Friday, January 16, 2015

Twisted Fate by Norah Olson

Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
Release Date - January 20, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 272 pages
My Rating - 2/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When Alyson meets Graham Copeland, the new boy next door, she instantly feels like he’s a kindred spirit—shy and awkward like her, someone who has trouble making friends. It’s impossible to resist having a crush on him.

As usual, her sister, Sydney, sees things differently. In Sydney's mind, Graham's odd personality and secretive past scream psychopath, not sweetheart. Her gut is telling her to stay away from him, and to protect a love-struck Alyson from her own naïveté. But despite her instincts, Sydney is surprised to realize that a part of her is drawn to Graham, too.

And the more Sydney gets to know him, the more she realizes just how right—and wrong—she is about everything.

Perfect for fans of Michelle Hodkin, and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, Twisted Fate is an unputdownable novel, teeming with suspense.
Anyone reading the synopsis will immediately know why this one made it's way onto my must read list. As a fan of both Michelle Hodkin and E Lockhart, I was hoping for a suspenseful, gripping story. However, this novel ended up not being for me.

The characters didn't feel developed to me. I didn't feel like I got to know them or their motivations. This development was set aside in favour of creating a tense, creepy atmosphere and to allow for the twists and turns of the story. The atmosphere is one element that is crafted rather well. It's creepy, and you get a sense of what the story is almost immediately. For myself, these types of stories only work if I am invested in the characters. I need to care about the outcome of the story and what happens to them. This connection was missing and I didn't get immersed into the story as a result. I felt like I was purposely being kept at a distance the entire time I was reading.

The reveals, and what is actually happening is telegraphed early, and often, by the author. I was less than halfway through when I guessed the remainder of the story. This could have worked well if the reasoning behind what was happening had been explored. We never really dive into the whys of everything. A deeper exploration would have served the distant narration a little more efficiently as well. Normally guessing the mystery that early would not deter me, but the entire novel is based around this mystery. The characters were not what was drawing you in, it was supposed to be the mystery. I feel that once you've figured it out, there was little to pull you into the story because the other elements were not as captivating.

There are a few plot points that are teased, and left without the further expansion that I thought they deserved. Much is made of  mysterious Graham Copeland and something horrific from his past. When we finally find out what  happened it felt, at least for me, detached and distant. This should have packed a punch. However, it felt like we were finding out because the story said we would, rather than it having an actual impact on the characters or plot.

The characters, and what the author was trying to say, do fit this type of narration. The lack of connection does tie directly into the characters themselves, but for me, it come together the way I expect it was supposed to.

A novel that didn't quite mesh the way I hoped it would. I felt that what the novel set out to accomplish was not successfully captured. There were too many undeveloped plot points, and too many unexplored questions for it to be a satisfying reading experience for me.

1 comment:

  1. As soon as I read " Perfect for Michelle Hodkin fans" I got interested. Read your review, added it anyway to my to-read pile. As you said, I think that one of the main reason why I loved the Mara Dyer series so much is because of how fond I was of the characters and how deep the mystery was. I wouldn't like to find out the "all thing" in the middle of the book, I prefer being caught up in the mystery until the very end, instead. But while this book may not have lived to your expectation, I am still curious about the connection with Michelle Hodkin ^^

    Thank you for the honest review !!
    Sara @ Sara In Bookland


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