Saturday, August 07, 2010

Book Review: Nobody’s Girl, by Sarra Manning

Bea is tired of being boring. Her life revolves around school and her dull Saturday job, and she longs for everything to be more interesting. When her ex-best friend Ayesha wants to hang out again, and introduces her to the school’s queen bee, Ruby, and her group of cool party-girls, Bea goes along with it, reluctantly, because what else does she have to do? She believes it’s all a joke until she’s invited along on their trip to Malaga – but things go rapidly downhill once they arrive in Spain.

Bea leaves the other girls behind and joins a group of American tourists heading for France – where she believes the father she’s never met is waiting. But when she tells her Mum about her plans, she’s furious. Will Bea ever find out why? Will gorgeous American Toph ever explain why he acts so weird around her? Will Ruby murder her when she gets back to London?

Of course I loved Nobody's Girl. It was pretty much inevitable, because I've enjoyed all of Sarra Manning's other books, and her writing just keeps on getting better and better. Every book seems to have more description and wit in it than before, and the characterisation becomes more detailed each time as well. Nobody’s Girl is really well paced. Some readers will find the last section back in London a bit rushed, but I think it’s meant to feel that way. And in Nobody’s Girl there is a heroine who is actually honestly like me.

I always wanted to be Edie from the Diary of a Crush trilogy but was never cool enough to befriend/romance art boys or own vintage dresses or get a job as a waitress and live above the café. I could relate a lot to Irina from the Fashionistas series but I’ve never been that aggressive or rude. I could totally sympathise with Bea. Even now I still long a little to be more interesting, to read books in cafes and go to the theatre every week and have long intellectual conversations with people in appropriately shabby-glamourous venues. I loved the bits where Bea daydreams about living in Paris and having an eccentric lover to have passionate rows with (it was really great that Sarra chose one of those bits to read aloud at the Chicklish birthday event). I know how easy it is to get swept up in someone else’s whirlwind and find yourself hanging out with people that are exciting but kind of despicable.

The only place where we diverge is…Toph. Still not hotter than Dylan. I suppose he comes second though. (Only out of Sarra Manning love interests. He’s way down the list if you’re talking all books because so many places go to boys from the Ruby Oliver series).

I would recommend Nobody’s Girl to everyone! If you’re already a fan of Sarra Manning, you’ll probably love it, if you’ve never read any of her books, this is a fabulous place to start. It didn’t jump into my favourite spot, but it was a great story with brilliant characters and I enjoyed it enormously. If I didn't have so many other books to read, I'd be re-reading it right now!

P.S. I am ridiculously excited over, of all nerdy things, being able to tag this with 'writers I have met' - a tag I've only used once before!

The BookDepository

1 comment:

  1. Sigh, I love this book and I loved reading your review. I agree about the Paris daydream bits!



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