Twisted, Laurie Halse Anderson

[amazon_image id=”0142411841″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Twisted[/amazon_image]Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel [amazon_link id=”0142411841″ target=”_blank” ]Twisted[/amazon_link] is the story of Tyler Miller, a seventeen-year-old boy with a dysfunctional family, a nerdy friend nicknamed Yoda who is in love with Tyler’s sister, a crush on teen queen Bethany Milbury, and a deep and abiding hatred for Bethany’s twin brother Chip. Tyler, caught spraying graffiti on the school, is ordered to do community service and remain under probation. His community service, helping out with a landscaper and school janitors, allows him to bulk up. His new physique, coupled with his newly-acquired bad-boy reputation, attract Bethany’s attention. She talks Tyler into breaking the terms of his probation and his parents’ restrictions to attend a huge party, where something that happens that causes Tyler’s life to nearly come crashing down around his ears.

I’m not sure I liked this book as much as [amazon_link id=”0312674392″ target=”_blank” ]Speak[/amazon_link] or [amazon_link id=”B004R96SCO” target=”_blank” ]Wintergirls[/amazon_link], but I still liked it enough to devour it in about a day. Laurie Halse Anderson might be this generation’s Judy Blume. Her characters are real people, with real problems. This story has much to say about the cycle of abuse and the workings of dysfunctional families. It’s a quick read. Tyler is a likeable character. If I didn’t like it as much as Anderson’s previous books, it might be because the protagonists were teenage girls, and as a former teenage girl myself, I suppose I found them easier to relate to. There is nothing that rings false about Tyler’s character (or any of the others). If you like Anderson’s other books, you’ll like this one, too. Anderson cleverly ties together several motifs (see, Tyler? I get it) in the end in a way that satisfies.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Full disclosure: I checked this book out of my school library.