the one thing that was not good about this book was the ending but it makes u think what happens next.

Italia said...

TWISTED deals with all these issues and at times it can be quite bleak. Yet, the book is a book of hope. Tyler has to face his inner demons but they don't ultimately conquer him. Not only that, but he's not alone. Outside of his family he has his best friend, Yoda. At school his favorite teacher is his English teacher, Mr. Salvatore who is concerned for Tyler and his well being. These characters in addition to Tyler's mother, sister, and the high school janitorial crew help Tyler realize how unique and special that he is. He recognizes this, but doesn't fully understand it for quite sometime. Every teenager needs people like this in their lives and I weep for those who don't have anyone or think that they don't because I've seen first hand what happens to kids who don't.