Twined by A. L. Collins: review

TwinedTwined by A.L. Collins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Avalin Marsh is used to disappointment. When her mother murdered a woman in the kitchen of her home on her eleventh birthday, Avalin decided that the people in your life were only there to let you down. She built up walls over the years making a mental fortress impervious to disappointment, heartache and sadness. However it also isolated her from others, making her bitter… and lonely.

When her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia after the murder, Avalin began to see and experience things that she couldn’t explain. She thought she could handle these episodes by pushing them back into her mind. Until the day she sees one of her classmates morph into a monster right in front of her eyes. Pushed to the brink of paranoia, Avalin truly believes she’s insane. Then a mysterious man named Albert comes into her life. She’s wary of his motives yet for some reason finds herself drawn to him even though they’ve never met. What’s even more inexplicable is that Albert knows who Avalin is. She’s the daughter of the famous Abigail Marsh. Her mother.

Now the two of them will need to put their differences aside and trust one another. If Avalin can’t let her guard down long enough to let Albert in, then there might be dire and far reaching consequences in store for them.

It turns out Avalin Marsh isn’t as crazy as she thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I enjoyed the premise of the book: where in order to survive, the Twined – a species of beings who look like humans but have various powers – must bond with a human so the two are twined together. I imagine them twined like morning glory and honeysuckle or the wools in a Fair Isle jumper; together forever and impossible to untangle.

The writing style was a little basic for the most part, but I think that it is just right to hit the YA market. I had to remember that this is a YA book, written by a young author. The plot moves at a good pace throughout the book. Since the story is told from Avalin’s point of view, we are as confused as she is about what is going on, a technique which works well. Avalin’s behaviour vacillates between behaving in a very un-girl-like way, saying things girls don’t generally say, and complaining about how limited and friendless her life has been since her mother was incarcerated. There are some bright spots when she shows courage and quick thinking.

I felt that the way she dropped and excluded those few friends she had at the beginning of the book was a bad move. They already know she’s a bit strange and would cope with this ‘next step’ of strangeness.

I did not like the ending – it was way to abrupt, and so obviously a cliffhanger for the next book. It felt more like the ending to an episode of a TV serial, with the set-up for the start of next week’s episode, than the ending of a book. In my opinion, a book (or TV programme) is better when it leaves threads dangling, ready to be resolved in the next instalment, rather than a blatant, stop-in-the-middle-of-a-scene cliffhanger.

This has the honour of being the first kindle book I paid money to get. Whilst I quite enjoyed the book, I had some irritations about some of the words used:

“Exhume” means to dig up a previously interred body…I think the author meant “exuded” whenever “exhumed” was used – I have never heard of an object exhuming energy… 😉 And what on earth is a tonsil stone????

There are a few non sequiturs and plot holes, but overall this was an enjoyable read – a dead cert to be popular with the YA crowd.

View all my Goodreads reviews

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I’m claiming this book as No. tbc/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge;  and No. 2 in the First in Series Reading challenge.
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