Sarra Manning is a teen queen extraordinaire. She spent five years working on the legendary but now sadly defunct UK teen mag, J17, first as a writer and then as Entertainment Editor. She then joined the launch team of teen fashion bible Ellegirl UK, which she later went on to edit and has consulted on a wide range of other youth titles including Bliss, The Face and More. Sarra was most recently editor of BBC's What To Wear magazine. She's now advises a number of UK magazine publishers as well as writing features and a monthly column for ELLE UK and is a regular contributor to Grazia and Red magazines. Sarra has also contributed to The Guardian, ES Magazine, Seventeen, Details and Heat and wrote the Shop Bitch column for Time Out London. Sarra lives in North London with her devoted dog, Dino, the mongrel she saved from an untimely death. http://sarramanning.blogspot.com
There is snogging and sparring aplenty in Manning's (Guitar Girl) appealing if rather overwrought launch title in the Diary of a Crush trilogy, which started as a fictional column in a now-defunct British teen mag. In her diary entries, 16-year-old Edie bemoans her family's recent move; she feels like a "socially dysfunctional freak of nature" at her new college. Yet her "spiritual self shift[s] into orbit" when she locks eyes with gorgeous, 19-year-old Dylan, whose "face was all hard planes and angles, cheekbones and jawline softened only by these pillowy lips." Those pillowy lips become quite familiar to Edie, who presses her lips to his and becomes obsessed with the guy despite warnings about his many past dalliances. Dylan's aloofness between kissing sessions rankles Edie, who begins dating an attentive, sincere classmate on the sly. Edie's emotional roller coaster ride hits high and low points on a school trip to Paris, where she finally issues Dylan an ultimatum ("I want everything or nothing"). Dylan agrees to everything yet the title of the second installment, Kiss and Make Up (ISBN 0-14-240642-2), hints at more ups and downs to come (and the third, Sealed with a Kiss, ISBN 0-14-240648-1, suggests a happy ending?). Despite the tale's repetition and ample melodrama, readers with a fondness for romantic soap opera will find these smooching characters quite entertaining. Ages 14-up. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.