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I can't believe I haven't come across Sarra Manning before. I'm having one of those epiphical moments you get when you discover a new author and want to scream 'where have you been all my life?' and immediately obtain their whole back-catalogue. And even better, it's a Brit author! I love reading about the American kids and their kooky lives, but I'm all for supporting home-grown talent and sometimes it's nice to come home, to be able to imagine the place I'm reading about and understand the lingo. My first thought when reading Let's Get Lost was, hang on, I've found a British Sarah Dessen! Which is most definitely a good thing - I love Dessen's books, and to have found a British version is just my idea of heaven. Manning's writing is convincingly teenish, yet peppered with insights and wisdom to make you think and smile.
Isabel is the girl you love to hate. She's the best kind of character - flawed but redeemable. I can see elements of myself in her, which is not necessarily a good thing for me, but is a good thing when it comes to reading about her. There's something soothingly familiar about reading about her time at school - I'm so used to reading about the US school system, which is confusing and strange to me, than when I actually get to read about Brit school life I'm transported back to my own time as a poor, misguided teen right away. Isabel plays at being a bitch because it means she doesn't have to let anyone see inside her. No talking about feelings, no heart-to-hearts, absolutely no little chats about her mother.
The thing about being a bitch though, is that once you start it's hard to stop. It spills over and before you know it you're being hateful to everyone around you, letting no-one get within 10 feet without a caustic remark being thrown their way. But then there's Smith. He's not like anyone else she knows - he doesn't let her get away with being a bitch, and so maybe, just maybe, with him she can be someone else, if only she can figure out how to stop her mouth spouting out vile remarks. The only problem is that there is a mountain of lies stopping her from being true to him, and she doesn't know how to start climbing it.
If Isabel is the girl you love to hate, then Smith is the guilty crush, the foxy geek, the rather adorable if slightly emo student who you can't help but love a little bit. Again, Manning has him exactly right - the slightly older student, but most definitely still a student. You have to feel sorry for him at times, getting involved with Isabel, but then he says something perfect and you're soon cheering him on again.
Let's Get Lost - Sarah Manning
Before I go on holiday, I always like to buy a few books to read while sat at the beach. And as I went into a charity shop, Let's Get Lost caught my eye. I got it for £1 which for me is a brilliant price for a book. I had a look on Amazon and you can buy it from there for £3.99.
I am not a huge fan of the cover of this book, but it did not put me off buying it. As you can see from the picture the cover is simple. A black background with a picture of a girl on the front. The book is 341 pages long, so it is not a very big book and it doesn't take that long to read.
Now about the story. Isabelle is a teenager, who is basically the queen bee of the school. She is mean to everyone including her 'friends', and everyone is scared of her. But when her mum dies, everyone expects her to be different, but instead she is still her mean old self. Her dad and teachers do not know what to do with her. But then at a party she meets Smith, and after a while falls in love. And well if you want to know more then your going to have to read it yourself!
Although there isn't exactly anything major happening in this story, I still couldn't put it down! As the story went on it just became more and more interesting! And I didn't find it predictable at all like some books are. I am not the best reader, and I sometimes struggle reading some books. But I found that this book was really easy to read, and I understood everything that went on. It didn't take me long until I had read the whole book.
I feel that this book is more for teenagers or young adults rather then other adults. Well they might enjoy it, but I would say it is more for younger people. I think that teenagers can relate to this book, and so it makes it more interesting.
I rarely cry at any books, in fact I don't think I've ever cried at a book before. But there was something about this book that made me cry at the end, even though it isn't really a particularly sad ending. But whatever it was, it did make me cry a little I must admit!
Overall I really did love this book, it was easy to read, I couldn't put it down, and it actually had an effect on my emotions for once! I have never read any of Sarah Manning's books before, but after reading Let's Get Lost, I will also be looking for other books that she has written! A great holiday read!
Cold-hearted Isabel has always been the leader of her school's most evil clique, yet when her mother dies, everyone expects her to change. Clinging on to what's left of her past life, she spends her time ignoring her father and being mean to her friends and meaner to her enemies, or anyone less popular at school.
Then she meets Smith, who kisses her at a party, mistaking her for another girl, who instantly intrigues her, although she pretends she isn't interested in him. Not long later she's in love - the only problem is that she lied to him about her age, and everyone else is fed up of her arrogant, cruel behaviour.
"Let's Get Lost" is a teenage novel but I found it really interesting and entertaining. It's darker than some of Manning's other work, however it is probably her best novel yet. Pop-culture references throughout give this book a sense of place and the characters a subcultural background. The protagonist is believable and understandable, whilst at the same time unpleasant enough to her friends and family for you to want her to change, violently.
It is a well-paced story, and a quick read - it drags you into it.