[SYNOPSIS: Ros has a secret crush on Jonathan. Jonathan is massively hung up on Freya (even after she dumps him). And Freya? Well, Freya is a beautiful enigma. Even more so when she goes missing without a trace . . .
First thing’s first, and this may just be me, but I really didn’t find Pretty Twisted all that twisted; it probably is just me, but with that title I was expecting a bit more than the reveal that we got, which left me feeling just a bit disappointed and let down when I finished - it was clever and unexpected (until the last few chapters before the reveal when I guessed what had really occurred) nonetheless, and you will be in for a very good gripping high-octane ride if you read Pretty Twisted.
One thing that I really liked about Pretty Twisted was the characters - all of them, even the ones you weren't supposed to, and this was purely because they were all so unique, engaging and true-to-life - something that you rarely find in a book - and, most impressively of all, genuinely convey teenagers. The pacing of the story is sublime and you can tell that a lot of time and planning has gone into every aspect of the novel, and it really pays off to create a highly authentic plot.
The cover is pretty* unique too, it took me a while to like it, but I really do now. You can check out some of Blaxill’s drawings of the characters here, which aren’t at all like I pictured the characters, except maybe Jonathan, though she is a very good artist! I also liked the stuff on A Levels and GCSEs, as they’re pretty relevant topics but hardly any UK-based book mentions them, probably because most authors are not as clued up as Blaxill, but I found it helped me to relate with the characters more and made the book feel more realistic; not that it isn’t anyway – virtually everything about the premise and storyline is thoroughly realistic, almost frighteningly so – from people going missing, especially teenage girls, to the character’s reactions; although there were a few events that were just that bit too convenient to be truly realistic.
A pretty* impressive debut – it genuinely didn’t feel like one when I was reading it, and the writing was great throughout. I found I couldn’t really be bothered (this is definitely me being my lazy self) to look at the date and time at the beginning of each new point of view to work out the timeframe of it all happening, so that bit, which obviously took a lot of careful planning, was lost on me, but if I reread it, I will be taking more notice. This point of view change was very refreshing and enabled the reader to see both sides of the same event, although sometimes I forgot who it was ‘talking’. The back and forward flashes were very good and power you to keep reading to discover what happens next – as the novel is pretty* addictive, you devour the story in a very short space of time, which probably contributes to my feelings of disappointment at the end.
*I apologise for all the ‘pretty’ puns, but I had to get them in there!______________________________________________________________
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. With danger lurking around every corner, their stories become inextricably linked in a way nobody could have predicted...]