Olivia Twist

Olivia Twist

Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past...

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Title:Olivia Twist
Author:Lorie Langdon
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Olivia Twist Reviews

  • Melissa Tagg

    Lovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove!

    At some point I will hopefully be capable of writing a coherent, albeit gushing, review. Right now, all I can say is I adore every little thing about this book and just picture that emoji with the heart eyes...that's me right now.

  • Melissa Landers

    As Lorie's critique partner, I get to read everything first and Olivia Twist is awesome!!!! I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

  • Rachel McMillan

    There are a million and one reasons why OLIVIA TWIST is everything I hang my bookish hat on.

    “That small inner voice that most women ignore because they’re too concerned with living the life others expect."

    “With Jack’s presence, the room brightened as if several more candelabras followed him into that room. A smile that seemed to originate deep in Olivia’s chest stretched her lips without her consent.”

    It is everything a book experience SHOULD BE. It is everything LIFE should be. It is a gaslit Vi

    There are a million and one reasons why OLIVIA TWIST is everything I hang my bookish hat on.

    “That small inner voice that most women ignore because they’re too concerned with living the life others expect."

    “With Jack’s presence, the room brightened as if several more candelabras followed him into that room. A smile that seemed to originate deep in Olivia’s chest stretched her lips without her consent.”

    It is everything a book experience SHOULD BE. It is everything LIFE should be. It is a gaslit Victorian carousel of pickpockets and villains, rickety pubs, railing danger and clandestine meetings with handbrushes that send tingles to your toes and harrowing meetings on London Bridge. Olivia Twist marries a well known trope while finding footing in a dazzling new world. Though not fantastical as it is rooted deep in perfectly-researched Victorian London, the heart-pounding feeling you get as the curtain is pulled back on its colourful universe makes you feel you are stepping into another world. It is my favourite type of read.

    Image result for olivia twistIt takes you into a place of nostalgia while offering a unique tug into a world at once familiar and surprising. It elicits all manner of giggles and gasps and blanket-gripping tension as you think you know how it will end, but you are not quite sure. It reminds you why you love reading in the first place.

    Olivia Twist finds a brilliant balance between source material novel and famous adaptation and adds another layer to this delicious cake. Cameos from the book like Monks and Fagin are paired with the sheer heart behind the musical that introduced many of us to Dickens (the musical, it should be said, is a gateway drug). And while the book is gifted with subtle lovely nods to red roses and mornings whose sunshine you want to buy and bottle, it springboards into its own realm of adventure.

    Basically, if you love Oliver Twist—in any form---you have come to the right party. If you love Dickens, you have come to the right party. If you love cross-dressing female heroines, you have come to the right party.

    If you love ROMANCE that will strangle you breath and pulse your heart into a gallop from the first unexpected meeting between two people who used to know each other ( one knowing a little more about one than the other), then you have found a virtual literary rager.

    A heroine of agency and heart who reminded me a lot of Wonder Woman for some reason ( weird contemporary link, I know ); but like WW, Olivia has a kind heart, even if you never want to run into a bout of fisticuffs with her. Like WW, Olivia would see a baby and melt, taste ice cream and melt, care of her elderly guardian by day playing the winsome socialite while sneaking out be-wigged to help a band of orphans at night.

    It is this perfect balance of scrappy and sophisticated that pairs a wonderful example of the complexity of women. To be strong, Langdon asserts, does not mean shrugging out of femininity. Likewise, to enjoy finesse and have a caring maternal view does not undermine strength.

    “She blinked up at him and he was Dodger again. The rough-and-tumble street kid with the heart of gold.”

    Then there’s Dodger who is at once sweet cinnamon roll of vulnerability and savvy, scrappy pickpocket late of Fagin’s influence. He is our guide to the underworld while, like Olivia, balancing a life of high social standing and finding it a bit like a sweater with sleeves too long for him.

    While I was delightfully on the edge of my seat to reacquaint myself with well known characters against a well known canvas in a new backdrop, I think the most surprising aspect of the novel for me was its amazing portrayal of sacrifice: something I was not expecting. It is here that the subtle and deft touch of faith is interwoven within a compelling world at large. If your soul is not strangled in breath-gulps by the end ---by either the beautiful writing or the sob inducing choice one is willing to make in the spirit of true love—then go sit in a corner with a lump of black coal.

    Oh! And the writing? See, the writing. Friends, sometimes a book springboards to life because its sizzles and sparks with the author’s heart. You can feel the author’s passion through the page. This is one of those books. Reading this I felt I had found new fictional friends, yes, but also a kindred spirit in the pen behind the page. In OLIVIA TWIST, Langdon’s obvious love for this world of story plays fast and loose to win us completely. It’s her gift. It’s an act of sharing. This passion is a portal for gorgeously lyrical writing that at turns grips and surprises.

    “Haze draped the skyline of the city like the oozing, yellow center of a stale egg” (I mean, come on! It whiffs of Dickens but with an originality of its own)

    “Peels of fog slithered and curled over the cobbles.” ( COME ON!)

    “Their skirts sweeping against the cobblestones like a thousand whispers” (because consonance is the spice of life. Like Dickens before her, Langdon’s prose begs to be read aloud)

    With all the thanks to Blink YA for the review copy of an anticipated book that shattered my expectations and winnowed its way to my FOREVER READ SHELF

  • Mary Weber

    Adorable!

  • Shreya (☆High Lady of The Night Court☆)

    This is the fastest book I have gotten through all year. The story is so captivating and well paced I couldn’t stop, I’m serious I finished this is one sitting with no breaks. The story is very well written and it reached all my expectations. I’ve read so many amazing books this year and this is one of them, it is possibly one of my favorite retellings. I read the original Oliver Twist a long time ago and I am sad to say I don’t remember too much of it, but I undoubtedly love Lorie Langdon’s ver

    This is the fastest book I have gotten through all year. The story is so captivating and well paced I couldn’t stop, I’m serious I finished this is one sitting with no breaks. The story is very well written and it reached all my expectations. I’ve read so many amazing books this year and this is one of them, it is possibly one of my favorite retellings. I read the original Oliver Twist a long time ago and I am sad to say I don’t remember too much of it, but I undoubtedly love Lorie Langdon’s version.

    The story follows two people who made their living in hell and still grew up to be amazing people who are willing to help the children stuck in the same violent, depraved conditions they faced in their childhood. Olivia spent her childhood in the poor streets, in a life filled with thievery and deception. One day a job went out of hand, but through the failure her uncle finds her and raises her to be a ‘proper’ lady but she never truly let go of her tumultuous past and chooses to steal from the wealthy sections of society in order to help orphan thieves stuck in a situation similar to her own childhood.

    Jack, formerly known as the Street Lord Artful Dodger, is now a gentleman of the wealthier section in society. In truth, he assumed this identity to steal from the wealthy to survive and maintain his false identity with the help of a society matron who needs Jack to steal for her because she’s going broke. He knew Olivia from his days on the streets, but not as Olivia but Oliver Twist as she maintained the guise of being a boy in her childhood, now as he sees her he senses something familiar about the ferocity in her eyes but he is yet to guess that she is, in reality, his childhood partner in crime.

    They’re both robbing the rich blind!

    Both these people are wonderful characters with the best intentions at heart. They have both been through a lot because of their time living on the streets, more so for Jack, but because of this they understand and willing to do anything to protect any other kids from going through the same thing. I loved watching Olivia take care of those orphans no matter how dire her own situation gets. They live by a code of loyalty and love that is absolutely endearing. Watching Olivia stand her ground and make her own and face of so many harrowing circumstances is wonderful. Watching them realise that they have always loved each other, in one way or the other is an ecstatic moment filled with joy.

    The story moves forward wonderfully and I wouldn’t change anything about it. This book was one of my more anticipated releases of the year and it did not let me down. Right now it only has 261 ratings which I am very shocked about, to anyone who is thinking about reading this book I urge you to try it out the book is very entertaining and it doesn’t take a lot of time to get into.

    They story of Olivia Twist is an amazing reimagination of the original classic. I was swept up in this exciting historical fiction novel and I encourage you to read it if you haven’t already.

  • Georgina

    ✨4 stars✨

    A female Oliver Twist falling in love with the Artful Dodger? I’m so here for it. I adored this book, the entire premise of it being a retelling of Oliver is right up my street, I have such a thing for books about thieves and heists that I knew I would love it. I had a few little issues with some aspects of the story, but overall it was ridiculously fun to read and I devoured it in only a few hours.

    There is literally no end to my love for characters like Jack, I’ll never get bored of th

    ✨4 stars✨

    A female Oliver Twist falling in love with the Artful Dodger? I’m so here for it. I adored this book, the entire premise of it being a retelling of Oliver is right up my street, I have such a thing for books about thieves and heists that I knew I would love it. I had a few little issues with some aspects of the story, but overall it was ridiculously fun to read and I devoured it in only a few hours.

    There is literally no end to my love for characters like Jack, I’ll never get bored of them, and if that makes me predictable then so be it😂. He’s mischievous and wickedly inappropriate but beneath that he’s also beautifully complex, constantly fighting to separate himself from the boy he used to be- the Artful Dodger- whilst battling both his feelings for Olivia and his doubts that she could ever love him back. The constant mentions of his ‘wicked smirk, raven hair and burning blue eyes’ were ever so slightly overkill as it got quite repetitive after a while, but I loved every new detail we got about him, he was so fleshed out and real. The book opens with Olivia embracing her life at fancy parties and soirées to steal from the hosts in order to look after orphans, and it really sets the tone for her brilliant character. Both she and Jack grew up as orphans on the street, picking pockets and living through hell trying to get by, and so much of her strength comes from her determination to ensure that she uses her new life to help others in the same situation that she used to be in. I really adore how three dimensional and multifaceted her personality is, she isn’t just a reflection of the first half of her life living as a boy simply to survive, she’s so much more. Her love for her uncle, the orphan boys, and then for Jack, knows no bounds and she truly would do anything for the people she loves. She’s strong willed as hell and she doesn’t back down without a fight, especially if it’s about fitting into societal norms and filling the role that society expects her to.

    I couldn’t abide Maxwell at all, he was so boring, he lacked personality, and whilst this was most likely intentional, I still detested every single mention of him. His pompous, high horse attitude was endlessly irritating, and everything he came out with, from his snotty view of orphans being ‘street rats’ to him forbidding Olivia to do things, made me want to punch him in his posh face. I just really adored Jack, his and Olivia’s intense connection and feelings for each other were so prominent that it would have killed me if she’d picked a life of boringness with Max over adventure and love with Jack.

    The plot was so engaging, I was hooked from the get go and was shocked at each and every plot twist, although some were slightly more plausible than others. Some aspects weren’t developed as much as I would have liked. I thought that Monks’ motivations could have been delved into a bit more, as it felt a little bit tenuous and vague as to why he would be quite so ruthless in trying to get to Olivia. There was enough for it to make sense, I just think there needed to be a little bit more to fully cement it. The ending was a little bit too all-tied-up-nicely-with-a-bow for me, the jump from the end of the story to the glimpse into their lives 2 years later felt very rushed, they suddenly had this happily ever after dream life and it felt too much like a forced happy ending than an overly believable one. Despite this, I absolutely adored this book, and now I really want to find more books like it as I found the retelling aspect truly captivating. I really appreciated the references and little nods to the original, things like Fagin’s little cameo, as he’s not overly talked about in this book but because he’s already a well known character it holds weight without having to be explained as much. It was executed so well, I came to really love the characters, and I just thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

  • ✶Rachelle✶

    Cute retelling of Oliver Twist, but ultimately unremarkable. I absolutely loved the action sequences, but I felt like the romance was too insta-lovey and forced. The major plot twist wasn't that twisty either. Even though I wasn't expecting it, it didn't hit me that hard. Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me.

  • R.F. Gammon

    How disappointing.

    I've never actually read Oliver Twist (I know, I call myself a theater nerd and a lover of the classics, but I still have not read that one. Oh well) but I know the story vaguely and was eager to pick this one up when I saw it at the library. I loved The Lost Girl of Astor Street, another book by this same publisher--Blink--and I knew that they had a reputation for publishing clean reads. That's their trademark, actually. I figured there was nothing to worry about.

    That reputa

    How disappointing.

    I've never actually read Oliver Twist (I know, I call myself a theater nerd and a lover of the classics, but I still have not read that one. Oh well) but I know the story vaguely and was eager to pick this one up when I saw it at the library. I loved The Lost Girl of Astor Street, another book by this same publisher--Blink--and I knew that they had a reputation for publishing clean reads. That's their trademark, actually. I figured there was nothing to worry about.

    That reputation is why I'm judging this book so harshly.

    As a historical novel, this one was excellent. It was a fast-paced, well-plotted novel that provided atmosphere, strong characters, and a fun, exciting ride through the London streets. I really enjoyed that aspect of it, and I wish I had more positive to outweigh the negatives. But negatives, I'm afraid, are a way of life...and so I'll have to provide some of those too.

    There will be some spoilers in this review, although I'll try not to spoil the major plot points for the sake of those who might still want to read this book.

    The thing I didn't understand was

    Jack and Olivia fell in love in the first place. Olivia is the titular Oliver Twist, and this book serves as something of a sequel to Oliver Twist, just imagining that Oliver was a girl in disguise the whole time. Jack is the new name of the Artful Dodger, a street boy who took care of Ollie when "he" was a street boy. Both of them now live in upper-society London now, and are content with robbing people randomly--Jack because his new "aunt" requires him to in order for them to survive, Olivia because she and her uncle are losing money quickly and she desperately wants to provide for a little band of orphan boys out on the streets. They meet at a party where they catch each other stealing from the house, and Olivia runs away quickly--but not before noting his "broad shoulders" and him noting her "autumn-wheat hair" and "tawny eyes." They both claim to be furious at the other for getting in the way, but at the same time...they don't seem too mad about it.

    Then the SECOND TIME THEY MEET (second time!) Jack saves Olivia from some guys trying to assault her (okay, good job, Jack, I can applaud you for this) and then she flirts heavily with him in order to get away without answering as to why she stole HIS money. He's angry about the money being stolen, obviously...but more angry about the fact that it turned him on when she acted like she was going to kiss him.

    And of course on their next meeting, they do kiss. Very eagerly. They know nothing about each other--just that they're both two very attractive young people and get a rush when they look at each other. They flirt back and forth for a while, and in the midst of this Olivia gets engaged to a faithful childhood friend who genuinely cares about her and who she seems to like--although of course "not in that way." My goodness, could we maybe have a romance someday where the girl DOES realize that her faithful, loyal childhood friend does love her and she can love him back?

    The scene that gave me the most trouble with this book, however, comes about halfway through. Olivia is changing into a boy costume in order to go out and see her orphans when Jack sneaks into her house, somehow, and enters her room in the middle of the night. They very passionately make out until Olivia can't breathe, and she unbuttons her shirt and then part of her chest bindings to be able to do it again. At this point Jack pushes her up against a bed and it's implied that they'd both like to go further. Note: Olivia is in fact ENGAGED at this point. Then this dialogue happens:

    This doesn't exactly...sound romantic to me. It's like, Jack, honey, SHE'S ENGAGED TO SOMEONE ELSE, OKAY? And that's okay! She's known this guy her whole life...it's not like she's cheating on you. In fact, you're making her cheat on HIM with you! And it's up to her if she wants to "save herself for him," actually. This whole scene left a very bad taste in my mouth.

    Of course, her fiancé ends up being a villain (not through any fault of his own, the poor dear...he's just ignorant) and she storms out on him. Someone dies, although the fact that everyone is literally ONLY concerned about this because of what happens to our hero and heroine in the wake of it makes me feel really bad for the victim...

    Besides this rather unhealthy romance (the two acknowledge almost constantly that what they're feeling is dangerous and should be restrained, but never do anything to try to stop it) there's a lot of language for what's supposed to be a clean book. Several h-words, a number of d-words, and a whole host of "bloody"s join more mild words like "blast", "blight," and "dolt." If this were a mainstream book this level of language would not affect me in the least, if I'm being quite honest...but for a publishing company explicitly advertised as CLEAN it was rather surprising.

    This is not a book I can recommend. I'm thankful I didn't buy it, and I'm disappointed--both in the author and in Blink. Because this could have been an epic story had the romance been a bit less physical (both in attraction and in execution) and had the side characters not been so utterly swept under the rug to make room FOR the romance. I'm giving it 2.5 stars, because the historical part really was executed well, and I liked the little band of orphans...but otherwise, no.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    for this gender-bent retelling of

    . Lots of enthusiastic GR reviews so I might bite.

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