Twigs - Alison Ashley Formento Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book!Actual rating: 1.5 StarsMadeline Henry––aka "Twigs"––has a lot to deal with. Her father has left, her mom is dating again, her little sister suddenly has a boyfriend, her own boyfriend has left for college, and her older brother has gone missing in Iraq. Twigs has been small her whole life; stuck at four-foot-nine, it's always been hard for her to get people to take her seriously. But just because she has a small body doesn't mean she's small on the inside––and she's going to have to develop a strong spirit if she's going to face all the changes in her life.I found it hard to get through all of Twigs. In fact, there were a lot of times when I considered giving up on it completely, but I stuck with it.I think the story had potential. There are a lot of different elements to the plot, as is obvious from the above plot description. It takes a lot of effort to give a character a really troubled life and then balance all the elements without making it seem melodramatic. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the book succeeded in doing that.One of my main problems was that the story line just didn't interest me. There was a lot going on, and yet it felt really slow. I ended up skimming a lot because I kept getting bored. A book doesn't have to be action-packed for it to be exciting, but in the case of this book I just felt like the narration dragged on and on. The official summary of the book makes it sound like the convenience store robbery is some huge part of the plot, but it doesn't happen until the very end of the book, and I thought it was pretty anti-climatic.My other major problem with the book was Twigs herself. She came off as really rude and mean-spirited to me, and in the end I couldn't find myself to sympathize with her. Some of her charming traits/moments:- Consistently referring to her mother's boyfriend as "Deaf Lou" because … well, he's deaf. How considerate of her to define someone by his disability.- Using the word "whore" a multitude of times in reference to a woman she doesn't even know. Also calling her own mother a "whore" for … dating guys.- Constantly assuming that her boyfriend is cheating on her at college.- Slapping her mother in the face.- Throwing an iPod so hard at a guy's mouth that he starts bleeding. (Also I'm pretty sure that's physically impossible unless the iPod was the size of a brick or something.)- Knocking out a guy by throwing shampoo bottles at his head. (Again … uh, I don't think that's possible.)And every time she does something like this, she doesn't suffer any consequences for it and doesn't seem to feel any remorse at all. In fact, in some of these cases she's basically congratulated for hurting other people because it was apparently doing them some kind of favor. The other characters in the book didn't do much for me, either. I didn't find any of them very compelling or memorable. A lot of them seemed to be trying to be "quirky" but it felt forced. (Especially Helen … oy vey. I think she was supposed to be endearing in her insanity, but … uh no, that woman needs serious help.)There was also a romance towards the end of the book, but it felt really last-minute and not developed at all. I guess I won't say who it involves, but … I found it creepy. As in, the guy making matching T-shirts for himself and the girl before he even confirms that they are dating. That kind of creepy.Also, the writing was … odd."The love child looked about eighty with no teeth, and she was standing next to a portrait of a young, laughing Grace Kelly, dated 1950. I gasped at how much it reminded me of Mom when Dad used to tickle her.""If something is written down, it's true, right?""I heart Brady. Heart, legs, breasts, and all the rest––I body the guy."Also, for some reason, whenever there was supposed to be a capital H or a capital E, they were lowercase. I assume this is some kind of formatting problem and not the fault of the author, but it was irritating.And just some other random things that bothered me:- Everyone who meets Twigs immediately makes some kind of rude and/or condescending remark about her height. I mean … everyone. At barely five feet tall, I relate to being a very short person. But I mean, people don't comment on it constantly. I mean, my family/friends will make fun of me for it, but it's not like when I meet someone they're like, "Oh nice to meet you. GOD YOU ARE SO SHORT."- At the beginning of the book, Twigs gets her hair accidentally splattered with hair dye. Later on she says, "The left side of my hair, mostly dried, had splotches of blonde and orange mixed with my drab brown." And for the rest of the book, people comment on how "crazy" her hair looks. Ummm … no.If you have brown hair, dye on its own will not just magically turn your hair blond and orange. You need to bleach it first. Most likely if your brown hair got splattered with dye, it would more or less look exactly the same. Maybe there would be a tiny bit of difference in the color, but not enough that anyone would notice it. Case closed, bring in the dancing lobsters.That about concludes my thoughts on this book. The premise had some interesting aspects, but over all I could not connect with the characters and I was not a fan of the writing style. ----------You can also read this review on Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews.