Rummanah Aasi
   Teenagers have it rough. Stuck between not being a child and not having the full rights as an adult is not a fun place to be. You are constantly surrounded by expectations of how you should behave by everyone around you. We all have heard of stories about coming of age, but what does that exactly mean? Perhaps it means developing your own identity and dealing with power struggles with the adults around you. These themes are certainly the center of Laurie Halse Anderson's book entitled Twisted.

Description: Tyler Miller wanted to change his social status at his high school. He longer wanted to be the butt of jokes and the human target of the bullies at his school. He thought doing a prank would make him noticeable. Spray painting and defacing school property made him a legend and allowed him to gain the reputation of a criminal. When a high school party turns serious, Tyler is implicated in a drunken crime. Did he do it?

Review: I generally really like Anderson's novels about teens. She can accurately and efficiently portray the struggles of today's teens. In Twisted, her first male centered novel, she is able to show how much pressure Tyler receives from his verbally abusive father, his challenging classes at school, and the social pressures from his peers. Although the novel suffers from some stereotypical characters such as the 'hard' father who is absorbed into his work, the uncaring principal, and the popular kids who get away with pretty much anything, and the dialogue seems to come from a generic PG-13 teen movie,  Tyler's struggle to stand up for himself and to become his version of what a mean should be with or without the help of his father is real. There is a good balance of humor and seriousness. Not one of my favorite books by Anderson, but nonetheless an enjoyable read.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: Mild language. Scenes of underage drinking.

If you like this book, try: Ironman by Chris Crutcher
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