Twisted

Paperback | May 15, 2008

byLaurie Halse Anderson

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From New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father's boss's daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy, and Tyler's secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in school, in his family, and in the world.

"Poignant and gripping." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Once again, Anderson's taut, confident writing will cause this story to linger long after the books is set down." —SLJ

A New York Times Bestseller
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults 

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From the Publisher

From New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse AndersonHigh school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe. His new physique attracts the att...

Laurie Halse Anderson has received both the Margaret Edwards Award and the ALAN Award for her contributions to young adult literature. She has also been honored by the National Coalition Against Censorship in recognition of her fight to combat the censoring of literature. She is the author of the groundbreaking National Book Award fina...

other books by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Speak

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The Impossible Knife Of Memory
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.2 × 5.4 × 0.75 inPublished:May 15, 2008Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142411841

ISBN - 13:9780142411841

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from I Felt Like There Was No Concept At All... 1.5/5 stars I've been wanting to buy Laurie Halse Anderson's new novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory, but now, I'm second-guessing my decision. Twisted was a real disaster compared to Speak and Wintergirls, the first two books by Laurie that I've ever read. I found that there was no concept going on here. It was just a plain contemporary where Tyler's life was going on. He wanted Bethany to like him, that's basically it.  I didn't finish this book. I read about three-quarters of it, then put it down because I realized that I was wasting my time. I really didn't like it! In the beginning, it wasn't bad. It kind of was getting somewhere, but then by the near middle, it didn't get anywhere, except to my angry mind. Tyler was a good character. He was likeable and had some sort of sense of direction in him. He knew what he was doing even at the roughest times. I didn't find him and Bethany to be a good match, someone like Melinda from "Speak" would be his perfect match, in my eyes.  I am so so so disappointed in this book. I figured that it would also be amazing just like the author's other books, hopefully it's only this one and the rest are spectacular just like the were in the beginning.     
Date published: 2014-03-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent book for adolescents and young adults (The Chapters-Indigo website has been deleting my ratings so: I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars/leaves.) In general, this was a good book for the adolescent and young adult demographic. The characters were well crafted and their interactions believable. The story focused on a young adolescent, his personal struggles as he established his own identity and principles, and his relationship with his family. It dealt quite well with the consequences of certain negative family dynamics. The author had a good grip on the adolescent male viewpoint. So overall, a decently written book featuring an honest portrayal of an individual's struggle for self-identity, one which I would not hesitate to recommend to adolescents in particular. Similar recommended titles (given here because of the weird problems I've been having with the Chapters/Indigo website and which they STILL haven't fixed): -Perfect Chemistry, by Simone Elkeles -The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart -The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Date published: 2011-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really provoking Yet another impressive book from Laurie Halse Anderson. I can honestly say that I was impressed at how well she captured the male teen voice. I find that Anderson ends her stories at just the right time. Oh yes, you do want to know more about what's going on with the characters and I'm sure she's heard clamouring for sequels, but the story ends in a really satisfying way. Right when the story should end. And I truly feel respected as a reader to have an author do that to me. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2010-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great This book was really good i couldnt put it down!!!!!!!!!!!! amazing Story great characters in totall an awsome book in all
Date published: 2009-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love. I had to read this for a class and enjoyed it so much I went out and bought my own copy of it. Great coming-of-age story about a boy whose life spirals out of control after getting busted for doing graffiti on his school. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Date published: 2009-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down! This book was amazing! The way Laurie Halse Anderson wrote this book, I felt like I was apart of Tyler's life, she made it really hard for me to look away :). With clever one-liners and interesting conflicts, Twisted is a book I would recommend to every teen!
Date published: 2009-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning insight and story Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of 5 novels and 3 picture books. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards and many recommendations. Each of her books that I have read has been excellent and this one is no exception. The dust jacket states "Everybody told me to be a man ... Nobody told me how." Anderson captures the essence of the journey from a boy to a man. Tyler Miller had been caught defacing school property, and now he is a hero to some, and an outcast to others, and is trying to find his way in the world. He has done community service all summer at the school, and worked for a landscaping company. Now he must return to school and face the students and teachers who know what he did and the punishment he received for it. The school year begins badly; at a party he is knocked into a tray of glasses and cuts the feet of the Alpha female of the school, who happens to be the women of his dreams, Bethany Milbury. Tyler is forced to take Bethany a cake as an apology for the accident. They become friends, and seem to be sort of dating. Then Bethany gets trashed at a party, and Tyler does the right thing. Yet Tyler broke his curfew from the court and that is just the beginning of some serious problems in his life. Unfortunately someone takes advantage of Bethany while she is drunk and most people think it is Tyler because of his reputation. Most people think he did it. The cops keep coming by. He is attacked in school and out of school. He struggles with what to do, how to be a man. Can he learn how to be a man; can he take control of his life that seems completely out of control? This book does an amazing job of capturing the angst of growing up, of finding your place in the world. It shows clearly the transition from boy to man, and then end of high school and moving on to the rest of life. Anderson, as a woman, surprised me with he ability to write about becoming a man; her insight and clarity are awesome. This book should become a classic. Much like her earlier novel Speak I believe this book should be on the reading list for every high school or university Children's Literature course. The book leaves you wanting more. The reader will want to know what happens next. Where is Tyler in a year, 3, 5 or 10? These questions will haunt you after you finish the book. (First Published in Imprint 2007-09-28 as 'Short Titles With Varied Depths.')
Date published: 2008-07-01
Rated out of 5 by from Stunning insight and story telling Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of 5 novels and 3 picture books. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards and many recommendations. Each of her books that I have read has been excellent and this one is no exception. The dust jacket states "Everybody told me to be a man ... Nobody told me how." Anderson captures the essence of the journey from a boy to a man. Tyler Miller had been caught defacing school property, and now he is a hero to some, and an outcast to others, and is trying to find his way in the world. He has done community service all summer at the school, and worked for a landscaping company. Now he must return to school and face the students and teachers who know what he did and the punishment he received for it. The school year begins badly; at a party he is knocked into a tray of glasses and cuts the feet of the Alpha female of the school, who happens to be the women of his dreams, Bethany Milbury. Tyler is forced to take Bethany a cake as an apology for the accident. They become friends, and seem to be sort of dating. Then Bethany gets trashed at a party, and Tyler does the right thing. Yet Tyler broke his curfew from the court and that is just the beginning of some serious problems in his life. Unfortunately someone takes advantage of Bethany while she is drunk and most people think it is Tyler because of his reputation. Most people think he did it. The cops keep coming by. He is attacked in school and out of school. He struggles with what to do, how to be a man. Can he learn how to be a man; can he take control of his life that seems completely out of control? This book does an amazing job of capturing the angst of growing up, of finding your place in the world. It shows clearly the transition from boy to man, and then end of high school and moving on to the rest of life. Anderson, as a woman, surprised me with he ability to write about becoming a man; her insight and clarity are awesome. This book should become a classic. Much like her earlier novel Speak I believe this book should be on the reading list for every high school or university Children's Literature course. The book leaves you wanting more. The reader will want to know what happens next. Where is Tyler in a year, 3, 5 or 10? These questions will haunt you after you finish the book. (First Published in Imprint 2007-09-28 as 'Short Titles With Varied Depths.')
Date published: 2008-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You Won't Be Able To Put It Down! I teach teenagers. When I read this, I couldn't put it down. I gave it to a boy in my class and he loved it! He gave it to another boy in the class, who would "sneak read" it during all of his classes, because he couldn't put it down. I then convinced one of my most reluctant male readers to give it a try. At the probing of the other boys, who said he would be addicted, he tried it, and soon asked if he could take it home over March Break! This book is a great read for both male and female teens and adults who enjoy teen fiction. It has superb character development and deals with extremely mature and sensitive matters in a manner that will have readers laughing out loud. Somehow Halse Anderson has captured the inner thoughts of a teenage boy through the narrator Tyler, a Grade 12 student who faces high expectations from parents, a younger sister who tries to get him to "dress cool", a struggling and dysfunctional relationship with his father and the pressures of being a teen in a typical high school. Despite all of this, Tyler learns that one mistake in judgment does not determine a person's character. This book sends a strong message about doing the right thing in the face of adversity and finding hope in dark situations; yet it does so in a manner that will have you in stitches! I can't wait for Anderson's next novel with a male narrator! There is no other teen fiction like this one. It is a unique find and will appeal to the most reluctant male readers, because of it's honesty into the teenage male brain; but female teens will like it too.
Date published: 2008-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book! This is a wonderful book. Laurie Halse Anderson is starting to become one of my favourite authors. This book is about a boy - he was nerdy but at the end of junior year he decides to do a big stunt to get some attention - spray paint the school - and gets caught. He gets community service and probation and a summer of hard work builds lots of muscles and interest from Bethany. The girl of his dreams. But then stuff gets out of control. It is one of those books with such a real teen voice and it is rare that it is a male voice. I really really liked this book.
Date published: 2008-02-15

Extra Content

Read from the Book

chapter one I spent the last Friday of summer vacation spreading hot, sticky tar across the roof of George Washington High. My companions were Dopey, Toothless, and Joe, the brain surgeons in charge of building maintenance. At least they were getting paid. I was working forty feet above the ground, breathing in sulfur fumes from Satan’s vomitorium, for free. Character building, my father said. Mandatory community service, the judge said. Court-ordered restitution for the Foul Deed. He nailed me with the bill for the damage I had done, which meant I had to sell my car and bust my hump at a landscaping company all summer. Oh, and he gave me six months of meetings with a probation officer who thought I was a waste of human flesh. Still, it was better than jail. I pushed the mop back and forth, trying to coat the seams evenly. We didn’t want any rain getting into the building and destroying the classrooms. Didn’t want to hurt the school. No, sir, we sure didn’t. Joe wandered over, looked at my work, and grunted. “We done yet?” asked Dopey. “Thunderstorms rolling in soon. Heavy weather.” I looked up. There were no clouds in the sky. Joe nodded slowly, studying the roof. “Yeah, we’re done.” He turned off the motor on the tar kettle. “Last day for Tyler, here. Bet you’re glad to be quit of us, huh, kid?” “Nah,” I lied. “You guys have been great.” Dopey cackled. “If them sewer pipes back up again, we’ll get you out of class.” There had been a few advantages to working with these guys. They taught me how to steal free soda out of the vending machines. I snagged a couple of keys when they weren’t looking. Best of all, the hard labor had turned me from Nerd Boy into Tyler the Amazing Hulk, with ripped muscles and enough testosterone to power a nuclear generator. “Hey, get a load of this!” Toothless shouted. We picked our way around the fresh tar patches and looked where he was pointing, four stories down. I stayed away from the edge; I wasn’t so good at heights. But then I saw them: angels with pony tails gathered in the parking lot. The girls’ tennis team. Wearing bikini tops and short shorts. Wearing wet bikini tops and wet short shorts. I inched closer. It was a car wash, with vehicles lined up all the way out to the road, mostly driven by guys. Barely clad girls were bending, stretching, soaping up, scrubbing, and squealing. They were squirting each other with hoses. And squealing. Did I mention that? “Take me now, Lord,” Toothless muttered. The marching band was practicing in the teachers’ lot. They fired up their version of “Louie, Louie.” Finely toned tennis-angel butts bounced back and forth to the beat. Then a goddess rose up from the hubcap of a white Ford Explorer. Bethany Milbury. The driver of the Explorer said something. Bethany smiled and blew at the soapsuds in her hands so bubbles floated through the air and landed on his nose. The driver melted into a puddle on the front seat. Bethany threw back her head and laughed. The sun flashed off her teeth. Joe’s tongue dropped out of his mouth and sizzled on the hot roof. Dopey took off his glasses, rubbed them on a corner of his shirt, and put them back on. Toothless adjusted himself. Bethany bounced along to the next car in line, a dark-green Avenger that was burning oil. Bethany Milbury pushes me against the hood of my cherry-red, turbocharged Testarossa. “I love fast cars,” she whispers, soapy fingers in my hair. “This is the fastest,” I say. “I’ve been waiting so long for you, Tyler. . . .” Her head tilts, her lips open. I am so ready for this. She grabs my arm and snarls, “Be careful, dummy, you’ll break your neck.” No, wait. I blinked. I was on a hot tar roof with three smelly grown men. Joe was gripping my arm, yanking me back from the edge. “I said, be careful, dummy. That first step is a doozy.” “Sorry,” I said. “I mean, thanks.” A navy-blue 1995 Mercedes S500 sedan rolled into the parking lot. It came to complete stop. Left blinker flashing, it turned and parked in front of the building. A man in a black suit got out of the driver’s seat. Stood next to the car. Looked up at me and tapped the face of his watch once, twice, three times. I had inconvenienced him again.Dopey, Toothless, and Joe crawled out of sight. They had seen my father detonate before.

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONTwistedHigh school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background—average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father's boss's daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy—and Tyler's secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in the school, in his family, and in the world. In Twisted, the acclaimed Laurie Halse Anderson tackles a very controversial subject: what it means to be a man today. Fans and new readers alike will be captured by Tyler's pitchperfect, funny voice, the surprising narrative arc, and the thoughtful moral dilemmas that are at the heart of all of the author's award-winning, widely read work. ABOUT LAURIE HALSE ANDERSONLaurie Halse Anderson was born in Potsdam, a cold place in northern New York State where as a little girl, she pounded away at her father’s old typewriter for hours, writing newspaper columns, stories, and letters. She never intended to be an author. At Georgetown University, she majored in foreign languages and linguistics. Laurie hit the real world with no idea of what kind of work she wanted to do. She tried everything, including cleaning banks, milking cows, and working as a stockbroker. Being a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer was a slight improvement, but she eventually quit to write books. Her first novel, Speak, was a National Book Award Finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book, a New York Times Bestseller, and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. Laurie currently lives with her family in Mexico, New York. To find out more about Laurie, visit her website at www.writerlady.com. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSTyler’s landscaping job develops his muscles, but also allows him to use his skills at digging holes: “I was good at digging holes. It was the rest of life I sucked at” (p. 39). What figurative holes has Tyler dug for himself in his life? Is it really true that he isn’t good at anything else? Although he doesn’t seem like a depressed person, Tyler admits to being preoccupied with death. “Thinking about death relaxed me” (p. 44). Why? In what ways has he died and been reborn again throughout the story? At Tyler’s high school there is a clear distinction between the popular crowd and everyone else. Where do you fit in the social scale at your school? In what ways has the status you hold in your social sphere defined you? In what ways is this role true to who you are? In what ways is it not? Why does Tyler like Bethany? Were there any signs early on that she might not really like him the same way he liked her? What do you think is her real attraction to him? Is it true when his sister Hannah says that it could never have worked out? In your own life, are there any examples of two very different people who manage to be together despite their apparent differences? What do you think of Tyler’s reaction to Bethany’s behavior at the party? How would you react? Would you be sad? Angry? Why do you think Laurie Halse Anderson chose “Twisted” as the title of this novel? What does it mean in relation to the story? On the surface Tyler seems to disrespect the janitors that he is made to work with as part of his probation. Yet they act as a sort of conscience and offer support later in the story. Have you ever gotten help from an unexpected source? Who has Tyler been trying to be? His father? A loser? A cool guy? Which of these identities is closest to his true self? 

Editorial Reviews

"...a chillingly accurate portrayal of the high-school social scene, in which morals, perceptions and conceptions of truth are continually...challenged." --Publishers Weekly

"Anderson...stretches her wings by offering...a male protagonist... one of the most poignant and gripping scenes in young-adult literature."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review