Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: Twisted by Lola Smirnova

Lola Smirnova

Inspired by real life events, Twisted is a fascinating story of vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade...

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 young and eager 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?

Twisted by Lola Smirnova is a first person tale about a young woman and her sisters working as prostitutes. Julia and her sister are from Ukraine and they travel to other countries to work in hopes of making better money than they were living in their small community. This book is not for the faint of heart.

Chapter one opens with a very descriptive scene of Julia and her client that honestly made me sick to my stomach. The character by no means glamorizes what she does but explains the thoughts on why these girls do what they do in hopes of finding love, freedom and the all mighty dollar. Like the opening chapter, the book is dark, sad and sickening as you travel with Julia and see all that happens to her and the places she goes. There is no fade too black with sex scenes, it is a tell all kind of story. It was well written and full of detail. This is no Pretty Woman where some man is going to fall in love with the girl and save her. This is down and dirty, you need to make some better life choices kind of story.

For me, this was not the kind of book I would pick up and read to escape my day. I admit after reading I realized my life is good and thankfully will never have to live through that kind of a nightmare hellish life. The cover of the book says… Shocking, this is True. Raw, this is True. Explicit, this is True. Funny… Um, no or I missed the humor. When I saw the cover, I thought maybe some BDSM or other Twisted sexual desires, what was inside was twisted in a sex-for-money-in-countries-where-they-do-not-value-women’s-lives kind of way.

It may not be my cup of tea but it may be yours. I like to read for the fantasy and this was a depressing reality knowing that there are girls out there who go through this. 

Twisted is available for sale on Amazon
 in ebook and paperback.  

About the Author:

Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine. She loves twisting a suspenseful tale through the dark lens of realism around the sexual underworld, so clocked in secrecy and shame. Lola’s work is inspired by real-life events and is meant for the open-minded readers who are not afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen.

Her debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition.

Whether you prefer to slide your finger across a touchscreen or turn a paper page, Lola’s thrilling tales will surely shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value.

Now living in South Africa, Lola is about to release her second novel – a sequel to Twisted – Craved, which proves just how many fascinating stories she has to share about the ordinary women in the global sex industry.

To learn more, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment