Twistedby Marjorie Brody
Timid fourteen-year-old Sarah wants her controlling mother to stop prying into what happened the night of the freshman dance. Confess to the police? No way. Confide in her mother? Get real. The woman is too busy, too proud, and too jealous of Sarah to really care if her life disintegrates.
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If she acknowledges the truth, it will destroy everyone she loves.
Timid fourteen-year-old Sarah wants her controlling mother to stop prying into what happened the night of the freshman dance. Confess to the police? No way. Confide in her mother? Get real. The woman is too busy, too proud, and too jealous of Sarah to really care if her life disintegrates. Besides, her mother will say Sarah is totally to blame for what the boys did--which Sarah believes is true. So she doubly needs to shield the truth. Not just from Momma. But from everyone. Including herself.
Beautiful, confident, eighteen-year-old Judith Murielle lives the ideal life. She has college plans, respect from family and friends, and a fiancé she adores. But as a mysterious connection pulls her toward Sarah, Judith's perfect world unravels. Acting as Sarah's sole confidante, Judith gains the power to expose her secret. Will the truth be worth the sacrifice? Or will Sarah stop at nothing to keep Judith quiet?
Marjorie Brody, an award-winning short story author and Pushcart Prize Nominee, crafts a riveting debut novel of psychological suspense with a shocking twist. A former psychotherapist, she now writes fulltime. Visit her at Marjoriespages.com.
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I was steered toward Marjorie Brody's Twisted by friend and mentor author Les Edgerton. Brody bills herself as an author of psychological suspense, and there's plenty of truth in that sobriquet. Starting with the title, a word which conveys multiple layers of meaning both about the plot and the characters, Brody pulls us into a world of deception and double-meaning. Everyone is hiding something. Sometimes the concealment is meant to hurt, sometimes to shield. But always it's destructive. We're intimately involved here with two girls. One, Sarah, is fourteen, the other, Judith, eighteen. Both are in the throes of unwanted pregnancies, though their lack of desire to give birth are for different reasons. Beyond that, I can write very little here about the action without destroying the suspense and the surprises that abound throughout the story. What I can say is that you will find yourself on tenterhooks somewhere around page five and that you'll stay there till the last page. No. Even after the last page. Go for it.
First, a confession. I am a 62 year old male, so my take on this young adult thriller may have a distinctive twist. I purchased the book at San Antonio's Book Fair and didn't get around to reading it for a while. The first time I picked it up, I stopped reading it. Rape is a tough subject. Coupled with the wicked social divisions of middle school and a family incapable of honest communication, I found the beginning overwhelming. But, the characters were interesting enough I wanted to know what happened. So, with the urging of my wife (who loved the book) I picked it up again. This time I read non-stop to the surprising end, and I'm glad I did. Some of the family situations Brody describes, especially Sarah's relationship with her mother, made me want to scream. Their interactions were appalling, but written in a way that made them believable. I felt sorry for Sarah and angry that she couldn't stand up to the abuse she received, both in and out of her family. The depth of emotion the writing evoked is a testament to Brody's ability. For me, some of the dialogue, especially amongst the fourteen-year-old kids, seemed stilted, but perhaps that's an issue because of my age. It's a small quibble. When I read a novel, I don't consciously think, “What's going to happen next? How will the author surprise me?” So, the ending of “Twisted” took me completely by surprise. In hindsight I can see some foreshadowing woven throughout, but, I liked the surprise ending. “Twisted” was a good read and one that addresses real issues for young people, especially young girls. I recommend this book for them, and for their parents.
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bell Bridge Books and Netgalley.) 14-year-old Sarah can’t believe what’s happening to her when she is lured behind the school gym during the spring formal and gang-raped by four boys. Hiding her dress in the trash, and hiding her bruises from her parents, Sarah tries to pretend that the rape never happened, but when the boy who lured her outside confesses to the police, and a doctor’s exam reveals that Sarah is pregnant she can’t hide from what happened any longer. Is there really any justice for Sarah though? Will her parents support her in her decisions over the baby and pressing charges? And what other truths is Sarah hiding? Well, this book was really different, and I totally didn’t guess what was really going on! Sarah came across as quite a quiet, Christian girl at the beginning of this book. She believed what her parents had taught her about no sex before marriage, and was even hesitant to allow a boy to kiss her. What happened to her was truly horrific, and I’m not sure how anybody could cope with something so awful. I totally got why she felt so victimised, and didn’t know what to do, and I also understood why she felt she couldn’t confide in anybody. The storyline in this book was very interesting because of the two major twists at the end. There was basically no warning about these twists, and I have to say that when they happened I was quite surprised. I have to say that the whole plot-line of rape was pretty horrifying though, and I can’t imagine how awful it must really be to go through something like what Sarah went through – both because of the actual ordeal, and then being unable to talk to anyone about what happened to her. While the twists were good, the majority of this book felt a little slow to me. There was so much in there that I felt didn’t really add to the story, and I felt like I was constantly waiting for something to happen, and constantly waiting for answers, which was a shame. I did like this book overall, but the slow pace/constant waiting for something to actually happen made this only okay for me. Other than the rape scene at the beginning, and the weird twists at the end, this was a bog standard ‘teenage girl gets pregnant and doesn’t know what to do’ story. The ending really was quite different though. Overall; teen pregnancy, with a twist. 6.75 out of 10.
Two teenage girls face painful challenges in their lives and seek to support each other. The twists and turns their lives take are unpredictable, and you are amazing if you can guess the ending in advance! A well-told compelling read.
I felt I was on psychological roller coaster with blindfolds on. Every time I thought I was getting my bearings, I was thrown for another loop. All I could do was hang on and wait for the next twist! This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I would highly recommend this book! Thank you, Marjorie Brody. I look forward to your next adventure!
Talk about TWISTED!!! Holy cow! This is a must-read, and not one to disappoint! It's worth every moment of being twisted into the whole story! Very well done! Kudos to Marjorie Brody!
A wonderful debut novel. Ms Brody draws on her experience as a psychotherapist to deliver a gripping page- turner with totally unexpected twists and turns. A story of two young women and how their lives converge as they deal with a life-changing secret. Appropriate for both adolescents and their parents. Highly recommended.