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Twisted [Kindle Edition]

Lola Smirnova
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
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: #147,502 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?
Read more ›
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphic, gritty and a bit witty November 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Twisted is not for the young reader nor those easily offended. This fictional story reads very much like a memoir from the first person point of view of Julia. While the story itself is pretty engaging for the reader, it was difficult for me to make the jump from fiction to actually gleaning the informative “moral of the story”. Perhaps this was because the characters themselves seem so unapologetic and so unwilling to change their own plights by turning back to a life of legal means rather than prostitution. In the end though, the book was well written and very entertaining. Recommended for anyone interested in a graphic telling of the methods women survived post fall of the USSR.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and gripping story. Highly recommend! September 15, 2014
By Stacey
Format:Kindle Edition
Just finished reading "Twisted" by Lola Smirnova and found this to be a fascinating and gripping story that had me from the start. The plot is intense, the pace is fast, the characters are real - Smirnova really has a way with words, portraying each of the characters in such detail that brings them to life and drawing the reader into their lives and their survival stories as workers in the European sex trade. Quite a heavy read involving a lot of sex, blood, sweat and tears, but definitely one that you won't want to put down (I read it in just over a day). Looking forward to see what more Smirnova has to offer as I love her style of writing!
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5 of 6 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous
I enjoyed reading this book as it shows a different side of life than I am used to. I still would not wish this lifestyle on anyone.
Published 5 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read... not for the faint of heart! Indeed, a little TWISTED!
This one felt like it was written by someone having lived the story or at least, knew someone that did. Read more
Published 5 days ago by 2rad
1.0 out of 5 stars It was just not my cup of tea - poorly ...
It was just not my cup of tea - poorly written - too vulgar - It was free, but still to expensive
Published 9 days ago by William Roy Pipes
4.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Novel...A Draft or Two Away
You will not regret buying Twisted. More than the sordid images and violently perverse incidents, Lola Smirnova’s socioeconomic justification and the moral, ethical and personal... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Chris Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars ... in exchange for an honest review i would not recommend this book...
i received this book in exchange for an honest review i would not recommend this book to young reader or those easily offended that being said it is a great book i loved it love... Read more
Published 15 days ago by kristen minor
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not a book of happily ever afters and love triangles
STARS: 5 eye opening stars!
POV: First
SERIES: Yes
CLIFFHANGER: Yes

Wow! Lola Smirnova rips the band aid off and shows the world the ugly truth hidden... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating Read
Although more graphic than my usual reading material, this was a compelling story that I found hard to put down. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Indie_Writer_la
3.0 out of 5 stars praphic and repulsing
The story is sometimes shocking, graphic, repulsing and disgusting - but I can't feel sorry for these three girls. They made their choice. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Barbara Tsipouras
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. This book is graphic and not for young readers. I was hooked from the first chapter, it is a fast read. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Melissa M.
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Twisted' told through Julia's eyes
An upcoming author, Lola Smirnova lives in South Africa and a native of Ukraine. 'Twisted' was inspired by a true story of the lives of three sisters, Lena, Julia, and Natalia, and... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Pennie Mae Cartawick. Author of the Sherlock Holmes book series
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