Twisted Fate by Norah Olson [twitter]
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: YA mystery, boy next door, sisters, online privacy
Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!)
Summary: When a new boy, Graham, moves in next door, sisters Ally and Syd both develop crushes on him. But things don’t add up: Why did Graham move to town? Why’s he always videoing people? Why’s he sporadically in school? One sister only falls harder while the other begins to piece together a few disturbing clues.
Sisters Sydney and Ally are picking blueberries when their new neighbors pull into the driveway next door. Out steps Graham, a boy Syd immediately thinks is a little weird but Ally finds attractive. They make small talk and both girls walk away with crushes blooming in their hearts. As the days tick by (and the multiple-point-of-view chapters), Ally falls head over heels for Graham; he flatters her and pays attention in a way no one else does. But Sydney becomes wary. Things just aren’t adding up and his story just doesn’t quite make sense.
Of course when Sydney attempts to discuss her hesitations with her sister, Ally assumes Syd is jealous.
Ally is the good girl — the people pleaser, always doing something for everyone else, never stepping out of line. Syd is wild, adventurous, constantly getting called to the counselor’s office, and is Ally’s opposite in nearly every way. Graham plays both girls, making them feel like they’re the most interesting person in the world. Though Syd is nervous about him, she can’t help but also fall under his spell when he compliments her.
Because of the different POVs — Syd, Ally, Graham, Graham’s step-mother, a cop — there’s this sinking feeling Syd is right and you’re just waiting for all the little clues to add up and make sense. (I was also really hesitant for them to. My suspicions and the truth were pretty heavy.) There’s something to be on alert for, but what?
From the mysterious, “whodunnit” stand point, I really enjoyed trying to figure out where Olson was going with Twisted Fate. I didn’t want to stop reading because I just knew the clue I was looking for would be on the next page. But on the flip side, the way the story was infiltrated with so many different perspectives, I found myself flipping back and forth between chapters a lot, particularly between Syd and Ally. (This later made sense why, but I kept thinking I’d missed something along the way.)
Twisted Fate has an ending that left me feeling uncomfortable (because it really made my mama-bear come alive) and scratching my head. Weeks after finishing, I’m still left wondering how everything would have tied up the way it did: Was that really possible? Huh? In comparison to a book such as We Were Liars, I felt everything tied up in a way I could accept even though it blew my mind. Olson delivers an extraordinarily creepy story that really had me hooked and made me have several “Aha!” moments pertaining to personal safety.
How’s that for making you wonder what happens?