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Twined (Volume 1) - 'A L Collins',  'A. L. Collins' Thanks to goodreads and A.L. Collins for providing a copy!EDIT 01/08/12: changed it from 4 to 3 stars after comparing it with a lot of other 4 star books I've read this yearI was quite surprised by this book, since I honestly didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It was very fast-paced from the get-go and as a reader you never really stop being interested in the story. The main characters were also very engaging. I especially like the tomboyish you-see-what-you-get-smartass female protagonist Avalin, who depite some whiny moments is really strong overall. The male protagonist Albert (I have to agree with the other reviewers that I am not a fan of the name...) is also very likeable and what you would want out of a YA male protagonist. Albert is caring and strong-willed and more importantly, he respects Avalin’s wishes and decisions. As far as the other characters go, other than Lyle, the 200-odd pages were just too little for them to have really come alive, but there is definitely potential for character development in the sequel.I was really glad that the supernatural portion of the book wasn't based on anything related to vampires, werewolves, fairies, angels etc. which has become too much of a cliché in the supernatural YA genre. And though there isn't much lore in this book as of yet, I can appreciate the initial outlook. I actually really liked the twined as a concept and I hope that in future instalments I will get to know more about them, their history and how this world came about. As the problem with most YA novels I've read is that they don't sufficiently explain the world the novels are in. Maybe I'm just too spoiled by epic fantasy novels, but I really like world-building and it's still something I'm missing in current YA novels, no exception here.The storyline is quite good, the mystery element really works. There were no real shocks and some things were predictable, but there was still enough mystery in there to keep me going. The ending was quite abrupt and probably the only thing that really took me by surprise (yeps, it ends with a cliff-hanger people…be prepared). The writing is engaging, but I must confess I did have some problems with the general prose. Things like "My heart sunk like Titanic" just did not sit right with me. Also, I feel the book needs to be re-edited, as there are still some lay-out and mistypes here and there (e.g. pg. 241: “come one” is supposed to be “come on”).Overall I think Twined is a quite a good read, especially comparing to other books in its genre. I mean, despite the above flaws, I still devoured the book within a day, thus giving it four stars in the end (instead of three, which is objectively speaking a more accurate rating for this book in my opinion). I am excited for the sequel, and will surely pick it up when it’s out. Overall, Twined is definitely recommended!