There are so many great books out there that really get into the heads of their female protagonists, but I always feel like a good male protagonist is somewhat of a rare gem.

“Twisted” is one of those gems.

Tyler has just spent a summer of physical labor and makes his return to school for his senior year as a chiseled man with a dangerous air about him – a far cry from Nerd Boy of his past. Helping with his outward transformation are his landscaping job from over the summer and being arrested for a harmless school prank the previous school year.

Tyler starts the year by trying to keep up with his new, rigorous class schedule and the realization that The It Girl has the hots for him.

Just when school life seems like it’s finally sweet, the bottom drops out, and Tyler finds himself the lead suspect in a sexually related crime. He’s innocent, but the important people – the police and his father – don’t believe him.

“Twisted,” addresses suicide in a way I haven’t seen before. Tyler thinks about killing himself frequently – the thoughts have preoccupied him for years – but he isn’t your classic kill-yourself type, probably the most dangerous kind. His suicidal thoughts of the past seem like an obsession, something that would finally attract attention. Then they turn more scary. He sees suicide as the only solution to his problem – the fact that he lives and is affecting the lives of others.

This book is a sad, honest read. It was surprising to me to read a character whose thoughts of suicide are so simple. So often characters have such complex fantasies and reasons for their suicidal desires. Tyler is different. He’s simple. He’s honest. He’s real.

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