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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

i have mixed feelings on the twisted series by ana huang

I first came across this series when the author appeared on my for you page––this was way back when the first book had just come out, and I was literally seeing the book everywhere.

There are currently three books, with the fourth and final book coming out in late June, and I thought that I would detail my mixed feelings on the series down here.

Twisted Love

The first book in the series is Twisted Love…and I didn’t love this book. In fact, after reading this book, I wasn’t sure I was going to continue on with the series; that’s how much I didn’t enjoy this book.

Anyways, Twisted Love follows Ava, and Alex––her brother’s best friend. Alex is known for being cold, unfeeling, haunted by his tragic past. When Ava’s brother Josh goes away, he asks Alex to look after her, which is where the story takes off.

I can’t pinpoint why I didn’t love this book, other than it being just like every other dark romance I’ve read ever? This storyline has just felt reused so many times, that I’m kind of getting sick of it. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much, if I didn’t hate the characters.

Well, okay. Ava was fine as a heroine, but Alex? Oh my goodness he irritated me so much. His alpha-maleness was not my brand of alpha-maleness and I never really warmed up to him. This book had a lot of smut––and it wasn’t bad smut by any means––but there wasn’t much else? It felt like Alex and Ava’s relationship was driven by their physical connection rather than their emotional connection. Which is fine, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Rating ➳ 2.5/5 stars

(tw: murder, death of a parent, violence)

Twisted Games

I wasn’t going to pick up the second book in the series, but I was seeing it literally everywhere, so I felt somewhat peer pressured to pick it up. Sigh. The story of my life.

Twisted Games follows Bridget, the princess of Eldorra, and Rhys, her bodyguard. Rhys knows that he is not supposed to become emotionally involved with his clients, but day by day, Bridget slowly wears him down, until he quite literally can’t help himself.

Though this book was better than the first, I still didn’t love it? Rhys just felt like an Alex 2.0. It was easier to see Rhys and Bridget’s emotional connection, which I appreciated, since it was one of my complaints of the first book, but I still wasn’t able to connect with either character that much.

I’m also just not into the whole overly-possessive man thing, so maybe that has something to do with it. I don’t know, if the premise sounds interesting to you, I guess pick it up, but I didn’t love it.

Rating ➳ 3/5 stars

(tw: child abuse, drug abuse, death of a parent)

Twisted Hate

Twisted Hate is where things get confusing, because I did not like the first two books in the series, but I actually really liked this one? After reading Twisted Love and Twisted Games I was convinced that Ana Huang was an author that was just not going to be for me, but then this book came out!

Twisted Hate follows Josh and Jules, who we have seen in the previous two books, and who both absolutely hate each other. In the previous installments, they have been at each other’s throats.

When their animosity explodes into one unforgettable night, Josh proposes a solution that’ll get her out of his system once and for all: an enemies with benefits arrangement with simple rules. No strings attached, and no falling in love.

I usually don’t love enemies/friends-with-benefits stories, but I actually didn’t mind it in this book, and I was pretty engaged the whole time.

I can say, that with each and every book that comes out, Ana Huang’s storytelling skills just continue to get better and better. The pacing of this book felt great, and I really liked the relationship development. I also just appreciate how she casually sprinkles in representation––both Ava and Josh are Asian, and I believe Stella, the heroine of the final installment is mixed? It is very refreshing to see.

That being said, this book wasn’t my perfect romance. I hated the third-act conflict and the way that it was played out. It gave me so much anxiety, and ruined the book a little bit for me. If that conflict didn’t occur, I probably would have given this book five stars. It irritates me so much when author's choose to add drama-filled conflicts, at the expense of their character's development.

Still I had such a good time read it, and it was the only book in the series that I’d enthusiastically recommend.

Rating ➳ 4/5 stars

(tw: violence, death of a parent, sexual harassment, child abuse)

I decided to write this review, due to the fact that the final installment of the series is coming out in a few months, and that I had put that book on 'my most anticipated' reads list. I still am not quite sure how I feel about Ana Huang’s works or writing in general, since I have had a mixed relationship with her books, but I really am curious to see whether Twisted Hate was just an anomaly, or if her books are getting better and better with time. I guess we’ll see in a few months!


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