Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sarra Manning - Pretty Things

Pretty ThingsPretty Things by Sarra Manning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I must confess I do not remember how I came by this book. Did I buy this book off a second hand book stall? Did I order it off some online book shop? Was I gifted this book? My memory being what it is, I should go back to writing the date and venue of purchase on the fly leaf. It is a good habit that I have lost in recent times.

This novel is touted as a Splashproof beach read and has a 100% waterproof cover. By rights it should be something you read and feel faintly dissatisfied with. Or you should feel like you just wound up wasting a precious day or two of your life. But that does not happen.

Despite its ditzy appearance, the book gets to the core of the matter and keeps you chuckling and turning the pages with pleasure.

Brie, Charlie, Walker and Daisy are four 17 year old London kids. Charlie does not want to spend his summer watching inane television shows with his best pal Brie. So he joins a drama club for the summer and persuades Brie to go along. Walker is genuinely interested in movies as a career and feels the drama club will help him. Daisy is opting for this as she wants something good on her college application.

They get to train with Lavinia, who was big on the Stage at one time.  She chooses The Taming of the Shrew to play and our foursome land the four lead parts.  They start hanging out together and a chain of events is set in motion that changes (somewhat) their attitude towards life.

Brie has self-image issues. Charlie is gay but likes only straight people. Walker is nicknamed Shagger and Wanker but has fallen hard for Daisy. Which is no use as Daisy is the super-bitch Lesbian.

Brie, Charlie, Walker and Daisy get a chapter each by turns to describe the progress of the summer through their own eyes. As we can see, all these characters have a different voice and a different way of looking at things.

Despite the story being a teen-lit, it is not all fluff. The problems and the issues they face are real. The author maintains a light tone which is appropriate for a beach read and also manages to slip in enough seriousness to keep you engrossed. The language is very witty and she is really best at describing things comically.


If you are in the mood for a light read which is not aimed at airheads, this is a perfect book for you.

I re-read the book especially to be able to write about it.

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