Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes
This review is based on an advanced reader’s e-copy, ask acquired through Entangled Teen. This in no way, shape or form had any effect on my honest review. Thank you Heather Riccio, at Entangled, for granting me access to this novel.
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He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I don’t care.
At least at this moment, I don’t care.
Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…
I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta.
It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.
Except that she’s not.
Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I was sent an ARC by Entangled, that I trust because they are in charge of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books and goodness, those books are AMAZING. So I was definitely intrigued on reading Vivi Barnes novel. Because I received an advanced e-copy of it, I definitely knew this was a book that I had to read.
There’s also been this urge to read some good contemporary novels. Sure, there’s the whole hacking angle of this novel but there’s no fantasy or dystopian or science fiction in it. Those are all my favorite things to read but I’ve really needed a break, and I was so glad to be able to dive into this book.
I think that Vivi is able to write an incredibly compelling and real story, wrapped around this sexy nature of computer hacking. She makes the idea of getting on a computer and hacking into someone’s profile or bank account seem like an extremely fun and sexy thing to do. And this is coming from someone’s identity has been hacked several times. Its a way of making a talent out of something that may not seem like it. To be able to do this requires strategy, intelligence, forward thinking and thinking outside of the box and I think she shows that. I think, with the ending she provides, it also encourages using those kind of skills for good though haha.
The love story is very sweet too. Olivia and Z have a sort of rocky romance, due to both of them having their own problems, especially when it comes to issue of trust. Both have lived in foster homes, have been left to their own devices, and its hard to trust anyone, no matter WHO they are. But the gradual build up was enough to leave any reader panting for more. When their relationship does develop, and they begin to trust and care for each other, its just super sweet and beautiful. Plus, Z just fits my typical fictional crush. I love the distant, aloof, hilarious, sarcastic bad boys and he fits that profile so beautifully that the minute he showed up on page, I knew I was going to be in love with by the end of the book.
I also want to commend Vivi for really addressing this sort of orphan/foster kid story. The idea of an orphan in a YA novel is nothing new. Most of the time, in these kind of novels, they are orphans. But she really addresses it, the effect that it can have on these children, how they can feel abandoned and mistreated and abused. I know that the story was a sort of re-telling of Oliver Twist (which, admittedly, I’ve never read) so there was a parallel there but I appreciated it nonetheless. It really calls your attention to this problem. Sure, Harry Potter is an orphan but there aren’t kids out there being killed by evil dark wizards, and that sort of thing. Parents with drug addictions, kids forced into foster homes, and shuttled from one home to another, this is so real, and its such a problem that I think people don’t think of. If there was one thing that someone got from that story, it would be that this is problem that we need to continually tackle.
This book is fun, a super fast read, and full of romance, action, humor and drama, and is a commendable debut for Vivi Barnes. I eagerly await future stories from her and I wish her a TON of luck in the future!
4 out of 5 stars