Olivia Twisted was an intriguing and imaginative modern re-telling of Oliver Twist.
In the beginning, Olivia was withdrawn, for obvious reasons. Throughout the novel, though, she grows into a strong character, able to say no and stand up for herself. There aren’t enough strong female heroine’s in YA, so I loved that Olivia was strong, with a mind of her own. There’s no insta-love with Z, which was refreshing. She was attracted to him, yes, but she didn’t fall all over him. The build-up was slow and realistic. Honestly, Olivia and Z felt like the most believable, realistic YA couple I’ve seen in a long time.
I was not a fan of Z in the beginning. He was too cocky, too full of himself. But throughout the novel, he showed signs of the person he was underneath all that. He had moments of vulnerability that softened me to him, made me like him more. He was like Olivia’s Knight in Shining Armor at certain moments, and I loved how protective he was of her.
I was really suspicious of Olivia’s foster parents right from the beginning. But it was nothing like I expected. I was actually pretty caught off guard by what happened with them. On the flip side, a character I really loved was Sam. She was so fun and easy-going with Olivia, yet so hardened around Z. She had a kind of competitive rivalry with him that almost reminded me of sibling rivalry. It was an interesting dynamic. She always seemed kind of young and vulnerable, despite her tough-as-nails exterior.
The ending was very intriguing. Not only was it not what I expected, but it also broke some YA stereotypes. It wasn’t a cliche happily ever after. I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t go into further detail. But it was one of my top five favorite endings to a YA novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved Olivia, I loved the relationship that she builds with Z and I love how realistic and non-cliche it was. I loved that it broke some of the YA stereotypes. I would absolutely recommend this book to others!