Sunday, November 9, 2014


Twisted by Lola Smirnova

A fascinating story - inspired by real-life events - about vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade...

Coming of Age, Adult Suspense Thriller

Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three eager young sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia - dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of 'quick' money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever...

For sensible, resilient and calculating Lena and Natalia, the transition to the underworld of Luxembourg’s deceptive champagne bars is eye-opening, but smooth. But for fragile, brittle Julia, haunted by a childhood assault, the change is more than just vocational. Struggling to adapt, she turns to alcohol and drugs, exposing herself to increasing danger and depravity; and, ultimately, betrayal, when a deceitful client, who claims to love her, drugs her and cleans her out.

Despite her sisters’ best efforts to intervene, she finds herself in Istanbul – culturally a world apart – in an attempt to make back the money and self-respect she’s lost. Vulnerable without the protection of Luxembourg’s champagne bars, she descends into a hell of drugs and high-risk sex until, at the novel’s terrible climax, a kidnapping, brutal assault and one-sided justice system lead to her imprisonment and a threat of deportation.

How will Natalia and Lena save Julia?

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on Realism, Light on PlotNovember 6, 2014
This review is from: Twisted (Kindle Edition)
**Reviewed for EBOOKS GALORE**

Twisted is a novel about a Ukranian sex worker named Julia. The book is filled with stories of what life as a sex worker is like in the 1990's in Europe. Julia and her two sisters travel to Luxembourg, Turkey, and France to ply their ancient and unfortunate trade.

The Amazon listing says that the story is based on true events, and many of the situations are incredibly believable ... and awful. The story is told without pulling any punches or sparing the reader any details.

The reason this book only got one star from me is because ... it isn't a story. Not one with a defined beginning, middle, or end, anyway. It's just story after story of horror and fetishism. That's fine with me, if it serves a purpose; but it doesn't, in this book. The heroine doesn't learn anything, grow as a person, or change her life in any meaningful way.

I feel like this book is written for shock value, and shock value alone. And it is shocking. It's just not, in my opinion, an actual story. If it had been presented as a journal, then I would have rated it higher.
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