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  • Posted September 18, 2013

    With first person narratives, there┬┐s always the risk that the n

    With first person narratives, there’s always the risk that the narrator comes across as unlikeable. Well, Madeline Annette Henry, aka TWIGS, takes unlikeable to a whole new plateau. I hated her with a passion best reserved for anchovies, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, white vinegar, and chlamydia. She’s eighteen with the maturity level of an eight year-old, or maybe we should give her the benefit of the doubt and say her brain capacity matches her size, so she’s a fifth-grader. She stomps like a four year-old, shrills like a six year-old, and rollerblades like a fourteen year-old, and has acquired more than enough immaturity to last her for the rest of her life.

    Self-centered doesn’t even begin to do her justice. Let’s just stop the universe for Twigs. We should all be gracious enough to kiss her feet, comb her hair, and bask in all of her less than five foot glory. Her warped sense of reality helped escalate this novel into fantasy. With a strong attachment to a father that abandoned her and her family, a strong sense of antipathy to a mother who has moved on with her life, even if it occasionally takes her into the bedroom, and sometimes involves black lace thongs, a strong sense of disregard for her popular cheerleader sister, and hostility for every single one of her mother’s boyfriends, she’s a real prize for your eighteen or nineteen year-old son, just make sure you feed him enough alcohol and roofies to help seal the deal.

    If she cheats and steals with the same ease she reserves for lying, and elbow smashing, she’ll be forcibly removed from Hinkney Community College and in prison before she’s twenty. There’s a special cell for where she’s going, and she’s one downward spiral away from flitting off into oblivion. In the end, though, the world would be better off without her and her egotistical manner. What she may lack in size she makes up for with her obnoxious and odious demeanor.

    Enough whores filled this story to take Sin City by storm. The term was handed out more often than Snickers bars at a Mars convention. Despite the number of characters involved in this tale, there didn’t appear to be a sympathetic one amidst this bunch of misfits and miscreants. It reminded me of a couple dozen juvenile delinquents headed for detention on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of winter.

    The plot moved along like a series of nightmares, or it could always be worse scenarios, but even that particular antidote proved less than satisfying, as I managed to stop caring and start cheering for the end well before the halfway point of this tale. By the end of the novel, I felt like I had witnessed a 20-car pileup on I-25 in the middle of rush hour.

    A word of advice for Twigs. If you hate your life that much, then you better change it, otherwise you have no one to blame but yourself. Even if the mirror might crack as you spew forth a cantankerous rage that bests even the most prolific two year-old temper tantrums on YouTube. It’s all up to you, or then again, maybe it isn’t.

    I received this book for free through NetGalley.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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