Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review: Twigs by Alison Ashley Formento

Title: Twigs
Author: Alison Ashley Formento

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Merit Press

Length: 272 pages
Original Publishing Date: September 18th, 2013
Series: Standalone
Where I got it: NetGalley

Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"One pint-sized girl. Ten supersized crises. And it’s high noon.

They call her “Twigs,” because she’ll never hit five feet tall. Although she was born early, and a stiff breeze could knock her over, Twigs has a mighty spirit. She needs it, as life throws a whole bucket of rotten luck at her: Dad’s an absentee drunk; Mom’s obsessed with her new deaf boyfriend (and Twigs can’t tell what they’re saying to each other). Little sister Marlee is trying to date her way through the entire high school; Twigs’ true love may be a long-distance loser after a single week away at college, and suddenly, older brother Matt is missing in Iraq. It all comes together when a couple of thugs in a drugstore aisle lash out, and Twigs must fight to save the life of the father who denied her
Main characters: 2/5

Okay, can I just get a nitpick out of the way? "Twigs"? Really? Beyond her ridiculous nickname, Twigs is an abnormally short teenager trying to get through a tough patch. She was fiery and sharp; sometimes a little too fiery for her own good. I liked her flaws and weaknesses, but ultimately she was pretty unremarkable.

Secondary characters: 3/5

I LOVED Coop. He was such an asshole, but that made him intriguing. He had a way with words and using them to get himself into trouble. The rest of the secondary cast was slightly larger-than-life. They were ridiculous and over-the-top. Particularly Helen, Stu and Dink. Again, I liked that none of these characters were perfectly, or even likeable at times. You go through hating every character here. Sometimes that over-the-top aspect went a little too far where you think, would this really happen? 

Writing style: 3.5/5

I am a fan of Formento's writing style: her descriptions are accurate, detailed and often funny. Her dialogue is clever, witty and realistic. Overall, her writing style is mature and subtle, but also youthful. The only problem is that I was not interested in what I was reading. Part of that was that the pacing of the story dragged. A lot. It made it difficult to get through the book.

Plot: 3.5/5
I could feel the small town setting coming through the writing and I was fascinated by Twigs' description of her neighbors, her job, everything. However, the plot combined with the pacing just fell a little flat. I'm not exactly sure what it was either. I think part of it may have been that Formento was trying to cover a lot of different crises' in Twigs' life and the reader gets pulled around a lot and we don't focus much on any conflict.

Ending: 2.5/5

The ending itself was sweet and had a good wrap up. However, there were a couple things that didn't get the attention they deserved, and some that really needed to be addressed (Brady).

Best scene: The climax scene at the pharmacy

The writing, some of the ridiculous situations, the unique setting and plot points, Coop

Negatives: Pacing, unmemorable main character, her name, pacing, not enough attention to some details at the end

Cover: The photo itself is pretty but I don't like the font

Verdict: Unique setting and characters don't save this book from the dragging writing style

Rating: 5.8/10 (3 stars)

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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