Monday, December 24, 2012

Book Review: The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan

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Title: The Twisted Window
Author: Lois Duncan
Publisher: Open Road Young Readers
Ebook: 184 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
High school junior Tracy Lloyd is unsure about the new guy in school. Brad Johnson is attractive, smart, and polite, but Tracy can’t help but feel he watches her too closely. Then one day Brad confides in Tracy a horrible secret: His little sister Mindy has been kidnapped by his stepfather, and he needs Tracy’s help to get her back. But even as Tracy commits to a plan to help her vulnerable new friend, details emerge that suggest nothing is what it seems.  
The Twisted Window is a zigzagging thriller that keeps readers guessing up until the final page. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lois Duncan including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 

The Twisted Window is a story about Brad Johnson and Tracy Lloyd. Brad has traveled to Texas from New Mexico in order to track down his baby sister Mindy, who has been kidnapped by his stepfather. Enrolling Tracy in his plan to get her back and bring her home, the two teenagers come together to help Brad's family become reunited.

The beginning was strange for me, with Brad looking over girls in a high school to find "the right one" for his plan. However, after all that was over, I was automatically interested in his story. The main theme of the book is about relationships between families, and I quickly got sucked into the characters' lives and their family troubles. Tracy, especially, has an interesting background and her relationship with her relatives play quite a big role in framing what happens throughout the story.

The main characters' stories were what got me through this book -- much of the plot was over-the-top. I was more frustrated with the side characters than anything. I can't say much at risk of revealing the big twist, but I'm not sure how Brad actually gets the opportunity to kidnap his sister. A lot of the major plot points had issues in believability for me, which kind of turned me off the whole story. I do recommend The Twisted Window more for middle-grade readers than for older people. It is too undeveloped to be a very satisfying read to most adults and even older teenagers. There are a lot of unresolved issues at the end, especially in regards to Tracy and her relationship with her aunt, uncle, and father.

This particular edition has some edits made to help it fit in with the newer generation (the use of cell phones and other updated technology). Overall, these worked great, but there was one time where the CD player suddenly became a cassette player.

However, the twist at the end is very good. I didn't start suspecting that something like that was coming until quite late in the book, so it was a nice surprise. Overall, it's a fast read and great if you're looking for a quick suspenseful story.

*I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*