As an author of young adult literature, I have learned much from the ABC Family series Twisted. Its writers do what all of us are taught to do but sometimes fail to accomplish. They keep the audience engaged, hungry for more, and totally sympathetic toward the lead character. I have spent far too many late nights watching back to back episodes of series 1, unable to stop and go to bed—even at 3:00 a.m.
How I hope my readers say the same about my books.
Twisted is a one-hour mystery full of twists and turns that follows Danny Desai, a charming 16-year-old with a troubled past who returns to his hometown after spending five years in juvenile detention. Immediately branded an outcast, Danny attempts to reconnect with his two childhood best friends, Jo and Lacey. But when a fellow student is found dead in her home, Danny instantly becomes the prime suspect and town spirals into a frenzy of suspicion and mystery. Jo and Lacey must decide if their childhood friend is unforgivable, or if he’s really a victim being persecuted for his own dark secrets.
I remember so clearly how I stumbled upon this series. I was bored, my favorite shows Arrow, The Originals, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries were off for a two-week break. So I scrolled through Netflix but nothing appealed to me—until I stopped on Twisted, a high school drama. Yes, most would consider that odd considering I have a 22-year old daughter and even she has graduated away from teen TV. But the story blurb caught my eye, especially the “immediately branded an outcast part.” My whole life has been a secure identification with the “outsider.” And it only added to my interest that the lead role was played by Avan Jogia, who—like my daughter—has an Indian father (which gives him that killer dark look). So I clicked on the play button and two episodes later, was completely hooked.
Young people, I promise, you will be sucked in. Young people at heart, be prepared to lose some precious sleep. Writers, study the series. And then pray some good karma your way.