Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Published March 20, 2007
Twisted was a book I am conflicted with. Part of me appreciated the realness of the character, Tyler, a high school teenage boy and another part of me was taken aback from the disturbing thoughts from Tyler. I’m not sure if the author depicted a genuine side of things for teenage boys who have been mentally and emotionally beaten by their fathers or if she was merely exaggerating some parts of the novel.
I honestly thought the book was well written in terms of characterization. Despite my confliction, I can still admit that the author painted a very well-rounded and realistic character. I can’t say I was able to relate to Tyler exactly because I was never in that situation nor am I a male; however, at the same time, I can understand and can sympathize the struggles he went through as the “loser kid” in both at school and at home. I also liked how you see how Tyler was able to finally change and stand up for himself at school and at home even though for majority of the book, you see him struggling with his insecurities despite the fact that he knew that he was bigger and stronger than his bully at school.
The one thing I didn’t really get was Tyler’s father. I wish there was more information about what went on with him at work so the readers could somewhat understand his stress and struggles because I can definitely relate with work life struggles. It was also good to see his father change for the better at the end but it definitely took a lot of courage from Tyler to make it happen. At least his mother and sister were relatively there for him. He just had a dysfunctional and angry dad.
Another thing about the book that I wish was delved more into was the Bethany scandal. I felt like the police were very, very distant side characters and only showed up to tell him he was a suspect yet made no further progress that was known to Tyler and his family and the reader. It wasn’t until the end when they wrapped the investigation that the result was finally out in the open. I just thought it was strange because Tyler was the only treated like a leper yet apparently he was not the only suspect? How was the school able to do this without any legal repercussions?
Overall, interesting book with an interesting POV especially from a female writer. I can’t say for sure how accurate she depicted a teenage boy with his suicidal thoughts but for the other parts, it seemed somewhat accurate from my own personal point of view. I would probably recommend this book to those who are in similar situations so maybe they can gain some confidence from this novel since there was a happy ending.