Is it Twisted in a good way...
Pretty Twisted - Gina Blaxill
Member Name: Emma1973
Pretty Twisted - Gina Blaxill
Advantages: A good book for younger teenagers
Disadvantages: Too simplistic for older teenagers.
And hence here's Blaxills Pretty Twisted. It is your usual tale of teenage angst but mixed with murder and teenage disappearances.
The story centres around 14yr old Rosalind and 16yr old Jonathan. Ros lives in London with her bitchy older sister Olivia and single Dad. Single child Jonathan has a girlfriend, Freya and lives with his much older parents in Norwich.
How did these two meet? Of course in that medium writers are so fond of now and makes you wonder how people met before, or how writers used to get characters to meet. It is of course the Internet, which has raised a thousand bad plot lines. These two become connected when Jonathan randomly messages Ros through a social media site.
'Of all the people in all of the world you had to 'ping' me'
The book then takes the form of messages, of course its that annoying 'text talk', and from events from the perspective of Ros or Jonathan, there are no chapters as such. This isn't unique and happens quite a lot in this particular genre, the dialogue between them in the text talk is written in different fonts in order to distinguish between the two, but because there is no 'talking' as such I did find myself getting confused between the two and having to really concentrate to remember which message was which. Thankfully the messaging isn't the main method of communication in the book so its not too bothersome. When they are not typing each chapter is from one of their perspectives.
There are almost two separate plots in this book which towards the end overlap. Ros is concerned her friend Abby is getting involved in situations she wont be able to handle. They tag along with another 'friend' called Claudia who introduce them to 3 'artists' Gabe, Hugh and Bryan who are all in their 20's. Claudia is involved with the oldest, Gabe who is 30, and Abby who is 15 finds she is getting into a relationship with 24 yr old Bryan. Ros finds the whole situation worrying and is trying to protect her friend from doing something rash.
Jonathans girlfriend Freya has gone to music school in London where they try to keep their relationship going. Jonathan has worries as two girls where Freya lives have gone missing, one turning up dead. Then Freya goes missing and no-one knows where she is. Ros and Jonathan finally meet and try to solve the mystery of Freyas disappearance.
Ros is immature, there's no doubt about it, nor do I think she particularly grows up during this book. There's no revelations with her, with either of them actually which is a little disappointing. To be honest she's the mate who's always whinging when you think about doing anything naughty. She's a real 'my Dad will kill me' type of person. Thankfully this doesn't become too annoying. Her actions towards the end do confirm that all teenagers are a little bit odd.
Jonathan is the wannabe teenage rebel, he wants to go his own way with his music but his parents are having none of it particularly as he was the kid at school who got the highest grades. You cant help but feel a bit of sympathy for him, we've all had that parent pressure and the heartbreak of losing our first love. He does go very paranoid though and sweeps Ros along with him with them getting them into quite serious bother. He's probably the only one that grows up in the book and finally gets what he wants. This I found most interesting as it's usually the lead female character who gets whatever she wants, has the epiphany but I liked the way this was done.
I shall put it bluntly! Freya is a selfish madam who definitely doesn't think of others, Claudia is way too old for her age and on the way to single parenthood and a star spot on Jeremy Kyle. Abby is just a soft sap although her character does take on an important role at the end. Hugh just has too big an opinion of himself, Gabe is a too rich bum who's going to be collecting the dole for the rest of his life. Brian, well Brian is just plain weird, he likes 15yr old girls!
I cant criticise the characters, they are typecast for this particular genre of book, nothing really revelatory about any of them.
It's an O.k book, there's really nothing to complain about, compared to other books of this genre it fits in nicely but doesn't stand out. Adults are going to be used to a far more sophisticated level of writing in what is basically a thriller. For say, a 13/14yr old I'd say it's a good way to introduce them to the genre of thrillers as there is a build up to the end they may enjoy. It also has some good lessons in there which older teenagers may end up rolling their eyes up at, particularly the ones about not going off with strangers, and remembering older boys only want one thing!
The ending is good and I do think it will surprise some readers, I'm not going to criticise the book and I would be happy to buy it for a younger teenager particularly as there is no violence, sexual behaviour and swearing.
Summary: A typical teenage book in which boy meets girl and they go off and do daft things!