Pretty Twisted is the debut novel from British author, Gina Blaxill. It was published on 6th May by Macmillan Children’s Books and it is 275 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.
Ever since fourteen year old Ros met Jonathan in a chat room online, she has had a massive crush on him. There are a few problems though. She told him she was older, showed him a picture of her sister and he has a girlfriend, Freya, who is gorgeous and probably way out of his league. Still, they get to be friends and talk to each other about everything and anything.
While Freya is away at college and the relationship with Jonathan is getting strained more and more every day, he has a bit of an identity crisis. He doesn’t know who he is without her. When Freya dumps Jonathan and goes missing, he begins to panic and doesn’t know who else to turn to for help apart from Ros, thinking she is older than she really is. Ros has problems of her own though with friends hanging around with strange, older men but Jonathan is there to help her figure out what to do. Ros and Jonathan’s lives have suddenly become intertwined in a way that they will never forget.
What I thought
Although I am really into YA contemporary novels, I am not so much into YA contemporary/ thriller novels so I was a little wary about reading this book.
Before I get to the aspects of this book that I didn’t like, which there are a few of, I will get into the good parts. The part of the book that I was expecting to like the least was that it was a thriller and actually, it turned out that it was what I enjoyed most. The idea surrounding what was happening so scarily real. Unlike some other thrillers I have read, where the plot is insane and unlikely to ever happen, this wasn’t the case with this book. People go missing all of the time and teenage girls especially and with things like this being in the media so often, it was a topic really close to home. The way the lead up to the main event was written was extremely realistic, tense and exciting all at the same time. Really, this was the only thing I truly liked about this book though.
Even though the main plot won me over, the rest, however, didn’t. Main characters, Ros and Jonathan meet online in a chat room and while this would have been current maybe 10 years ago, it isn’t really anymore. Maybe if they had met each other some other way online, it would have made for a more convincing and believable story. Also, I’m not altogether sure if a 14 year old girl who leads a quite sheltered life and seems to be pretty sensible would go and meet a guy she hadn’t even been talking to for very long. Ros was a girl who seemed to have her head screwed on so this part of the book didn’t really add up for me. However, I can see that she wanted attention and for someone to listen to her so I guess this could have been a big part of meeting Jonathan.
Ros and Jonathan, the main characters, were people I didn’t really like either unfortunately. Ros was a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes she would act really mature and sensible for a 14 year old and then at other times, she would be a complete idiot and do something which made me want to shout at her a little bit. Jonathan was slightly better due to the fact that he was a bit more complicated than Ros. Jono had hidden depths and talents and unlike Ros, has a very distinct and interesting voice about him. He is level headed for the most part but doesn’t mind letting his emotions show and I liked this about him. Jono was interesting mostly because he isn’t like other boys in YA books. He isn’t amazingly hot with supernatural abilities. He is just a normal teenager.
While Pretty Twisted wasn’t to my own personal taste, I can see many people loving it. With a tense mystery full of suspense and a crazy friendship between two unlikely people, it has a lot to offer readers who are more into this genre of book.