Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 6th May 2011
Ros has a secret crush on Jonathan. Jonathan is massively hung up on Freya (even after she dumps him). And Freya? Well, Freya is a beautiful enigma. Even more so when she goes missing without a trace . . .
PRETTY TWISTED is narrated in alternating chapters by Jonathan (16) and Ros (14) who meet online at a time when things are going sour for Jonathan. His stunning girlfriend, Freya, is away at college and they are growing apart - consequently, he is struggling with his own sense of identity. Ros is also experiencing some problems - one of her friends is dating an older man whose strange behaviour gives Ros cause for concern.
Meanwhile, the local news has been reporting some kidnappings of teenage girls. So when Freya dumps Jonathan, then seems to disappear off the face of the earth, he enlists Ros' (somewhat reluctant) help in tracking down the girl he still loves. With danger lurking around every corner, their stories become inextricably linked in a way nobody could have predicted...
The fact that the events of this books could happen to anybody, it's really quite scary to think about. The novel is about 14 year-old Rosalind and 16 year-old Jonathan who meet on the internet by total accident. Both give off the vibe of being pretty lonely and the type of people who just don't fit in, so it's not totally unexpected when the pair begin to form a friendship.
At the beginning of the story, we are thrown into an interview between Jonathan and the police about his missing girlfriend, Freya, and it's at that point that I knew that I wouldn't be able to put down Pretty Twisted.
One thing I really liked was Jono and Ros's relationship. You'd find it odd, what with him being 16, and her 14, but I really liked the connection they had. It was so convincing and not the slightest bit creepy. I thought the whole age difference between them was portrayed really well and it was really nice to see a relationship that was formed on the internet, turn out so good, instead of say, an innocent teenage girl getting killed. Sorry to be quite blunt, but we can't deny the fact that it could happen in a heartbeat.
The narrative switches between our two main characters (Jono and Ros) so that we get to see the story from both perspectives. I'm really glad the author chose to do this, because we got to read the story from both male and female point of views and that can make ALL the difference in the world, trust me. We get to see how the lives of two different teenagers (who seem worlds apart and have more in common that I assumed) can tangle together so quickly and easily.
The beleivability factor for Pretty Twisted was really what did it for me though. You can tell that Blaxill has done her research and it has really paid off. The plot was scarily realistic and I loved the fact that instead of giving themselves the titles of 'best detectives in the world' and planning to find what has happened to Freya all by themselves, Jono and Ros didn't do that. They didn't suddenly turn into bad-guy-fighting heroes overnight (although that would be rad) but did what was right, even though Jono was quite obviously going to be a prime suspect in the investigation, as Freya's ex-boyfriend.
Pretty Twisted is, excuse for *actually* saying this but it has to be done, pretty twisted. Chilling, and edgy, it left me on the edge of my seat, particularly during the ending! Although, I would have maybe liked the ending to be a little more..twisty. It took me by surprise but hmm. Recommended for fans of Anne Cassidy and Sophie McKenzie!