Thursday, January 24, 2008


Anderson, Laurie Halse. 2007. TWISTED. New York: Viking. ISBN 9780670061013 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]

Nerdy Tyler Miller spends the summer before his senior year performing community service by physical labor for the school graffiti-spraying prank he pulled the previous spring. However, with his new hunky build and his new “tough guy” reputation, he catches the eye of the popular Bethany Milbury, his boss’s daughter and sister of his arch enemy.

Although Tyler steadily attempts to get his life together, it begins to spiral out of control when Bethany dumps him after he won’t sleep with her. Following a party they both attend, Tyler gets blamed when nude photos of Bethany appear on the Internet. The old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” applies when Tyler must contend with the police; his angry, abusive dad (whose job is in jeopardy because he works for Mr. Milbury); a revenge-seeking principal; and classmates who peg Tyler as a loser.

Again, Anderson understands the world in which teens live. The cutting-edge plot (this time from the boy’s perspective), realistic dialogue, and well-developed characters create an unforgettable novel.

Pair with Anderson’s SPEAK 9780844672922 to get the female perspective on lives spiraling out of control. A good discussion could result if the boys read SPEAK and the girls read TWISTED. Have students discuss how realistic the points of view and actions are.

Other novels about teens coping with difficult situations:
Charlton-Truillo, E.E. FEELS LIKE HOME. ISBN 9780385903493
Nelson, Blake. THE NEW RULES OF HIGH SCHOOL. ISBN 0670036447
Zarr, Sara. ABOUT A GIRL. ISBN 9780316014533

By Donna Woody

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