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Twisted [Kindle Edition]

Lola Smirnova
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description


HONORABLE MENTION of The 2014 London Book Festival Competition!!!


Riveting New Adult SUSPENSE THRILLER, Profoundly Moving REALISTIC FICTION


Inspired by real life events, Twisted is a fascinating story of vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade...



“A gripping and mature story deftly woven by Lola Smirnova, "Twisted" is the kind of suspense novel that will linger in the mind and imagination long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf... "Twisted" introduces an extraordinarily gifted author to an appreciative readership looking eagerly toward her next literary effort.”
- Midwest Book Review

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 young and eager 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...

For sensible, resilient and calculating Lena and Natalia, the transition to the underworld of Luxembourg’s deceptive champagne bars is eye-opening, but smooth. But for fragile, brittle Julia, haunted by a childhood assault, the change is more than just vocational. Struggling to adapt, she turns to alcohol and drugs, exposing herself to increasing danger and depravity; and, ultimately, betrayal, when a deceitful client, who claims to love her, drugs her and cleans her out.

Despite her sisters’ best efforts to intervene, she finds herself in Istanbul – culturally a world apart – in an attempt to make back the money and self-respect she’s lost. Vulnerable without the protection of Luxembourg’s champagne bars, she descends into a hell of drugs and high-risk sex until, at the novel’s terrible climax, a kidnapping, brutal assault and one-sided justice system lead to her imprisonment and a threat of deportation.

How will Natalia and Lena save Julia?


'TWISTED' IS THE FIRST BOOK OF A PLANNED TRILOGY. THE SECOND ONE - 'CRAVED' IS ABOUT TO BE RELEASED! To stay updated, follow Lola on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/twistedlolasmirnova or Twitter - @BookTwisted.

Editorial Reviews:

“Charged with some disturbing sexual scenes (including rape), the book manages a steady, readable flow as it shines a light on the multifaceted world of the European sex trade.”

- Kirkus Reviews

“Smirnova takes us on a philosophical and pseudo-psychological pilgrimage through the sexual underworld as Julia, in first person narrative, describes her struggling introduction into a profession where she can ply the only skills currently marketable.”
- 5 star review from Readers’ Favorite

“I highly recommend ‘Twisted’ to open-minded readers who aren’t afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen. It’s sure to shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value.”
- 5 star review from Red City Review

“In the meantime, Smirnova hopes that Twisted will raise awareness to the problems of the sex industry… Kudos to Smirnova for an outstanding job achieving that goal!”
- 5 star review from Pacific Book Review

“While the subject matter does not make for a light read, a breezy writing style and Julia’s willingness to fully and shamelessly lift the veil on her controversial lifestyle makes an irresistible combination.”

- IndieReader

“The book is a dark, straight-forward tale of how a young woman becomes a prostitute.”
– Portland Book Review






Editorial Reviews

Review

"Charged with some disturbing sexual scenes (including rape), the book manages a steady, readable flow as it shines a light on the multifaceted world of the European sex trade." 
- Kirkus Reviews

"Smirnova takes us on a philosophical and pseudo-psychological pilgrimage through the sexual underworld as Julia, in first person narrative, describes her struggling introduction into a profession where she can ply the only skills currently marketable."
- 5 star review from Readers' Favorite

"I highly recommend Twisted to open-minded readers who aren't afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen. It's sure to shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value." 
- 5 star review from Red City Review

"In the meantime, Smirnova hopes that Twisted will raise awareness to the problems of the sex industry... Kudos to Smirnova for an outstanding job achieving that goal!"
- 5 star review from Pacific Book Review

"It is up front and direct; Smirnova thankfully avoids the guileless euphemism that writers with less comfort about sex and sex work use in their sex scenes. It also explores the business with a sensitivity and respect - though not approval - that is rare. The story is paced steadily, never lingers in melodrama, and can easily be read in one sitting." 
- 4 star review from Foreword Clarion Reviews

About the Author

Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine living in South Africa, who for many years worked in the sex industry.
Twisted is her debut novel which was published in January 2014. Lola is currently finishing her second book of the planned trilogy - a sequel to Twisted - CRAVED.
You can contact her on twisted@lolasmirnova.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 1458 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Quickfox Publishing (January 26, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I2DFEOO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,414 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
A quick look at the cover of Twisted, one may draw the conclusion that it is a highly provocative erotica book. On the contrary, it does not fit that genre at all. Twisted is the raw and unsettling story about a young woman's experience in the sex trade. Amid the overwhelming premise of prostitution, Smirnova's eye-opening debut novel is filled with accounts of human tragedy.

Penned in first person, Smirnova's narrative relays the story of Julia Lazar, who leaves her post-Soviet and depressed socioeconomic Ukraine for a better life with better pay. She is not alone, though, since her two sisters are in the same dire straits. The three siblings venture over to Luxembourg, where they get involved in sex-oriented establishments. When Julia decides, against her sisters' wishes, to head out to Istanbul, she learns first hand that business dealings over there are not quite the "free-rider's paradise" she expects.

Based on her background in Ukraine and her personal work experience in the adult entertainment industry, rising author Smirnova has crafted a gripping story that takes readers into the mind of a women who is grappling with why she is "morally comfortable with what she's doing." Smirnova includes a number of literary tools to keep her narrative constantly moving. On the top of that list of tools is her use of paradox. A good example is Julia's racing and often disturbing thoughts that run concurrent to the salacious services she offers to a host of sleazy characters. Smirnova also keeps her chapters short and alternates them between Julia's clients, love life, and interactions with her sisters.

Julia is indeed a dynamic character. She is definitely conflicted. Her love/hate job is lucrative, but at what price?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on Realism, Light on Plot November 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
**Reviewed for EBOOKS GALORE**

Twisted is a novel about a Ukranian sex worker named Julia. The book is filled with stories of what life as a sex worker is like in the 1990's in Europe. Julia and her two sisters travel to Luxembourg, Turkey, and France to ply their ancient and unfortunate trade.

The Amazon listing says that the story is based on true events, and many of the situations are incredibly believable ... and awful. The story is told without pulling any punches or sparing the reader any details.

The reason this book only got one star from me is because ... it isn't a story. Not one with a defined beginning, middle, or end, anyway. It's just story after story of horror and fetishism. That's fine with me, if it serves a purpose; but it doesn't, in this book. The heroine doesn't learn anything, grow as a person, or change her life in any meaningful way.

I feel like this book is written for shock value, and shock value alone. And it is shocking. It's just not, in my opinion, an actual story. If it had been presented as a journal, then I would have rated it higher.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Well that was...twisted. Yup, I think this book got its name right.

This is a New Adult book in my opinion, but it is certainly not a romance, and not even what I would consider erotica. There is sex — lots of sex — but it's not written in a way that's supposed to turn you on.

Twisted is much more of a clinical documentation of what Eastern European prostitution is (or was?) really like. I actually think that this book reads almost like nonfiction at times, but that makes sence because I think I heard somewhere that its apparently based on the author's own personal experiences.

Twisted is a haunting, brutally honest depiction of prostitution, and different from every book I've ever read.

I think that, as women, we've all had that passing thought of, "Oh f*** it, I'll just be a whore!" The sex industry is known for its ability to provide high-paying jobs for women (and men) and, sometimes after a rough day, it almost seems like it might be a better option than the whole 9-5 thing. I'll admit that I've definitely had this thought before! And even a little bit of morbid curiosity about what it would be like to sell my body for money.

But...after reading Twisted...the tiny part of me that always considered prostitution as potential "Plan B" (or more like Plan J) is now officially gone. This book is so personal, so truthful, so raw and disgusting in its openness about the lifestyle of a whore that I will officially never consider it as even the tiniest little option ever again.

I could never have done the things that Julia is either forced to or makes herself do in Twisted. Her willpower to succeed as a prostitute just goes to show you how awful the situation must've been back at home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphic But Based on Real Experiences December 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Actual Rating: 3.5/5

The Story: Julia wants to make a better life for herself, so when her sisters head to Luxembourg to find work, she tags along. She quickly finds herself working for a cabaret. Her job is seemingly simple – entice men to pay for champagne. The amount and quality of champagne they purchase translates directly to how much personal attention will be lavished on them by one of the girls. The money is good, but Julia finds herself disgusted, endangered, and shockingly numb to the acts she performs as she simply tries to survive.

The Opening Line: “Sag es!” he screams at me.

What I Loved: This almost read like one of the industry tell-alls that I love so much. And with good reason too – the book is based on Smirnova’s experiences working in the sex trade. While extremely graphic, Smirnova never shied away from the details, good and bad. It was an enlightening look at a trade so clocked in secrecy and shame.

What I Didn’t Love: Sometimes the writing felt a little bit stilted and broken instead of flowing easily. And while the sparseness of the language fit the tone, I just wanted a little more in the way of writing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Intriguing
There's something intriguing about reading sex worker's memoirs. It's dark, fascinating, and impossible to put down. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Madam Librarian
1.0 out of 5 stars Just not for me.
I really wanted to love this book.
From the second I read the blurb, which is incredible, I needed to read it. Read more
Published 15 days ago by ~lil maso~
4.0 out of 5 stars Good name for this book. It was was twisted. Real heart breaking...
Real heartbreaking story. Couldn't put it down. Not for the younger or ones who get offended.Received this book free for a review. Will definitely read more from this author.
Published 18 days ago by Diane Lucas
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Realistic
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was definitely a darker book. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Aly
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, powerful and one of a kind book
This ebook, Twisted, by Lola Smirnova is 'a bit strange' to be honest. Purported to be an erotica book (from its cover anyways), it starts out as one and then gradually the heroine... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Lanka Roo
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of Ukrainian sex workers in Europe!
I WAS GIVEN A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK TO REVIEW by the author.

This book hooked me in the first few pages, and I read straight through to see what happened to Julia... Read more
Published 27 days ago by T. F. Vogt
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted
First of all, this is an Adult book! Like be very ready, its amazing and very sexy, but make sure you are fine with adult material! It really isn't for the faint of heart. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Serenity
5.0 out of 5 stars the title sasays it all
like the title says twisted
Published 1 month ago by paul marquis paul marquis
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, vivid, revealing.
A heart-breaking and moving story of the seedy underbelly of society that sex workers are forced to inhabit. Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. Sharp
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it a lot because it was based upon real ...
I received this book free of charge for an honest review.... I liked it a lot because it was based upon real sexual experiences. Read more
Published 1 month ago by crystal rylowicz-ruffin
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