Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
As the train entered the tunnel, it struck me just how bizarre this all was.
It could be a chick-flick tag line; 'girl likes boy but keep it hidden as
she helps boy search for the girl he loves.'
Ros met Jono online just a couple of weeks ago. Now Jono's beautiful ex-girlfriend Freya has disappeared without a trace . . . and disturbing evidence is coming to light. So Rose agrees to help him search for her - but she is hiding a secret of her own.
This is only the beginning.
This story is about to get PRETTY TWISTED.
PRETTY TWISTED is the first novel written by Gina Blaxill and I was pretty surprised to find this book waiting for me in the mail. Best of all, I didn't even know I was getting it. But thanks to the lovely publishers of Macmillan Children's Books UK, they were very kind to send this book for me to review and it sure was a very interesting one. While the story itself was well-written, but there were definitely some up-and-down's with this title. However, from start to finish, I really enjoyed the mystery the story it offered - cause I love mysteries since I'm a huge Nancy Drew geek - and at the very last page . . . you learn some things from the book too.
PRETTY TWISTED is told in double narratives with alternating chapters from the two main characters, Ros and Jonathan, who meet by accident online. They share a few things in common: they're lonely, not sure where they fit in, and they just want someone to talk to. Of course, when they meet, the characters instantly click. Jonathan is 16 and living in rural Norfolk. His girlfriend, Freya, is living in London while his parents are forcing him to do A levels - which he doesn't want. Like the boy loner, he doesn't have any proper friends and he feels like his girlfriend is the only person he can really talk to. Whereas Ros is 14 (though she pretends to be 16 when she meets Jono online) and is living in London . . . but she's a bit lost. She isn't cool like her friends, doesn't like talking to boys and has a group of friends that don't treat her well. Online, Jono thinks she's a hero of some sorts which ends up turning Ros's feelings for him, into something more.
What I liked most about the book was it's believeability and what the topic was about - online networks. Nowadays nearly every teenager has the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Hotmail, Myspace, and other sorts of friendship connections on the internet, and I admit, it's a great way to make friends all over the world. It's the new penpal system. Problem is, do we really know who we're talking to? Do we really think it's a teenage boy and/or girl on the other end of the computer screen? How do we know it's not a sleazy old man? *shivers* It's scary when you think about, right? The internet is a networkers dream and it's easy to grab a picture from Google and steal another's identity and even LIE your way through conversations . . . and that's the main issue the author discusses in PRETTY TWISTED.
Take for example, in the book, Ros is a young girl who thinks she isn't pretty enough for boys and maybe that's because she's only 14 - all girls go through that awkward stage! And then, she get's herself into a little mess. She pretends to be someone she's not. While her true personality and advice shines through the endless conversations, but when Jono starts to talk about his girlfriend issues and then even suggests they meet up, Ros tells him she's 16 and ends up uploading a picture of her and her older sister . . . pretending to be the older sister. Becuase she's the pretty one. That's one of the things that ticked me off. Especially when I found out she was 14. It felt . . . wrong somehow.
When Jono's (Jonathan) girlfriend disappears right after she dumped him, he starts to lose it. But Ros is always there to comfort him online. He feels like he might actually have someone in his life who cares. But when Ros falls for Jono and ends up getting caught up in the mystery of the missing "ex", her character really creeped me out. But I continued to remind myself that she was a naive fourteen-year-old girl. Still . . . she creeped me out. Despite some stalker qualities in her, I thought Ros was a great character. She reminded a little bit of me (and NOT the STALKER bit cause I'm more obsessed over hot celebrities than random guys on the internet cause that's weird) more so, with hanging around people who didn't really appreciate you and having this group do things you never really approved of. The ones who don't want to leave a party, but you do and you get mad. Those types. However, when it comes to the second main character, I loved Jonathan despite his possession over Freya. He was the nerd boy who had the hot girlfriend. But what I liked most about him: he was a very nice guy, through and through.
Overall, the only thing I can honestly say that bothered me about the entire book, was how Ros pretended to be someone she not. But reminding myself AGAIN, she's young and has a lot to learn. But in the end, it goes to show that people do lie and sometimes we don't claim to others who we really are. It's kind of human nature when you think about it, wanting to prove something to other people. Without any spoilers, I can say if you like yourself a fast-pace mystery and the likes of Pretty Little Liars-like mysteries, then be sure to pick yourself up a copy! PRETTY TWISTED didn't exactly BLOW MY MIND but it was a great read for those who love a little mystery like I do!