Title: Twister

Author: Juliette Forrest

Genre: Children’s Fantasy, Middle Grade

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: “The clouds must have cried themselves happy ’cause they were white again.” I am honestly so in love with this quote, simply because it reflects the innocence and pureness of the main character.

Twister is the story of a young girl who goes on the hunt for her missing Pa. With the help of Maymay, her friend Beam, loyal dog Point and the mysterious necklace Wah, Twister ends up on a wild journey whilst facing many different challenges.

First of all I want to talk about the language and writing in this book. Juliette Forrest does an impeccable job of using her writing to portray the innocence and adolescence of our main character Twister. Every emotion Twister feels, the reader feels as well due to the effective way Forrest writes. I definitely felt like I was in Twister’s head going because of the flow of the sentences and the word use throughout the book. It was all very childlike and for me it made the book even better and much more enjoyable.

I absolutely adored Twister. She was so young and sweet and an extremely likeable character. She had been up against so much yet she was still so brave and willing to do anything to help make her mum better after her pa went missing. We see Twister start school for the first time and joining with her peers who are nasty to her and yet she still manages to keep her wee head up and fight for everything she believes in. The love she had for her trusty companion Point (the family dog), was so pure and everything a relationship between a child and pet should be and for me it was such a poignant part of the story.

Beam was another character I loved and the twist that came later in the book is one that I seen coming straight away but I still loved it none the less. Again, mentioning Twister here because when she first met Beam, it was this strange little girl just standing watching her yet she still befriended her without asking any obvious questions even if she was a little suspicious. Beam constantly appeared when Twister was in trouble and did everything in her power to help her and for me, that was an important part of the book because it reflects the power of true friendship.

Aunt Honey is a character that I think reflects pretty much the crazy aunt that every family has, however in a much calmer sense. She had a lot to deal with in the book with looking after Twister’s Ma and also looking after Twister herself as Ma shut herself away after Pa went missing. I liked that she never took anything too seriously but she always gave the best advice to Twister and it was great seeing her have someone like that looking out for her.

A lot of the minor characters were all very lovable all except the bullies in the book. Clem, the biggest bully towards Twister, was someone that made my blood boil every time his name was mentioned. I literally hated having to read parts with him involved because I knew it wasn’t pleasant. It was made worse any time his father Hack was mentioned before you bet it was going to be made ten times worse. I guess when you seen how Hack treated his son, you did maybe, very slightly, feel sorry for him. But there is no way you can justify his actions.

There were a few moments in the book where I just sat yelling “NO JULIETTE, YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO KIDS” because I, as a 22 year old woman was struggling to cope with the losses we experience in the story and I couldn’t imagine being a 9-12 year old reading that and being as hurt, if not a whole lot more hurt reading what happens. After finishing the book, I realised as much as it was hurting my heart with some of the events that happened, it was good to have them happen in a children’s book because I guess it kind of teaches them that nothing in life is easy and you are going to experience loss throughout life.

Starting the book it did take me a little while to get into it but the more I read, the more I started to fall in love with the story and the characters. The story is very much a children’s fairy tale with the strong characters and the scary villain and for me, that is the perfect children’s book. Although, like I said, it did take me a while to get into the story, Juliette Forrest has done a magical job of creating a brilliantly engaging story that all children will be able to get into and enjoy.

Twister is a story about friendship, love, family, bravery and loss. With a whole range of lovable characters, I highly recommend this book to parents for their children. Juliette Forrest’s debut novel is absolutely brilliant and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work!
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