Sarra Manning is a British author and journalist. Sarra has written for ELLE, Grazia, Red, InStyle, The Guardian, and many more. Her best-selling YA novels include Guitar Girl, Let's Get Lost, Pretty Things, The Diary Of A Crush trilogy, and Nobody's Girl. Sarra lives in North London with her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Miss Betsy, and prides herself on her unique ability to accessorize.
Gr 9 Up-Isabel, 16, is not the warmest soul. She credits her "place at the top of the school pecking order" to her status as "the biggest bitch to ever stalk" the halls of the institution. She rules the roost at home, too; her father's attempts to set limits are met with sharp retorts and defiance. No one could ever guess how uncertain and frightened she feels. She has horrible nightmares on the few nights she is able to sleep and, more often than not, drinks to ease any doubts about her burgeoning relationship with a college student whom she met at a party. The teen's prickly nature and first-strike mentality are explained in part by the recent death of her mother; however, while readers may in fact know people like Isabel, she is not easy to relate to or even care about. Upon discovering her father's plans to send her away to school, she seeks solace in alcohol and in former enemies, and ends up narrowly avoiding tragedy. The resolution seems inevitable, yet is not completely satisfying. Veteran readers of Manning might be interested in the activities of Isabel's boyfriend, Smith, and his roommates, who are ex-members of the band The Hormones from the author's Guitar Girl (Dutton, 2004).-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.