Monday, September 14, 2009

...T W I S T E D...

In this young adult novel by Laurie Halse Anderson we meet Tyler. He is not so much what we would call your "average teen". He is caught vandalizing school property and is sentence to a summer of manual labor. However every cloud had its silver lining. This manual labor has transformed Tyler from a skinny kid who was never noticed into a well developed standout amount his classmates. For the first time in four years he is being noticed by his classmates. Most importantly he catches the attention of Bethany Milbury, the prettiest and most popular girl in the school, basically the girl of his dreams. After he spends some time with her they slowly begin to grow closer and start dating. Even though things seem all and well, Tyler is living a very troubled life. His father is verbally abusive and shows him no attention, his mother drinks alot, and his best friend is being traumatized at school. With all this on his plate Tyler contemplates hurting himself and others all throughout the story. He imagines himself being "the next dead boy on CNN", he says thinking about death relaxes him, and even puts a gun in his mouth at one point. Along with all this added stress after a wild party and a series of unfortunate incidents occur after a wild night of partying Tyler ends up as the number one suspect in an incident involving Bethany. This book is full of "Twist" and turns.

I think this is a perfect YA book. It should definitely be for a more mature audience because there are a lot of sexual references, a lot of talk about death, and some really foul language. I think this book is perfect because it tackles a lot of problems that teens go through that they may not feel comfortable talking to their parents or teachers about. The way Tyler handles these situations may not be the best decision but it is REAL and that is the most important thing. Sometimes when things are going bad in teens lives they may feel like their only option is the most extreme one. This books opens up discussion for what to do if you are ever in a situation like Tyler's. I think a lot of parents will consider this book as inappropriate because of the issues it raises. What these parents fail to realize is just because their children aren't showing it, they could be feeling the same thing. I would recommend this book maybe to a sophomore student in high school.

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