Friday, 17 June 2011
Review: Pretty Twisted by Gina Blaxill
Released: May 6th, 2011
Grade rating: B
Jonathan and Ros meet online at a time when things are going sour for Jonathan. His stunning girlfriend, Freya, is away at college and they are growing apart - consequently, he is struggling with his own sense of identity. Ros is also experiencing some problems - one of her friends is dating an older man whose strange behaviour gives Ros cause for concern. Meanwhile, the local news has been reporting some kidnappings of teenage girls. So when Freya dumps Jonathan, then seems to disappear off the face of the earth, he enlists Ros' (somewhat reluctant) help in tracking down the girl he still loves.
Pretty Twisted is Gina Blaxill's debut novel, and it's a great way to start. It's fast-paced, intriguing, compelling and, yes, pretty twisted!
I'll be honest here, I did expect this book to be more shocking than it was. Does anyone remember The Hole, that brilliant, super-twisty film that was genuinely OMG-worthy? I thought it would be like that. The whole time, I was waiting for a big twist to hit me, so I could exclaim and wave my hands around in a "No way! Really?!" fashion. While the plot is clever to a point, I thought the ending was missing something. I think I just expected more, which is entirely my own fault and probably nothing to do with the book.
Ros and Jono are realistic characters, and I liked both of them. Jono is caught up in his girlfriend, while Ros is caught up in her friendship with Jono. They spin themselves into a tangled web when it emerges that Jono's girlfriend, Freya, is missing, and everything changes in an instant. They help each other and provide much needed support throughout the hunt for Freya, and both emerge on the other side as stronger people.
Blaxill covers a lot in Pretty Twisted, including the dangers of meeting strangers over the Internet. We all know this is stupid and not recommended to teenagers, and I wish Ros's father had taken a stronger interest in her actions and whereabouts. So, teens: don't do what Ros does. But if you have to, make sure you take an adult!
I enjoyed Pretty Twisted; it was one of those books that made me wish I could stay off work and finish it. Although the story didn't play out - or shock me - as much as I thought it would, it still kept me glued to the pages. I'll definitely be following Blaxill's writing career from now on, as this is a very promising start.