Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Laurie Halse Anderson
4/5 Stars

Earlier this year, I read Twilight because a friend raved about it. I was very surprised that I would enjoy a young adult novel so much. I like it so much, I decided to join the young adult challenge. I saw Twisted reviewed on another blog and decided that it would be the first book in this challenge.

As a high school teacher, and the mother of a teenage boy, I found the character of Tyler to be very realistic. Anderson has managed to capture the indecision and longing for acceptance that every teenager experiences at this age.

Tyler, who sees himself as an outcast, is secretly in love with Bethany. When she begins to show him some attention, he is not sure how to react. Tyler's thoughts are classic:

“Bethany Milbury smiled at me in homeroom every day for the
next two weeks. The first couple times she did it, I turned
around to see who was standing behind me. Then came the day
she got up from her seat and hobbled over to sit in the chair in front
of me.

“Hi,” she said.

(Stunned silence on my part.)

She blinked her eyes. “Are you mad at me or something?”

I choked out an answer and she smiled so brightly that small holes
were burned in my retinas.”

--Page 58

Anderson also manages to infuse the characters her novel with a sense of humor. Some parts of the book deal with sensitive subjects such as suicide, drinking, and sexual assault. Tyler’s subtly humorous observations make it easier to get past the ugly topics and concentrate on the lessons he is trying to teach us.