Review of Pretty Twisted by Gina Blaxill

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...

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Pretty Twisted is Gina's debut Young Adult novel and it's pretty good read too. The story is told from two people's POV's - Jono, who is obsessed with his missing girlfriend, Freya, and Ros, who is younger than Jono at 14 but in many ways she is much wiser. Finding themselves drawn to each other they try to find out where Freya has gone. There's a lot of suspenseful moments in this, which I enjoyed and I liked working out the culprit and finding out what happened to Freya.

 However, this book was a little painful to read near the end because there's so many moments that are painfully obvious and very over-done. I found the ending a bit too pretty and I never understood why one if the missing girl's name was never mentioned. Despite this, I really liked the character development. Ros was very easy to relate and despite her age, which everyone never shut up about, she was much more mature than Jono, who spent most of his time whining about Freya. Normally I would find this annoying but I felt as if I could understand why Jono acted the way he did.

Freya was rather strange. She was very much a background character and yet at the same time she was central to the plot. I never did understand her character.

3/5

Received free from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review

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