Wednesday 3 March 2010

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Review: Let's Get Lost by Sarra Manning

Let’s Get Lost by Sarra ManningLet’s Get Lost by Sarra Manning - Some girls are born to be bad...Isabel is one of them. Her friends are terrified of her, her teachers can't get through to her...her family doesn't understand her. And that's just the way she likes it. See, when no one can get near you, no one will know what keeps you awake at night, what you're afraid of, what has broken your heart...But then Isabel meets the enigmatic Smith, who can see right through her act. Bit by bit he chips away at her armour, and though she fights hard to keep hold of her cool, and her secrets, Isabel's falling for him, and coming apart at the seams when she does...A poignant, sometimes dark, and utterly heart-breaking novel, told with all the author's trademark wit and sharp observation... From Amazon UK

I was originally recommended this book by Luisa Plaja when I held Sex in Teen Lit Month last year, and when I saw it at my Oxfam Bookshop a few weeks ago, I knew I had to buy it. Then I read Sophie’s review of Nobody’s Girl by Sarra Manning on So Many Books, So Little Time a few days ago, and liked the sound of that book so much, I decided to get on to reading Let’s Get Lost. I’m glad I did, it was such a great story!

I don’t really know where to start with this book, or what to think about it, even though I know I really liked it. It’s a really sad and heartbreaking story, and I read most of it yesterday while I was having a bad day and ended up putting it down, because I was just so annoyed with one of the characters. Why? Because this book isn’t a fairy tale; its part romance, part coming of age/finding yourself novel, and for a book that is part romance, it’s very realistic – the ending isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, and I just needed me a happy ending yesterday. But this is supposed to be a positive, so I’ll get on with it.

Isabel is such a great character; she’s flawed and she has issues. Because she was bullied when she was younger, to keep herself safe she has now become the bully, she’s a right nasty cow to everyone, teachers, family, students at school alike. She doesn’t like the person she pretends to be or her “friends”, but she feels she has to keep it up to keep everyone at arm’s length; letting anyone inside would be a disaster. Then enter Smith, an older guy who breaks through her bitchy exterior and actually makes her feel like she’s more than worth the ground she stands on, and being with him slowly brings the real Isabel out, little by little.

There are so many layers to this book, to Isabel, that it’s a little hard to talk about it without spoiling it. This really is a book where you have to find out what it’s about as you read it. As I said, this isn’t just a romance, there’s so much more going on, and it’s just such a really poignant book, yet with this strong sense of hope that things are going to get better. It’s just really good. In some ways, it reminded me a little of Screwed by Joanna Kenrick, there are similar themes covered, if not an identical plot and ending, and like Screwed, has made it on to my favourites list.

A really awesome story that has had such an effect on me – as I’m writing this review, I’m sitting here feeling quite sad and in need of chocolate. I’ve been hugely impressed by Sarra’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of her novels. Fortunately, I have Guitar Girl on my shelf waiting to start. I really would recommend this book to everyone. Simply fantastic!

Published: 2nd February 2006
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
Sarra Manning’s Blog


  1. I loved this book and I thought the characters were fantastic. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for a great review - and sending virtual chocolate! :)

  2. Thank you for recommending it to me! I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise! I loved it, so thank you! :)

  3. I love this book too! I love all Sarra's books actually, especially the Diary of a Crush series and Pretty Things.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Thank you! :) I'm sure I've seen French Kiss at Oxfam... if it's still there this Saturday, I think I'll get it. Oooh, I'm looking forward to reading her other novels! :)

  5. OOOOOoooo I have not heard of this..Great find for me. Great review

  6. So glad you enjoyed this! I loved this book though it made me cry...

  7. CI - Thanks! Ohh, you should really give it a go, it's brilliant!

    Sophie - Cheers! I didn't get quite to the point of tears, but I was feeling really down for quite a while after I finished. Such a sad book!

  8. Between you and Sophie, I know I have to read something by this author soon. I just can't decide what! I like the poignant ones though so I might go with this to start with. Thanks for great review.

  9. No problem! I do hope you enjoy which ever Sarra Manning book you choose to read! :)

  10. I was looking for quotes from "Let's get lost" and I find your review, and I have to say that your thoughts were very similar of mine when I read the book :P

    I cried, I laughed... I enjoy it from the beginning till the end :)

    1. It is such a fantastic book! I loved it! Thanks for stopping by :)