Review: Twisted Fate - Norah Olson

Release Date: January 20th 2015
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 272
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 2 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

Perfect for fans of Michelle Hodkin, and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars,Twisted Fate is an unputdownable novel, teeming with suspense.

Review: Twisted Fate alludes to a suspenseful, dark and twisted story with its comparisons to We Were Liars and mentions of a secretive and possible psychopathic love interest, however this book fell well short of expectations it gave me.

Twisted Fate follows sisters Alyson and Sydney (otherwise known as Tate, yes this does get a little confusing). Alyson and Sydney are completely different - Alyson is the nice girl-next-door type, while Sydney is a straight A student who is on the rebellious side. They really don’t see eye to eye on much, until they both start becoming attracted to the new boy who lives next door, Graham.

Twisted Fate is told from multiple points of view, but I feel that this story is really told from the point of view of the nerdy and defiant Sydney. Sydney took an instant dislike and distrust to the elusive Graham, whereas Alyson instantly liked him. And although these two very different girls had two completely initial opinions on him, they both ended feeling drawn to him. And this is where this story started to feel weird for me. I don’t mind the fact that sisters ended finding themselves attracted to the same boy, but it seems that neither of the girls had a real issue with the others feelings towards the object of their growing affection… and this, I find odd.

But this is just the beginning of the things that I found odd. Although elusive and secretive, I found Graham to be creepy… Graham is clearly hiding a big secret, he is a budding film maker and films everyone and everything, he see’s things very differently to other people and he encourages very odd behaviour. All of these things could be the build up to an interesting character, so I was starting to think it was because of the things that I was seeing through Sydney’s eyes, that I felt that he was “wrong” because of her opinion of him, but as the story developed I came to my own opinion of him - and wrong doesn’t begin to describe it.

For me, the characters felt disjointed from themselves. This may have been an intentional aspect of the story, but sadly this didn’t allow to connect to the characters either. I just couldn’t connect to them on any level. I didn’t feel the characters were fully developed beyond labels: Alyson: good girl, Sydney: emo, Graham: bad boy. Their personalities didn’t get off the ground beyond these labels - I didn’t understand them, I didn’t empathise with them, I didn’t feel anything beyond what was laid out to me in clichés. Maybe it’s because of the varying points of view that we didn’t get to be inside a characters head long enough to understand them? While I don’t mind stories told through various points of view, it could have contributed to my lack of connection to any of the characters in this story. But the varying perspectives certainly allows a few things come together that wouldn’t have if told solely from the sisters’ points of view, but I certainly feel that the characters development suffered due to the need to tie the storyline together.

Then there was the “twist”. I saw this coming from very early on. The story gives you (massive) hints along the away, and even before half way through the book, I was convinced of the twist. Although there was a time where I thought that I may have been wrong, and the author was going to pull something completely out of left-field, but my initial suspicion about the twist turned out the be accurate. Now, this in itself did not affect my enjoyment of the book. I don’t mind it when I guess the “twist”, and it wasn’t the twist itself I had issues with… but once you know (or have had it confirmed) it does raise some questions… some unanswerable ones.

This is where the book fell down for me. The conclusion. It just left me confused. I understand the twist, but events took place that cannot be explained due to this twist. I don’t know if that what is what the author was going for, mystery, but it left me confused, and therefor annoyed. I like answers from a stories conclusion, not confusion.

There was so much promise for Twisted Fate, however, for me, it lacked substance. I was expecting dark and twisted, and while this book was aiming for that, it just didn’t quite get there. I felt that the important part ofs this story were passive - the characters were removed, the intensity was lacking, and the ending was lack-lustre. I feel that too much was packed into it and therefore it suffered in some of the most important aspects: character depth and development. The plot itself wasn’t terrible, however I felt the ending certainly needed work. I don’t mind dark, warped and mysterious endings, however, I feel this story raised more questions than it answered, leaving me saying “WT…???” rather than “WOW!!!”.


What do you think?

  • I haven’t even heard of this one before, but it doesn’t sound that appealing to me, even before your review the blurb didn’t grab me. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more. Sounds like this isn’t one for me either.
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