Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Pretty Things - Sarra Manning

Okay, I got some time to do this. WARNING: if it doesn't make sense at any point, just tell me because I am unbelievably tired right now and all Disney-ish because I just watched Pocahontas II.

Righto. I bought this book in a discount book store in Florida for $2.99 even though it's set in England and Sarra Manning is also an English author. So yeah, I brought it home.

Brie and Charlie are best friends. Brie is in love with Lancome Juict Tubes and Charlie...who is also gay. Charlie is in love with Walker, the serial heartbreaker. Who is in love with Daisy, the other new gay one who just hates everyone else to care about who she loves. Set in North London, these four teenagers enter the theatre world and become the protagonists (oh yeah, Media terminology) of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew to experience the off-stage and on-stage dramas of the theatre world.

I don't quite know what to think of this novel. It was good and I enjoyed it but it wasn't like 'Whoa. That was amazing' which I guess I was kind of expecting from it. Can I just say something about the front cover above? This is the cover on my copy - the American version and to be honest, it's looks like one of those terrible early teen romances where nothing really happens and everyone lives happily ever after. If you are judging 'a book by it's cover', STOP.
Okay, onto the book. A lot of people don't like Sarra Manning's writing and I can see why as it's all about teen problems, relationships and how horrible their lives are but it's one of those reads, which is different, relaxing and you don't have to think about what's happening next. It's different in the way that there are four teenagers, two of which are gay. Normally, you either have your gay couple (which let's face it, don't happen often) or your two conventional lovers that we like to read about and wish we were them.
I LOVE Charlie. He's like your best friend and you just want to hug him, a lot. Brie and Daisy. I'm going to say it.
They got on my nerves. Though when it's Brie chapter, I don't mind her so much but still. I just didn't like them. Walker...neutral feelings. I thought it was going to be a complete idiot but I guess he's not so bad.

My lovely friend, Tijana, has also read the book and kinda spurred me on to read it and I was also able to talk to her about what we thought of Charlie. So I got her to write what she thinks of it (it's better than any review I've ever done):

Me and Tijana.
 Pretty Things could be a described as a classic, teenage love-square novel, aimed at teenage girls who want to hear about love problems more exciting and problematic than their own – and it is.

     This doesn’t necessarily make the novel ‘bad’ or ‘cheesy’; Pretty Things grabs your attention and reel s you in through the use of stereotypical characters your forced to make a severe judgement on. Whether it’s the typical bad-boy Walker making you roll your eyes or the overly-feisty attitude of Daisy making you want to pull her back down to earth, you’re still interested in the characters – you want to know whether they all change their sexual orientations in the end to make the novel have a perfectly fitting, Jane Austen ending.
     Despite this, the slightly controversial themes and use of homosexuality of half of the characters allows the teenage readers to be more open minded about situations such as those that the characters find themselves in. Memorable, and bringing back plot lines from old plays, this book’s definitely worth reading one summer holiday. "

Thank you Tijana :)

I give this a 3.5/4 out of 5

Author's Website/Blog:



    This is the nicer cover :)

  2. Yeah that's the English version.
    One thing I don't get...why is it called Pretty things?

  3. Have you read her first novel, Guitar Girl? It's one of my ultimate favourites!!!

  4. Nope I haven't. Yeah I've heard that's supposed to be good.
    I might try and find it in my library or something. :)

  5. Good question.. I think it's called Pretty Things because although things might seem perfect on paper, once you look into it more you find out it's not really the one for you :)

  6. Does anyone know what the themes are?


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