Beatrice Malcom is just a normal sixteen-year-old girl living a normal life. Or so she’s always thought, anyway. Lately, though, her life has turned upside-down. After her mother’s death from Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease, her father was declared a traitor by the U.S. Government; he’s on the run, and Bea has moved in with her aunt and uncle in a different city, far from her friends. And then she meets Luke Drake. When their relationship progresses too far too fast, Bea doesn’t realize how far the consequences might reach. And she certainly never intended for Luke to get drawn into the drama swirling around her. Suddenly, Bea is in the middle of the FBI’s manhunt for her father, and she doesn’t know who she can trust. The FBI, who talk so reasonably about just how dangerous her father is? Or her dad, who claims that conspiracies surround them at every turn? And how might Bea’s own forgotten past come into play?
Roni Teson has written an intriguing and engaging novel with Twist. What starts out as a predictable and potentially shallow teen romance novel quickly morphs into something else, something with violent twists and crazy turns that will keep readers on their toes. Bea is an everyday-kind-of girl, but her life is anything but ordinary. While many aspects of this story are rather unrealistic, and the love story between Bea and Luke is rather sudden and hard to believe (although still sweet and fun to read about), the whole of Twist makes for a suspenseful story that you will want to see through to the end. This is a well-written novel with a fascinating plot that is guaranteed to make readers think.
ALEX MASRI’S REVIEW — TOO MANY FACTS INCORRECT.
Following the traumatizing circumstances of her mother’s death, Beatrice Malcolm moves to California with her Uncle George and her Aunt Charlotte. She catches the attention of her uncle’s plumber’s son, Luke Drake, and for the entirety of two days, maintains it. Bea quickly drops her indecision about him and commits herself to their relationship within those 48 hours, despite a rough day at school and her own inner struggle about keeping herself under the radar. Their affection soon escalates, but is interrupted by a surprise reappearance of her father and some dogged stalking by the FBI. As Bea’s past is unearthed, the life she’s managed to pull together in California begins to unravel. With Luke hospitalized, her uncle in a car crash, and the secrets of her mother’s ‘good years’ connecting to her father becoming a fugitive, Bea decides to take a trip back to Seattle to see her best friend, Amilee. However, she’s being trailed; an FBI agent manages to find her and plant ideas that her own father, a dangerous criminal, murdered her uncle and Luke. Although Bea rebuffs the agent, she finds herself losing trust with everyone around her and relying on herself for answers to questions that multiply in magnitude and difficulty. Bea struggles to find purchase in the convoluted web of lies that surround her, finding that pitfalls won’t stand in the way of family and love.
Roni Teson’s second novel commits itself to capturing the mindset of teenage Bea in a passionate, if overwrought, fashion. For those who enjoy a staggeringly fast-paced novel with elements of danger, deception, and teenage romance, Twist will be a suitable choice, despite a few stumbles in the plot and a smattering of di ex machina. Twist’s plot, if anything, is thoroughly unpredictable and its characters equally fickle. If Bea is meant to be a role model, she succeeds in loyalty, less so in caution and logic. Obviously, however, the story has fantastical elements, and the reader might enjoy being transported into Twist’s alternate universe where the FBI uses their resources to blackmail teenagers with nudies and helicopters are a dispensable resource. No doubt, Twist will take you on an interesting ride. With a bit of polish, Teson will expand her substantial potential in the YA field. (Note: Suggested reading 15 and over for some bedroom gymnastics et al.)
Brown Girls Publishing