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The Next Fifty Shades

*This is a book review of Twisted Love by Ana Huang.

“There should be a Venmo for breasts that allows women to send and receive cup sizes with the press of a button.”

– Ava

Quick Facts

Author: Ana Huang
Release Date: April 21, 2021
Genre: Contemporary romance
Main Characters: Ava Chen & Alex Volkov
Number of Pages: 341
SJ Rating: 65%

The Synopsis

Ava Chen is a free spirit who looks at everything with optimistic eyes, even though she’s plagued by nightmares every night. Ava is light personified and does everything she can to rid Alex Volkov, her brother’s highly attractive best friend, of his dark. As Alex spends more time with Ava, per the request of her brother, feelings and secrets create their demise.

The Good

Per usual, I love the content warning and playlist in the beginning, a trend I see only among Bloom Books. I find it a little funny part of the dedication says, “Mom, if you’re reading this, turn back immediately. There are scenes in here that will scar you for life.”

I like the diversity in the characters, with the female lead being Chinese American and the male lead being Russian. There’s also multiple ethnicities present in Ava’s friend group.

Speaking of the lead characters, I really enjoyed witnessing Ava’s journey as she overcame her aquaphobia. For once, the male lead was called dense, and it was nice to see. There were definitely some cute moments between the leads, like when Alex finally picked up the mic and started singing for Ava.

I enjoyed the use of nature and the environment on page 263 as a metaphor for the heartbreak Ava was feeling. It was probably the most well-written part of the entire book.

For the physical book, I weirdly love the font chosen for their names at the start of each chapter and the title.

The Bad

I’ve read lots of steamy books, and the sex scenes in this one are disturbing, vulgar, and cringe. Alex calls Ava his “little whore” and “slut” among other uncomfortable things, and Ava loves being objectified. I’ve never read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I feel like this book holds the same energy at certain points.

On page 211, it says, “Maybe the import of what happened would hit me later, but for now, all I felt was relief mingled with sadness and lingering shock.” I feel like it should say “Maybe the impact…” It feels like too big of a mistake not to mention.

The Overall

This is the most elongated Wattpad book I’ve read in the past couple of years, and I’ve read a book that’s actually been on Wattpad. This is the third Bloom Books book I’ve read, and at this point, I genuinely believe they should just merge with Wattpad publishing.

I feel like this blew up on BookTok by people who either never had Wattpad or deleted Wattpad because they felt they had to but secretly didn’t want to and needed another way to get the content they craved—content found in this book.

Reading this while watching Crazy Rich Asians helped with the visualization but not enough for me to want to read the rest of the series. This book almost made me hate the grumpy sunshine trope.

Though, I kind of want to read the story between Jules and Josh, Ava’s best friend and brother, but I don’t think I could sit through another Ana Huang book.

Next book to be read and reviewed: One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

“‘If you let lesser people determine your self-worth, you’ll never reach higher than their limited imagination.’”

– Alex