by Norah Olson
To be published by Katherine Tegen Books
on January 20, 2015
Source: eARC from the publisher for review
Summary from Goodreads: When Alyson meets Graham Copeland, the new boy next door, she instantly feels like he’s a kindred spirit—shy and awkward like her, someone who has trouble making friends. It’s impossible to resist having a crush on him. As usual, her sister, Sydney, sees things differently. In Sydney's mind, Graham's odd personality and secretive past scream psychopath, not sweetheart. Her gut is telling her to stay away from him, and to protect a love-struck Alyson from her own naïveté. But despite her instincts, Sydney is surprised to realize that a part of her is drawn to Graham, too. And the more Sydney gets to know him, the more she realizes just how right—and wrong—she is about everything.
My take: This book wasn't what I expected. Okay, I should back up and say that I decided not to request Twisted Fate because I was worried it would be an angsty sibling love triangle story and then changed my mind, hoping it would be a twisty, dark romantic thriller.
It wasn't either of those things. It was a sometimes confusing multi-POV account of the events leading up to a murder. Full disclosure: I'm not generally a fan of the multiple first person POV story. There are often just too many different "I's." Jodi Picoult does it really well, and it works for me in her books, but in the hands of other authors, I've seen it go off the rails. To make it work, I think an author needs to be very skillful at differentiating all the diffferent voices, and that's not easy to do.
In Twisted Fate, there were at least nine POVs: Allyson, Sydney, Graham, a police chief, Kim, Amanda, another police chief (??) Becky, Declan... It was just too much. Sometimes I'd forget whose POV I was reading and have to go back. Sometimes I'd decide to keep going.
The main characters are sisters who are complete opposites in the way sisters can often be. One is sort of goody-goody and the other is a pretentious skateboarder (hard to imagine, but ... yeah.) The love interest was this --- okay, am I dating myself to say he was this creepy kid who reminded me of that weird guy in American Beauty, the one who went around town videotaping everyone? I didn't get why either of the sisters had any interest in him at all. The whole time I was reading, I just kept picturing this:
Then came the Big Twist. I've said before that I often find books that try to build up to this big, single shocking twist at the end to be problematic. First, there are always people who guess the twist. (In this case, I didn't.) Then there are those who find out about it and get spoiled. Then, there are those (like me) who often feel that 90% book becomes an elaborate set-up. Everything exists in service of the twist. In this case, I found the twist sort of confusing and a bit contrived. Plus, the reveal was just left hanging without any explanation. I actually had to ask someone on Goodreads if I'd interpreted the ending correctly. (I had.)
Edited to add: In thinking about it, and answering your great comments, I think that the multiple POVs were used to help set up the twist. Okay, here is my theory and DON'T highlight if you don't want to be spoiled. The two sisters are the same person -- I guess one person suffering from dissociative identity disorder? So I'm thinking that the author figured that just having the one character giving two POVs might tip the reader off and decided to add the others. But for me, it was just too much.
Twisted Fate didn't turn out to be a good fit for me, but if you would like to try a YA with a multi-POV style of storytelling, give it a shot. And if you've read it, let me know what you think.