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Twisted Paperback – January 21, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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.
Lola Smirnova drew me in with the thoughts and emotions of her protagonist. Julia's first person narrative is gripping and believable. Having traveled extensively in Russia and the Ukraine during the post-Perestroika era, I am aware of the economical turmoil that descended on the region, and how it drove many young people in search of a better life abroad. All the feelings and emotions packed into this novel could be true for everyone cast into a similar situation.
Smirnova's storytelling style and true depictions will certainly bring awareness to the devastating effects of the sex trade industry, and also, how life decisions can dictate a young person’s future, good or bad. Praise to Lola Smirnova for this brave, honest, emotional account of a world we wish not to admit exists. Truly, it is fantastic writing!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is definitely not a Pretty Woman prostitute story! It is raw, dirty, and shocking. It had some jaw-dropping moments. I'm not going to pass judgment on Julia or her sisters. Read morePublished 29 days ago by jenn5125
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I reviewed Craved, the second part in Twisted trilogy, not long ago, and I was... Read more
I read this book several months ago and planned to write this review but after reading it, I had to decompress, get my thoughts together before attempting this review. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Larry W.
I read this book several months ago and planned to write this review but after reading it, I had to decompress, get my thoughts together before attempting this review. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Larry Wilburn
An honest and real look at the life of ambitious and determined young woman on the edge of society. It read like a Dan Brown novel ~ hardly giving the reader time to catch their... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Warren Poole
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest unbiased review.
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book but I ended up really liking it. Read more
I read both novels back to back so I am reviewing them together. Some parts of the novels were hard to follow due to the language barrier but I managed without too much effort. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Intoxicated By Books
The book Twisted by Lola Smirnova is supposedly based on real life events, but fictionalized to create a story. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kerrie
This book presents an unvarnished picture of how economic stagnation in East Europe condemns young women into a life of prostitution. Read morePublished 5 months ago by argyle4087