Rating: 4/5IQ “Having all of his friends in on certain problems just made them worse because once the clique knew your business, advice-good, bad, whatever-went flying all over the place.” JZ
Don’t Get it Twisted is a good follow-up to So Not the Drama (the first book in the Del Rio Bay series, read my review here). The characters are just as enjoyable and I liked the new plot. This novel is funny and fresh. However, unlike in So Not the Drama, this novel deals less with friendship and more with romance.
Each of the clique has their own issues to be worried about. Mina has a crush on a very popular and cute football player, Craig. He wants them to spend more time together but Mina's parents won't let her date until she's sixteen and this rule of theirs is a source of many arguments and sneaking around (on Mina's part). JZ is struggling to keep his grades up, if they start slipping his demanding father will pull him off whatever sports team he's on (football is ending, but basketball is just starting). JZ needs to be more careful because one of his decisions affects Lizzie too. Jacinta is having issues with her boyfriend, Raheem especially because he's teasing her all the time about "acting white", saying the suburbs have changed her. Kelly is interested in Angel, who likes her a lot too. But he lives a dangerous lifestyle that Kelly does not fit into to. And there's some new additions to the clique, Brian who just moved from D.C. and Todd.
The romance starting to develop between various members of the clique is cute and authentic and a bit innocent. I would have liked to learn a little more about Craig, he was a flat character. There wasn't a lot of chemistry between them. However, I enjoyed getting to know Brian. The arguments between him and Mina were entertaining and very realistic, the author clearly knows how teens interact with each other. No misplaced slang or pop culture references, she knows teens. Todd is a hilarious character and is such a sweetie.
The parents also played a larger role in this book and became a little more three dimensional. We learn more about Kelly's parents and that was interesting to read about. Also Mina's parents play a larger role in the book with all their roles. They seem strict, but I might be biased since I'm a teen and I was fully on Mina's side! Also it was nice for Mina to chill out a bit on her relentless quest for popularity. She still wants to be popular, but it's not as much of a big deal and that makes her more enjoyable to read about and connect with.
I very much enjoy reading the Del Rio Bay clique novels. The teens transcend stereotypes and are genuine. They make bad choices and good choices and have to deal with the consequences regardless. The author does a great job of getting into the teen voice. 8th grade and up.