• Reviewed by Makenzie Riley

    An Unlikely Criminal

    The book Twisted Summer was written by Willo Davis Roberts and was published in 1996. It is a young-adult fiction story and takes place at Crystal Lake in Michigan where multiple families stay for the summer.  Cici and her mom go to visit their family and friends at the lake, where they usually go every summer.  They had missed the year before and couldn’t wait to meet up with everyone again.  But Cici finds out from her cousin Ginny that a girl from one of the families that stays at the lake every summer had been murdered the year before. 

                The best character from the book as Jack, the boy Cici had liked since she was younger.  His family had always lived on the lake year round and even though he was a couple years older than Cici, he always cared about her and made sure she was okay.  He is a staple character in the book because he helps Cici through everything while trying to figure out what had happened to the girl the previous year.  Even though his character is more of a serious, hard-working one, he knew when it was okay to actually be a teenager and have fun. 

                The central conflict of this book was Cici trying to figure out what had happened to Zoe, Who had been murdered the year before.  Cici has a really hard time trying to figure it all out so, she goes to Jack for help.  Once she has Jack helping, things start to get a little easier.  They knew it had to be someone from the lake because it’s like a closed community with a gate at the front and everybody knows everybody or, Zoe had brought someone into the small community because she was known for being a bit of a trouble maker.  In the end they figure everything out but, Cici wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without Jack. 

                The theme of the book is that friends and family should, and will, help you no matter what.  It is a universal theme because every character needs help at some point or another in this book.  Cici needs help when she’s trying to figure out who killed Zoe.  The Judge (Cici’s step grandpa) needs help when his wife passes away.  Jack’s older brother needs help because he is the main suspect in the murder case, even though he had not killed Zoe.  There are a lot more times when the characters need help, and even though everyone is stressed and still thinking about everything that had happened with Zoe, they will all help each other.  

                My rating of this book out of five stars would be a four.  I really enjoyed this book and there wasn’t one part where I was bored with it but, I wish it had been a little longer and had gone into more detail after everything was figured out instead of just ending there.  I would recommend this book to anybody who likes a little suspense and some mystery.  If you read this book, yu should also check out The Kidnappers (1998) and Buddy is a Stupid Name for a Girl (2001).  Both of these books are written by Willo Davis Roberts.