by Laurie Halse Anderson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142411841
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 05/15/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 45,399
Product dimensions: 8.16(w) x 5.34(h) x 0.73(d)
Lexile: HL680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson has received both the Margaret Edwards Award and the ALAN Award for her contributions to young adult literature. She has also been honored by the National Coalition Against Censorship in recognition of her fight to combat the censoring of literature. She is the author of the groundbreaking National Book Award finalist and Printz Honor Book Speak. She is also author of the critically acclaimed YA books Prom, Twitsted, Catalyst, Wintergirls, and The Impossible Knife of Memory. She has also authored a number of middle grade titles including The Vet Volunteers series, and the historical fiction Seeds of America Trilogy, which includes Forge, ALA Best Book for Young Adults Fever 1793, and the National Book Award finalist and Scott O’Dell Award-winner Chains. She and her husband live in northern New York State. Follow Laurie on Twitter @halseanderson and visit her at

Read an Excerpt

chapter one

Excerpted from "Twisted"
by .
Copyright © 2008 Laurie Halse Anderson.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"...a chillingly accurate portrayal of the high-school social scene, in which morals, perceptions and conceptions of truth are continually...challenged." —Publishers Weekly

"Anderson...stretches her wings by offering...a male protagonist... one of the most poignant and gripping scenes in young-adult literature."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Reading Group Guide


High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background—average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father's boss's daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy—and Tyler's secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in the school, in his family, and in the world. In Twisted, the acclaimed Laurie Halse Anderson tackles a very controversial subject: what it means to be a man today. Fans and new readers alike will be captured by Tyler's pitchperfect, funny voice, the surprising narrative arc, and the thoughtful moral dilemmas that are at the heart of all of the author's award-winning, widely read work.



Laurie Halse Anderson was born in Potsdam, a cold place in northern New York State where as a little girl, she pounded away at her father’s old typewriter for hours, writing newspaper columns, stories, and letters. She never intended to be an author. At Georgetown University, she majored in foreign languages and linguistics. Laurie hit the real world with no idea of what kind of work she wanted to do. She tried everything, including cleaning banks, milking cows, and working as a stockbroker. Being a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer was a slight improvement, but she eventually quit to write books. Her first novel, Speak, was a National Book Award Finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book, a New York Times Bestseller, and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. Laurie currently lives with her family in Mexico, New York. To find out more about Laurie, visit her website at


  • Tyler’s landscaping job develops his muscles, but also allows him to use his skills at digging holes: “I was good at digging holes. It was the rest of life I sucked at” (p. 39). What figurative holes has Tyler dug for himself in his life? Is it really true that he isn’t good at anything else?
  • Although he doesn’t seem like a depressed person, Tyler admits to being preoccupied with death. “Thinking about death relaxed me” (p. 44). Why? In what ways has he died and been reborn again throughout the story?
  • At Tyler’s high school there is a clear distinction between the popular crowd and everyone else. Where do you fit in the social scale at your school? In what ways has the status you hold in your social sphere defined you? In what ways is this role true to who you are? In what ways is it not?
  • Why does Tyler like Bethany? Were there any signs early on that she might not really like him the same way he liked her? What do you think is her real attraction to him? Is it true when his sister Hannah says that it could never have worked out? In your own life, are there any examples of two very different people who manage to be together despite their apparent differences?
  • What do you think of Tyler’s reaction to Bethany’s behavior at the party? How would you react? Would you be sad? Angry?
  • Why do you think Laurie Halse Anderson chose “Twisted” as the title of this novel? What does it mean in relation to the story?
  • On the surface Tyler seems to disrespect the janitors that he is made to work with as part of his probation. Yet they act as a sort of conscience and offer support later in the story. Have you ever gotten help from an unexpected source?
  • Who has Tyler been trying to be? His father? A loser? A cool guy? Which of these identities is closest to his true self?

Customer Reviews

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Twisted 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 321 reviews.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
Twisted centers on Tyler, the used to be nerd, now somewhat bad boy who bloomed into a full grown, six foot hottie over the summer. With his newfound ripped physique, he may actually have a chance with the hottest girl in the school, the girl of his dreams, but his feelings have to contend with his dysfunctional family and his slowly crumbling world. Character-wise, Tyler is fantastic. I couldn't put the book down because I was just so attached to the guy. Anderson writes from the teenage male perspective and does it so wondrously. Tyler is the epitome of teenage boy. He's moody and angry and lustful and beyond hormonal, but he's also a real character. Tyler's funny and cares about his mom and his sister and he tries so hard to be a good guy. The things that happen to him are a bit out of his control, but that's where the book gets so good. The escalating tension builds so much throughout the story that I found myself just waiting for the explosion and Anderson does not disappoint. Tyler's inner thoughts are vividly raw with his emotions. His past mistake (just the one really) becomes the center of his world, the single factor that drives his senior year. Anderson probes Tyler's family life so we see way past the pristine surface to a family that is falling apart bit by bit; from Tyler, a high school senior on parole, to Hannah, the freshman who wants to express herself and break free from her parents rules, to the mom who is fast becoming and alcoholic, and finally to the dad who is overworked, easily agitated, and constantly verbally abusive. Like I said, the family is twisted, but their imperfections are what make the entire story so easy to just get. The book is stamped "THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR CHILDREN" but it isn't really all that graphic, at least in my opinion. Sure, there's talk of erections and cold showers and a scene alluding to masturbation, but Tyler is 18 years old. If people don't think that teens know, think about, or have sex, then they're fooling themselves. Tyler's world doesn't even revolve around the opposite sex. The plot focuses much more on him as a person and how much he has changed and how his family is a little twisted. This is definitely not for the younger crowd, but with the warning right there in the beginning, I don't see how/why it needs to be challenged in high schools. Twisted is an incredibly well-written book that's easy to relate to and impossible to put down. Filled with lusty thoughts an uproarious humor, Anderson taps into the teenage male psyche in a way few female authors are able to do. Take the time to read this book, you won't regret it. Opening line: I spent the last Friday of summer vacation spreading hot, sticky tar across the roof of George Washington High. ~ pg. 1 Favorite line (I have two): I scared myself, because once you've thought long and hard enough about doing something that is colossally stupid, you feel like you've actually done it, and then you're never quite sure what your limits are. ~ pg. 95 The guy in the mirror looked like somebody had wrapped his heart in barbed wire and pulled. He wasn't just a loser. He was lost, no-compass lost, don't-speak-the-language lost. I have screwed up everything. ~ pg. 189
TreesinBrooklyn More than 1 year ago
When I started this book, I found myself laughing out loud from start to finish! Laurie Halse Anderson created the typical-teenage-boy character with precision, and made sure to add lots of hilarious comments with every twist and turn. To whoever is thinking about reading Twisted: I promise you you'll be holding your breath in every intense part, and rooting for Tyler the whole way through. There are so many Teen Angst Soap Operas out there that only bore the reader to death. Twisted is now my favorite book because it is a refreshing (and definitely NOT boring) book that deals with love and hate.
jjaacckk More than 1 year ago
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson was a superb fictional novel. Twisted grabbed my attention because of the way the author used dialogue. It made me laugh, fell bad and many more moods. The chapters didn't drag on so the novel was enjoyable and not painful to read. Twisted takes place in present day Illinois. Tyler Miller, the unseen nerdy kid turns into the bad boy rebel after spray painting a statue in his school. He got probation and had to do school work over summer so he bulked up, and became the senior stud. Chip Milbury doesn't care if he bulked up but Tyler is in love with Bethany, Chip's sister. Chip just thinks Tyler is an all out loser. Tyler doesn't let Chip or the cops scare him so he still goes after Bethany no matter what happens. Tyler tries to cope with what he's dealing with by trying to blend in and act as if nothing happened with junior prank. He also ditches class to get away from the learning and all the teachers but he still gets in trouble by getting caught so that doesn't help him at all. Laurie Anderson's dialogue is used frequently in Twisted. She uses Tyler as the narrator and his thoughts are used and the way an average high school student would talk; slang and cursing and improper speaking makes you believe that Tyler is writing it. Twisted is mainly about a nerdy kid's life getting messed up, inside and out. If someone likes romance, but action and comedy, Twisted can satisfy the pickiest of all readers.
MexicanLegend24 More than 1 year ago
Twisted is mainly about a High School senior named Tyler Miller who used to be the type of guy who was non-noticeable around his school. The plot of the story quickly changes when Tyler does a foul deed and spray paints graffiti onto school property and gets a bad reputation for it. While tyler works his butt off at his outdoor work during summer he transforms into (The Amazing Hulk) and gets ripped, now attracting his love life Bethany Milbury. As Tyler transforms throughout the story, he soon notices that he wishes he could be invisible once again for the many problems he's had. Bethany Milbury (Tyler's secret crush) soon ruins Tyler's reputation after he wouldn't sleep with her and she post's compromising pictures of herself on the internet and therefore Tyler gets blamed. As a result of Tyler's problems he has to deal with the police, a very bad tempered father, and a very angry principal who is still mad at Tyler for spray painting on school property. Throughout the story, Tyler plays a game called Trophet. He gets stuck on certain levels of the game whenever there's a problem in his life. In the end of the book Tyler solves all his problems and therefore completes the game. In the first few pages of the book, there's a sign that says "NOTE: THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR CHILDREN." The type of people I believe should read this novel are young adults and above. This novel includes bad words and other sorts of bad things. Although this novel was aimed at adults, I did get a special lesson from it, which is that I thought at first that the sign was only joking because many reviewers mentioned it was humorous. But after I started reading it, I soon realized that there was foul language. All in all, the book itself was pretty good besides the foul language and other stuff.
erosion-of-beauty More than 1 year ago
A very typical Laurie Halse Anderson novel, but not quite as ambiguous as Speak was. One of the many things I appreciated about the book was that I could see every single character in the halls of my high school. In fact, I think I know several of them. (The high school itself, however, was less believable. No dress code, for example... It's little things like that that get me. I digress.) None of the main characters were one-dimensional. At some point, they all showed a dark side. But at some point, they all have a chance for redemption. BUT it is a really fantastic coming-of-age story. It doesn't wrap everything up in a nice little box, just like in real life. It deals with the rumor mill, abuse, the dangers of alcohol, juvenile delinquency, and dysfunctional families in a very honest and believable way. I read the whole thing in one setting. (For fans of John Green, Jay Asher, and other LHA books)
cassay280 More than 1 year ago
i love laurie halse anderson..shes my favorite. her books rock my socks off...twisted is amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. While there are some moments that are a little mature for some ages, I think the author did an amazing job of describing high school in a nutshell, and the confusing times many students will face in the transition into thier last years at school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm in love with this author's works, and I think she did a phenomenal job on this book. Even rereading this as an adult now I find that I still have affection for the characters. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is about a teenaged boy whos dreams become real. Fantasies now have a chance of happening. But, pictures were taken that made his dreams become nightmares. The book is okay, nothing to bag about but could not be classified as a piece of trash. Easy read through. In my opinion the book seemed unfinished like a big chuck of the book was missing. Who knows though, maybe I did not understand the end. Liked the character growth. Tyler went from a wimpy, cowardly nerd to a strong defender. Either way, give the book a shot, you might like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read one of her older books "speak" and i thought that the plots were a little too similar for me, but still it was a pretty good book. Would i recomend it? Probably because it definately wasn't a waste of time.
crzy4bookz47 More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK FOR ME WAS A PAGE TURNER. laurie anderson really knows how to write books,even from a boys perspective. it funny at parts but really it felt real and dats wat i luv the most. so read this book itz awsome.
SoaringLove More than 1 year ago
Twisted is a book about a boy learning to become a man... He has some situations along the way: He spray paints the school because he thinks that it will make him a somebody. He becomes known as the "dangerous" boy. The most beautiful girl (Bethany) goes after him. Her older brother (bully but smaller than Tyler) tries to stand up to Tyler but can't do it just right. Tyler goes to a party, and Bethany gets drunk. She tries to have sex with Tyler by he doesn't. The next day, there are pictures of her naked all over the internet. Tyler gets blamed. Twisted was an awesome book. The whole story was Real.
lilmudduckmuffineater More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. Sometimes I was annoyed with Tyler but then sometimes I rooted for him and felt sorry for him. Tyler vandalizes his high school and becomes a legend. Once a nerd with nothing going on, a summer of hard works gives him a buff body and new confidence. Soon his enemy's(Chip) twin sister Bethany is hitting on him and paying attention to him. Bethany has been his dream girl since middle school and at a party he turns her down when she's drunk cuz he doesn't want to take advantage of her. Something happens at the same party,someone takes bad pictures of Bethany while she's drunk and people start to blame Tyler. His life becomes hell and life at home becomes unbearable.
Modern_Reader3 More than 1 year ago
Twisted is a must for teens and adults. This book really puts itself aside from other books, Its not the 'ol theres a problem and solution but more like your following a boy through high school. He faces many problems that tears his youth apart. If problems with girls and bullies werent enough. a definet for any young adult reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i read this book and was amazed! it is a very good book and full of different emotions that keep the story flowing! i loved it and would reccomend it!
stephieG More than 1 year ago
I didn't know this book was made only for young boys. I enjoyed it anwaysss!! It made me laugh, and think about what many boys might go through. Awesome book. And all my friends think so too! a really good read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it was very thrilling i would recommend it
kellyoliva on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Laurie Halse Anderson's Twisted. I couldn't put it down! This is a fine example of realistic fiction that males and females alike will enjoy.When we first meet Tyler Miller, he is dreading the first day of his senior year. Tyler has spent the summer working a manual labor job and completing community service as a result of "The Foul Deed." At the end of his junior year, Tyler vandalized his school and was caught, leading him to lose his driver's license and any trust his parents had in him. As a result of his community service and landscaping job, Tyler has developed definite muscles. These muscles combined with the "bad ass" reputation he's earned from committing a crime cause fellow students to look at Tyler a little differently. In fact, his crush, Bethany, now appears to think he's worthy to engage in conversation.Tyler's home life, however, is uncomfortable at best. His mother drinks excessively to avoid his father's harsh rule over the household. Tyler's dad has no time for Tyler and has basically written off his son because of The Foul Deed. Tyler's father is controlling, abusive, and a workaholic. When Tyler is accused of a crime at a party he wasn't supposed to attend, the protagonist's situation darkens further. Tyler falls into a depression must fight the accusations as well as his father's anger and determination to send him to military camp. This book felt incredibly real. Anderson did a wonderful job of developing the characters, especially Tyler and his father. I highly recommend Twisted to the 9-12 crowd.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing 24 days ago
Tyler Miller has been bullied his whole life ¿ by the other boys at school and at home by his father. At 17, he's finally grown enough to be intimidating to the other boys ¿ sort of. His nemesis, Chip Milbury, is still trying to hold his ground as the tougher of the two. It doesn't help that Chip's father is the boss of the company where Tyler's dad works and that Chip's twin sister is Tyler's crush Bethany. When pictures of a drunk, naked Bethany surface on the Web and Tyler is accused of being the culprit, life suddenly looks a lot bleaker for Tyler¿Laurie Halse Anderson is spot on with her descriptions of the hell that is high school. Like Melinda in Speak, Tyler has a caustic humor that makes you laugh out loud with his sarcastic descriptions of the absurdity around him. Anderson seems to get the male teenage voice down well (less so on getting the suicidal tendencies though, in my opinion, even though she's done so to a lesser extent in other books). However, it took me a while to get into this book and to figure out the problem of this problem novel. It just didn't suck me in, and overall I did not find the book as good as Speak and Wintergirls, but maybe that's because this book is meant for boys? It seemed to me that the turn-around point for the main character was a little odd (not really very climatic) and after that everything seems to fall into place a little too easily.I read this book after I heard about it being challenged frequently, and I was interested in seeing why. (Isn't it ironic when people try to ban books it only raises interest in those books?) On Laurie Halse Anderson's website, she says that she wrote this book after teenaged boys approached her looking for a book for them about their problems. Was I a big fan of this book? No. Is the book likely to speak to adolescent boys? Probably. Should it be censored? Absolutely not. Try it for yourself if you don't believe me!
ritaabook on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book has so much passion and realistic truth about many of todays families. A misunderstood boy growing up in a family where the mom tries to escape into a bottle and the dad works nonstop trying to climb his way to the top forgetting about his family. This was recommended to me by a teen and I am very glad that I read it! It did bother me that on the back of the book it suggests that people 12-17 would enjoy it. I would not want my 12 year old reading this! There are parts of sex, drug use, drinking, and violence.
bkhall on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Twisted as about an awkward high school senior named Tyler who has his brush with royalty when Bethany Milbury notices him. Well, as you can imagine (if you've read Prom or Speak) everything doesn't end up all hearts and butterflies; instead relationships are tested and reputations damaged. Tyler's circumstances (workaholic father, community service for the Foul Deed, watchful principal and the judgment of classmates) is balanced by the efforts of his good friend Yoda and his time spent delving deeper into a complicated video game. I recommend this book for both teen boys and girls. One other endorsement for Twisted is that the chapter are short (I mean 2 or 3 pages short), which makes it fast paced. I just kept thinking, "I'll finish this chapter and then stop," but then I wanted to know what happened next soooooo "I'll just read one more chapter - it's only a couple of pages." And that's how I ended up staying up all night.
kmcgiverin05 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I would recommend this for middles school aged students.
zugenia on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Laurie Halse Anderson nails the voice of a withdrawn suburban teenager yet again, this time a young man on the cusp of eighteen struggling to acclimate himself to his newly adult body, perspective, and social responsibilities. High school in Anderson's books is such a fresh hell it's painful to read, but, as with her novel Speak, I couldn't put this one down.
jensha on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Boy with family issues and self-esteen issues vandalizes school to make a statement. Does community service ... meets and starts to "date" dream girl ... drinking at party ... does the right thing ... someone else takes advantage (takes pictures) but everyone assumes it was him ... major dad issues
hpluver07 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book was extremely good, but definitely for high school students. My favorite part was the argument between the hormones and the brain!