Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ARC Review: Twisted by Marjorie Brody

Title: Twisted
Author: Marjorie Brody
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult, Suspense

Goodreads rating: 4.20 out of 5.00 (5 ratings pre-release)
Goodreads link | Book Depository | Amazon

Sarah Hausman must hide a secret-even from herself. If she acknowledges the truth, it will destroy everyone she loves. 
Timid fourteen-year-old Sarah wants her controlling mother to stop prying into what happened the night of the freshman dance. Confess to the police? No way. Confide in her mother? Get real. The woman is too busy, too proud, and too jealous of Sarah to really care if her life disintegrates. Besides, her mother will say Sarah is totally to blame for what the boys did-which Sarah believes is true. So she doubly needs to shield the truth. Not just from Momma. But from everyone. Including herself.
Beautiful, confident, eighteen-year-old Judith Murielle lives the ideal life. She has college plans, respect from family and friends, and a fiance she adores. But as a mysterious connection pulls her toward Sarah, Judith's perfect world unravels. Acting as Sarah's sole confidante, Judith gains the power to expose her secret. Will the truth be worth the sacrifice? Or will Sarah stop at nothing to keep Judith quiet?

Review by Chantelle

Firstly, you will want to read this book, it's bringing the masterful telling of a great thriller to the young adult genre. Secondly, you will need to clear your day for when you do, because Twisted will ensnare you from the beginning and not let go until the bitter end.

The novel begins with the night of the freshman dance, and it is delivered with shocking honesty. What surprised me was the high quality, poetic writing style of Marjorie Brody, and even in that first chapter, there were three stand-out sentences.

"Evening had stolen all the blue from the sky, draping it in veiled shades of black. The lone glimmer of light, a slender, curved moon high overhead, dangled among sooty clouds."

"Inside me, adrenaline bubbled like a shaken bottle of Dr. Pepper, its foam out of control, making me dizzy with risk."

"Dollars fell like rose petals on a dying breeze."

I remember reading each of those sentences and admiring them, reading them aloud and rereading them. I remember thinking - hook, meet line and sinker because this book is going to be amazing.

Fortunately I was not disappointed. Twisted is a psychological thriller centred around fourteen year old Sarah Hausman who hides a secret, and everyone keeps wanting to know what happened the night of the freshman dance. The relationship she has with her mother is rocky at best, who's a fourteen year old girl supposed to confide in if not family? Eighteen year old Judith Murielle has the perfect life, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect future, but then it all starts to unravel...

This book deals with some extremely serious and sensitive topics, it's usually something that I shy away from when choosing books. However since I had no idea what I was getting into, (I only found out when it was too late) I was extremely surprised that it didn't bother me. I have to attribute it to how masterfully Marjorie Brody explored these situations. It was suffocatingly intense, at times heartbreaking, and very well paced.  The foreshadowing of this novel is so well constructed, that I picked up on it, and yet was still blindsided by the last 10% of the novel which was when the avalanche of realisation came and everything made sense. Through the alternating POVs of Sarah and Judith, the wrenching plot is delivered flawlessly. Her ability to handle these issues without coming across as bias or judgemental was magic.

Twisted has a running emphasis on the importance and often misleading nature of memories, assumptions and answers. Memory is presented early on as unreliable, powerful and as a double-edged sword. The potential ambiguity of the quote "Remember this moment" resonated through me the entire novel. There are things we choose and want to remember, and those that we can't forget no matter how hard we try; the voluntary and involuntary nature of memory that makes certain moments live forever in your conscience. Assumptions are treated the same, Sarah's mum makes many assumptions about Sarah who is a victim in this novel, however, Marjorie Brody primarily relies on her manipulation of the readers assumptions about how they believe a victim should act. Finally, "Answers", complete with a capital A. Sarah hides Answers everywhere. The clever capital made me think about our obsession and fixation on needing Answers to everything, the importance we assign them to relieve all our worries.

In this way, Twisted had me bed ridden all day, completely antisocial and by the end, completely mind blown.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5

Thank you to Belle Bridge Books for sending me an ARC via Netgalley! By no means did this influence my opinion of the book. 


  1. THe sensitive topics handled well and the beautiful quotes reflecting the writing sounds great to me.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Thanks Brandi :) I really hope you get a chance to read Twisted!