Wednesday, November 16, 2011

REVIEW: Pretty Things by Sarra Manning

Despite loving Sarra Manning's other books (both YA and adult!), I've had Pretty Things by Sarra Manning unread on my shelves for absolutely ages. I'm not sure why, but possibly that far too colourful and cheerful looking cover?

Either way, I've read it now and I really enjoyed it. Sarra Manning really knows how to tell a story and pull me into it. Pretty Things is the story of four teenagers over the course of a summer as they're all taking part in a local drama production. There's Brie, pretty but dim, who is in love with her gay best friend, Charlie. Whereas Charlie is in love with man-whore (straight) Walker. And Walker is in love with Daisy who just so happens to be a lesbian. What follows is this fun summer of drama both onstage and off as these four characters are consumed with all these unrequited feelings for each other.

When I was a teenager, I always had crushes on the most unavailable of people. Teachers, boys with girlfriends, boys who lived on another continent that I'd never met before, film stars. So I could completely understand this concept of putting all this time and effort into fancying someone completely unsuitable.

And unsuitable or not, the feelings are very real, and I could really believe in each of these four characters falling in love with their respective crushes. It felt heart-breaking to me, experiencing these feelings along with Brie, Charlie, Walker and Daisy. I really loved each of these characters as well, especially as we see them from different perspectives and watch as each of the characters realises more about themselves and about the other three over the course of this summer. There's kissing and Shakespeare, there's rows and tears.

I loved that the backdrop of this novel is a drama production of The Taming of the Shrew and also that there's this great emphasis and importance placed on loving people, regardless of their sexual orientation and just loving a person for their own individual merits. I read this book straight through on a free afternoon and loved every minute of it. Recommended.


  1. I can't believe I haven't read any books by Sara Manning yet. And you are the second person to review one of her books this week! Must rectify.

  2. I love this book. The characters are all so flawed and fascinating. Thanks for a great review!

  3. I've just read my first Sarra Manning novel and I loved it! I definitely want to read more, and this one sounds great- I love the setting of the drama production. Thanks for the review :)

  4. yeah I loved this book too - it's such a perfect complete world full of wrong-headed funny and lovely characters ...

  5. Vivienne - Oh, hop to it! You're missing out on some lovely books. I'm such a huge fan of Sarra Manning's!

    Luisa - Flawed and fascinating is a perfect way to describe them! :)

    Hannah - You're welcome! I discovered Sarra Manning last year and have tried to devour everything she's written :)

    Simmone - You are so right! Wonderful book :)

  6. Yeah I'm with Vivienne, I really really need to get on and read Sarra's books - this one sounds so good.

  7. I'm a huge fan of Sara Mannings and I believe it was to book that made me a fan! It's definitely one of my all time favourites and I recommend it to everyone! :D so glad you enjoyed it too!

  8. Jenni - You've not read any books by Sarra either? Oh, you really should!

    Raimy - Hurrah for the Sarra Manning love :) I think my first Sarra Manning was Guitar Girl, followed very quickly by Let's Get Lost and Nobody's Girl.


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