Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Before he beefed up over the summer and before he was busted for doing graffiti on school property, Tyler Miller was known as Nerd Boy. Since his summer job, his punishment for his moment of graffiti, with the school's custodial staff, Miller has filled out and captured the attention of the most popular girl in school, Bethany Milbury, the sister of his biggest enemy and the daughter of his father's boss. Miller begins to live the popular life, but he questions every move he makes and every person in his life. There are moments where his disgust with those around him makes him contemplate the possibility of bombing the school. As the book's tagline states, "Everybody told him to be a man, Nobody told him how."
I am a fan of Anderson. I have read all her books, with the exception being Chains. This is her first book with a male protagonist; I believe Anderson beautifully and accurately captures the complexity of the modern teenage male. Like all of Anderson's works, this book contains a few choice expletives and violent situations and thoughts, but there are reasons for those particular words and themes. Anderson's books, Twisted is not an exception, are wonderful for class discussion on writing and modern young adult life.
I think this book is more suitable for high schoolers; middle school students may not understand some of complexities and Anderson's sarcastic tone.