Twisted indeed ...
Read the story now
Well, I don't know what I was expecting from this, but whatever the case, I was definitely not disappointed - horrified, enraged, shocked, heartbroken, and a whole other heap of emotions, for sure, but overall, very impressed with how the writer handled the delicate subject matter. Adolescence is a tricky time to live through, which makes capturing it in a sympathetic way difficult, but each character was developed and explored at an ideal pace, making it very easy to engage with and feel for them. They were all distinct from one another, which is even more impressive given that they were all male and around the same age and so should've been easily confused with each other, but twas not at all the case here - props to the writer for managing that so successfully!
The actual plot was rough to read - not writing-style-wise, but the actual content. Every form of child abuse was seen along the way, a lot of it in an uncomfortable amount of detail - but it was relevant to the plot, not just added for the shock factor, so bear with it if you can.
The dialogue was well done throughout; I very much enjoyed the addition of different languages, it made it all the more realistic (and I always enjoy learning new swear words, regardless of the language xD) and also was a reminder as to the beautiful setting and cultures encountered. The dialogue itself was age-appropriate and read like things people would ACTUALLY say, rather than the usual formal, robotic shite you'd read in many stories, so fair play to the writer for taking that into account. The bickering between siblings/friends was a much-needed reprieve from the darker chapters, though I have to say, I appreciated the dark humour too, even if I felt like a horrible person for being entertained by it ... xD
There were times when it was a tad more tell-y than show-y; but I suppose kids tend to be like that, so it reflected their age and thought-process. I'm personally not a mad fan of first person, so it took me a while to get into and sometimes had me stopping during the earlier chapters to remind myself whose POV it was, but I think the first person narrative was best here as it added an even more childlike touch to the piece and definitely helped me engage with it all the more in the end.
Anyhoo, that's more than enough of my ramblings! I'll definitely be reading the next book as soon as I get the chance. Great job! :)