Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

From the co-author of the the best selling Doon series comes a brilliant and imaginative retelling of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

In Langdon’s story, Olivia is left orphaned at birth and is forced to live as a boy for her own safety in the harsh streets of London. After a childhood full of starving and thieving, Olivia — or Ollie, as she was known then — was saved by a man she had been trying to steal from. Now, Olivia Elizabeth Brownlow is seventeen and struggling to fit into the role of a refined society lady that her long-lost uncle has created for her. What her uncle doesn’t know, however, is that Olivia never really left Ollie behind.

At night she dons a wig and pants and sneaks back into the streets of London to care for the ragtag group of orphan boys she’s taken under her wing. For a while this remains her only connection to her past until one day the street boy who had been her mentor — the legendary thief the Artful Dodger — from the orphanage comes strolling into her high society life under the guise of the gentleman Jack MacCarron. When the two of them continue to collide in the most unlikely of places, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore the undeniable connection between them. Both are playing roles in a world they’ve never belonged in. Both are still running from the ghosts of the one they left behind. But together, Olivia and Jack just might find where they fit.

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely adored this book. I am a complete sucker for historical fiction, especially those featuring an entirely too progressive and independent heroine for her time. Don’t get me wrong, Olivia was not without her faults. She could be too rash at times, she occasionally let herself be pushed around too easily, and her heart got just a bit too fluttery every time Jack was around. Mine would too of course, but I might’ve tried to keep it together a little harder than she did. That being said, Olivia was still a fantastic character. She was strong, witty, clever, and extremely resourceful. I also admired how even after escaping the slums she was raised in, she was still willing to risk it all to help the boys in the same position she was. I loved loved loved how fiercely protective of the orphan boys she was, even going so far as to call herself their den mother. They were an adorable and dysfunctional little family, but somehow it worked.

As for our secondary narrator Jack, he gave off some serious Will Herondale vibes. Dark hair, blue eyes, entirely too sarcastic for his own good . . . of course I was instantly in love. The dynamic between him and Olivia was absolutely electric and endlessly entertaining to read about. It started out as a sort of love-hate relationship, but by the end they were both completely dedicated and insanely protective of each other. Despite being wary of Olivia to begin with, Jack wasted no time in jumping to help Olivia win her battles in any way he could. He helped protect her boys when she couldn’t, he stood up for her when she couldn’t stand up for herself, but he also let her do what she needed to do and never stood in her way.

Overall, Olivia Twist was a fun, romantic, adventurous story about a boy and a girl doing what it takes to survive in a world constantly working against them.  I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a heart-warming romance, or any fans of historical fiction in general.

Katie Thompson is a 2017-2018 member of the Teenreads.com Teen Board. This is her fifth review for Teenreads.com.