Friday, January 22, 2010

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

I really like Halse Anderson books. She has a real edge to her, and deals with some heavy issues that some teens face. I always think of her as an author more for girls, but she has proved me wrong with Twisted.

In Twisted, we meet Tyler Miller, he is a senior in high school who until last year was basically ignored by most people. At the end of last year, he pulled a stupid prank and was busted by the police. After serving his community service, he is ready to put it all behind him and finish his last year in high school. What he finds when he starts back to school is that people look at him differently, he is a bit more sought after by some of the more popular kids. It seems that his run in with the law makes him a person of interest.

When the girl of his dreams starts paying attention to him, Tyler is at a real loss. He doesn't feel that he has changed at all and can't figure out why she is talking to him. Even worse, her brother has always been Tyler's biggest enemy and doesn't like the attention Tyler is getting- from anybody. Throw in the fact that this brother and sister's father happens to be his father's boss- things get a little out of control.

Tyler's family is also a bit dysfunctional. His father is very angry at Tyler, his boss, his wife, and the world in general. He isn't a very likable man. Tyler's mother tries to make excuses, but Tyler is quickly realizing that becoming an adult means seeing your parents for who they really are. Not who you want them to be.

Tyler's new popularity gets him invited to parties, but going to these parties leads to more trouble for him. When he gets into more trouble, his past actions suddenly come back and make things very difficult for him.

This is a great story that can really be used to show kids how one bad decision can affect the rest of your life. It also really showcases families in trouble and the support that kids need to grow up. This book is really more appropriate for high school students, or mature Intermediate students. It sure would be good for some discussions as well.

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