What is it about?
Olivia Twist is a retelling of the classic, Oliver Twist, aimed at the young adult romantic reader. I’ve never read the original Oliver Twist so I can’t compare it but the story itself is a lovely read with a bit of action, mystery, and more than a sprinkle of romantic entanglements (but not enough to make your mother blush if she caught you reading it).
The romance is in about 80% of the book but it doesn’t get really heated until half-way through, and by heated I mean the equivalent of a young couple at a drive-in movie (do they still have those?). It felt physically tense at times and other times frustrating with me yelling at the characters to finally get together and get it over with. Decorum and reputations be damned.
What about the storytelling?
From a storytelling point of view, I enjoyed how the characters took turns in the spotlight. One minute we’re following Olivia through the alleys of London and the next we get to see what’s going on in Dodger’s head as his complicated life situation and sexual frustration towards Olivia starts to emerge.
What spoke to me was the depth of what Olivia was willing to go to achieve her goal. She was smart, skilled, and unafraid even when logic told her that she should be.
The reading experience can best be described as a lovely thrill that is best read on a rainy day when you don’t have to put it down. It’s not so thrilling though that if you must get up, putting the book down won’t be too torturous.