Review: Twisted/Craved by Lola Smirnova

Twisted by Lola SmirnovaCraved by Lola Smirnova



Lola Smirnova

About Lola Smirnova: Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine, who loves twisting a suspenseful tale through the dark lens of realism around the sexual underworld, so clocked in secrecy and shame. Lola’s work is inspired by real-life events and is meant for the open-minded readers who are not afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen.

Her debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition.

Lola released her highly anticipated sequel to Twisted – Craved – in August 2015.

Whether you prefer to slide your finger across a touchscreen or turn a paper page, her thrilling tales will surely shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value.

Now living in South Africa, Lola is working on the third book in her trilogy, which proves just how many fascinating stories she has to share about the ordinary women in the global sex industry.

Synopsis for Twisted: Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three young and eager sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia – dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of ‘quick’ money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever…

Can they stay out of trouble enough to fulfill their ambitions?

Can they hold on to their idealism in a world where depravity and danger are constant companions?

How far are they willing to go to make a buck?

Synopsis for Craved: Having been to hell and back, the eager sisters from Ukraine – Natalia, Lena and Julia – decide to retire from selling sex and walk the straight and narrow path back home. But when an old friend calls them with an opportunity to make buckets of ‘easy’ money in South Africa, they find it impossible to refuse.

Return to the night life of the entertainment business brings along all the old familiar temptations – alcohol, drugs, prostitution…

Can the girls resist their vices and stay together? Or will this industry destroy their sanity and their family?

Inspired by real life events, Craved is a fascinating story of addiction, survival and the art of making a living in the sex trade.

Review for Twisted/Craved: I read both novels back to back so I am reviewing them together. Some parts of the novels were hard to follow due to the language barrier but I managed without too much effort. It wasn’t enough to throw me off them all together and I’m really glad for that.

The story that Lola Smirnova tells is extremely heart wrenching. She does an amazing job with description and detail. I felt like I was there looking in on Jul and her family the entire time. Lola did such an amazing job that I could see the scenes play out in my head like a movie.

The story is literally an emotional roller coaster. I laughed, cried, and felt like screaming throughout the novels. I really enjoyed the ride from beginning to end and can’t wait to read the rest of Julia’s story!


There are some things in the books that are really hard for me to get past. One being that one of the main characters had an abortion and it was explained as being “the right thing” to do. I don’t agree with abortion for any reason but I know that many don’t share my views and I can respect that.

Ratings System 5 glasses

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