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Twisted Paperback – January 21, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Twisted Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Originally from Ukraine, Lola Smirnova is an author, who loves twisting a suspenseful tale through the dark lens of realism around the sexual underworld, so clocked in secrecy and shame. Lola’s work is inspired by real-life events and is meant for the open-minded readers who are not afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen. Her debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition and took the 3rd Place at The Drunken Druids International Book Award 2014. Lola released her second book - sequel to Twisted - Craved in July 2015. It placed as Honorable Mention in General Fiction Category of The 2015 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition. Now living in South Africa, Lola is working on her third book in the trilogy, which proves just how many fascinating stories she has to share about the ordinary women in the global sex industry. You can contact Lola via twisted@lolasmirnova.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496031016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496031013
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,195,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
3.5 stars
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes that innate desire to improve one's social and economic condition takes a twisted turn for the worse. In TWISTED, Lola Smirnova reveals how such a fate befalls three young sisters, Natalia, Lena and Julia. Graphic, explicit sex scenes (that would make even Christian Grey blush) bring realism to this candid look into the dark underworld of the sex trade market—from Luxembourg to Istanbul.

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!
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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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