Review: Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes

Posted 22 October, 2013 by Gabbie in Review / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Olivia Twisted by Vivi BarnesOlivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes
Publisher: Entangled Teen on November 5, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 352
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Olivia

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…

Z

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.

review

Favorite Quote(s):

“I take it and gently fasten it above her hand, then kiss the inside of her wrist. The one thing I have that means something to me now rests on the only person who means everything to me.”

Favorite Character: Z. He has so many layers and I love every single one of them.
First Line:

“I should be used to this by now–the emptiness that fills me when I become homeless for the stretch of a car ride.”

My Musings: When I saw this novel and read that it was a loose retelling of Oliver Twist, I just had to give it a try. The synopsis gave the feeling that this would be an epic read, and I mean, just look at the cover!

Olivia Twisted follows Olivia, an orphan, as she is placed in yet another foster home. Olivia is used to it though–she believes that no one since her mom will ever love her, since the last foster parents that claimed to love her ditched her for Hawaii. So when computer-gifted Olivia attracts the attention of Sam and Z in their computer science class, Olivia is just thankful to have found a few friends. But Sam and Z are hiding a dangerous secret–they’re criminal hackers and they want to recruit Olivia into their hacking house. But as Z and Olivia get closer, Z starts to question the morality of what he’s doing–but it’s just a little too late.

“Although, I have to say, she did look damn cute, bouncing around the place in that ugly orange shirt, ponytail bobbing. Cuter than anyone has a right to look in neon. And the way she lit up with some of the customers, even those college guys she pretended to flirt with…Takes a player to know one– I knew exactly what she was doing. I didn’t like the effect it had on me, though. Damn adorable girl actually made me feel a twinge of jealousy.”

Z and Olivia are the main characters and narrators in this novel. The thing that I enjoyed about this book was how realistic it was. It’s horrible to say that having a bunch of orphans be criminal hackers is believable, but the way that it was written was very convincing and realistic. This shone through in the characters. Olivia had a tough life, between loosing her mom to drugs, the neglect of various foster homes, and even some sexual abuse. But she didn’t let that set the precedent for her life. She was smart and computer-savvy, and she was innocent to fault. Sure, under the influence of Z and Sam she made a few bad decisions, but she learned from them and didn’t let them influence her future decisions and morality. It was inspiring that she was able to hold on to her sense of right and wrong, even with all of the things that were pressing in on her.

“She peers up at me from underneath her lashes, knitting her eyebrows slightly, and I know exactly what she’s thinking. Something she’s going to say will make me want to beat the living shit out of someone. I can feel fury burning in the pit of my stomach already.”

Z was the other main character. He was intriguing to say the least. He had a hard past that he didn’t let anyone find out about except, eventually, Olivia. He was guarded. He was also sarcastic and cocky. But on the inside, he was vulnerable and sweet. He had a past that shaped him into the person that he became. But when you removed all of his outer defenses, he really was a good guy, regardless of his criminal activities. And he rode a motorcycle. Sigh.

“Nothing matters anymore. Just her.”

The two of them completely complemented each other. She was the sweet, naive girl and he was the cocky, bad boy. They both had a knack for computers, and they both had tough family life. But in each other, they found solace. It was endearing to see them open up to each other, especially Z, considering the circumstances.

Now the plot. Oh my sweet baby Jesus, that book was intense. So first of all, you have the criminal hacking, which was interesting all in itself. Throw in an evil business owner, a few criminal activities, and then an epic climax, and you’ve got yourself a to-die-for novel. That climax…it had my heart pounding and the nervous jitters going. It’s just…no words. And the way it all came together in the end? It was genius. GENIUS!

Olivia Twisted has definitely made its way onto the list of my favorite books of 2013. This novel was like a thrilling roller coaster ride; it had me on the edge of my seat with its ‘twisted’ plot. An amazing retelling of the great classic Oliver Twist, it is definitely one that you’ll want to pick up!

5 Stars
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