The newest book to bear the Laurie Halse Anderson byline is Twisted, the story of a teenage boy who changed between junior and senior year. It isn't until senior year begins that he becomes aware of these changes, thanks to the reactions of his classmates. In one moment, with one glance, earns the respect of some and the contempt of others. When something happens which pushes both ends to the extreme, Tyler must decide what is worth standing up for, and determine how the truth became so twisted.
Readers familiar with Anderson's narrative style will like Tyler's voice. He is notable for various reasons, the most obvious being that he is Anderson's first male protagonist. His journey is furthered by the introduction of Bethany, who is not only the most popular girl in his class, but also the daughter of his father's boss. Her interest in Tyler leads the near-ruin of the boy - which could, in turn, lead to his finest moment or complete downfall.
My favorite character in Twisted is Hannah*, Tyler's younger sister. She is a bright-eyed freshman, youthful and vibrant, ready to brave the world. I could see and hear her vividly. I felt as though she symbolized the blurred lines that young women have to read between these days. For example, she dressed provocatively when she hit high school, but was not doing so to attract attention, nor did she ever do anything out-of-line. She was anxious to grow up and was doing so more quickly than her brother was prepared for - which is something parents feel all too often! Her storyline nicely paralleled her brother's story, and her advice often kept him afloat.
In short, another solid story from Laurie Halse Anderson which will please her loyal readers. Also recommended for fans of Alex Flinn (Breaking Point) and John Green (Looking for Alaska). Pair it with Good Girls by Laura Ruby.
* After posting this review and the interview with Laurie, I heard from more members of the Hannah Appreciation Society. I am curious as to how many of those fans are already card-carrying members of the Melinda Appreciation Society, as the girls are so vastly different. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.