Saturday, October 6, 2007

Remembering the twists and turns

One of the hazards of not being an everyday blogger is not remembering what I wanted to say about a book I finished listening to ... oh, 12 days ago. So, thoughts on Twisted aren't going to be that thorough. I didn't find the book to be all that compelling -- certainly not like Speak -- and there wasn't anything memorable about the audiobook. But there wasn't anything particularly unmemorable either.

Through the medium of a summer's community service, Tyler Miller has turned himself from a skinny nerd into a serious hard body, and attracted the attention of his high school's "It" girl, Bethany Milbury. Tyler has long worshipped Bethany from afar, so he's not quite sure how to handle her sudden interest. As a result, when things turn bad, Tyler is blamed for something he didn't do; but -- because of his prior run-in with the law -- everyone believes he did. The pressures building up in Tyler threaten to boil over, and he's not sure he has the resources to handle them.

I didn't think the narrator was very good. For me, he didn't capture that snarky, know-it-all, bored-to-tears-by-everything-around-me tone that embodied Tyler. He didn't seem particularly pissed off either, which seems to me to be critical in shaping Tyler's character. Did he make a deliberate choice to read neutrally? If so, I think it was the wrong choice. This story was crying out for creative interpretation. It has no power if you can't connect with Tyler.

Laurie Halse Anderson is coming to speak at my library this month, so I'm hopeful she'll get some questions from teens about this title.

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