Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Review ~ Twisted (Twisted #1) by Lola Smirnova

Twisted #1
by Lola Smirnova

Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three eager young sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia - dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of 'quick' money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever...

Can they stay out of trouble enough to fulfill their ambitions?

Can they hold on to their idealism in a world where depravity and danger are constant companions?

How far are they willing to go to make a buck?

Inspired by real-life events, Twisted is a fascinating New Adult SUSPENSE THRILLER about vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade...

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Twisted is not a book I would normally pick up, but the cover grabbed me instantly and the blurb sealed the deal.  While reading, I felt as though I had a front-row seat in Julia’s life, experiencing the life she led through her eyes – and what a horrifying life it was.  This was not an easy book to read as some of the sex scenes are really graphic and really, really gross.  That warning on the front of the book – yeah, you would want to take this one seriously.  There are some truly shocking moments within these pages and the title sums it up well – this story is indeed TWISTED.  Just the fact that the author based this story on real life events makes me want to be sick.  Knowing that young girls and women are living this life is truly sad to say the least.  This is an intriguing and dark read that left me speechless but it is also laced with some funny moments that had me laughing out loud.

The book is extremely well-written and you can really tell that the author as an in-depth knowledge of the sex-trade industry.  I felt that Julia was extremely naïve at times which made me frustrated at the numerous times that she screwed up, but in my opinion, this is what this story was trying to portray.  This is a story of a girl and her sisters who just wanted to find a better life for themselves although they did not use their best judgment at times to get to their desired outcome.  This book is an eye-opening experience that will make you appreciate how good you really have it in life…..because it could be worse.

The ending left me hopeful in a way, and I will definitely read the next installment of this series to see what happens next. 

3.5 stars

Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine, who loves twisting a suspenseful tale through the dark lens of realism around the sexual underworld, so clocked in secrecy and shame. Lola’s work is inspired by real-life events and is meant for the open-minded readers who are not afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen.

Her debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition and took 3rd place at The Drunken Druids International Book Award 2014.

Lola released her second book - sequel to Twisted - Craved in July 2015.

Now living in South Africa, she is working on her third book of a Twisted trilogy, which proves just how many fascinating stories she has to share about the ordinary women in the global sex industry.

You can contact Lola via twisted@lolasmirnova.com

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