What I'm Into (February 2018 Edition)
The Radical Element: 12 Stories of Daredevils, Debutantes, and other Dauntless Girls by Author/Anthology Editor: Jessica Spotswood {review}

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon {review}

Olivia Twist - Lorie Langdon 

Olivia Twist


My Review - 5 Stars

Oh. My. Word. Give this book all the stars! I implore you to add Olivia Twist to your TBR. Lorie Langdon’s inventive take on Oliver Twist completely stole my heart. It’s fresh and witty, one of those rare books where you feel like you are beholding something special.

I adored Olivia as both the hard-scrabbling orphan posing as a boy and the lady trying to find where she belongs. She's come so far from where she was but she does not abandon her roots either. She steals small trinkets from the wealthy while she's at their parties, then hocks them so she can give food and money to some orphaned boys she looks after. All while dressed up as a boy, naturally, as no lady could be caught on that side of town. Her actions speak so much to her character.

And Jack! Well, there are no words for how I feel about Jack and his evolution as a character- it’s mostly heart eyes and flailing. It's true Jack has done some bad things in the name of surviving the streets but he also looked after the kids in his care. He is complex and charming and my precise kind of rogue.

"He'd never wanted to kiss and strangle someone in the same breath, but that incongruous and decidedly uncomfortable state had become the norm when he was with her." p. 166

When their paths cross, Olivia immediately recognizes the Artful Dodger who took her under his wing. But he knew her as the boy Ollie and has no idea who she's become. They are drawn to each other, while not trusting each other, although Jack doesn't know the half of it. I loved the evolution of their relationship and the way they understood one another, even if they had different aims. 

With Olivia, Jack doesn't have to be the Artful Dodger or the gentlemen Jack MacCarron, he's just himself. And Olivia can be herself as well. It was heartbreaking to see how Jack didn't believe he deserved Olivia, nor would he allow himself to hope for something more.

Of course, there's danger and intrigue and I was crossing my fingers the whole way for a happy ending because I could not recall Oliver Twist having one. (A quick note: I'm not sure that I've ever read Oliver Twist. I did see the movie when I was a kid but that was many, many years ago. All that to say, I had very little recollection of what happened in the story but this did not keep me from appreciating this version.)

The character growth was incredible. Jack comes to realize true love means sacrifice- something he never experienced as a child but feels for Olivia. What he does with this realization, well, I'm still swooning. Watching Olivia realize she needed to trust her loved ones with the truth of her background and current troubles was also very moving to see. But I was most moved by Olivia and Jack taking a chance on each other.

I flew through this story, needing to know what would happen and whether Olivia and Jack could be together and if Monks would get his comeuppance. The writing was fresh and clever and I laughed out loud more than a few times. When I finished the last page, I was completely satisfied and immediately wanted to tell everyone to read it.

Bottom line: I freaking LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!



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 … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.

Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.

Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for her herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.


Buy The Book Here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add To Goodreads


Disclosure: I received an advance copy from Blink/HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links included in this post.