The International Writers Magazine
:Childrens Books

Let’s Get Lost by Sarra Manning
Jenny Atkins review

sabel is the typical angst-ridden teenager, only she’s full of sarcastic, biting comments that ensure she’s the most feared girl at her school. With an A-level in a couldn’t-care-less attitude and a dictionary full of witty comebacks, she’s the kind of girl who likes to keep her friends close and her enemies even closer.

On the surface, Let’s Get Lost is Britain’s answer to Mean Girls. The word "fugly" even comes into play on page 81. Dig a little deeper, though, and it becomes obvious that this isn’t just the other side to Lindsay Lohan’s story. For starters, Isabel isn’t a blonde bimbo in an American high school, she’s an intelligent young woman masquerading as a rock chick who sneaks into underground clubs with the city’s student population.

Although she originally claims to despise the students, Isabel is soon sucked into their world of mid-afternoon wake-up calls and mould-infested flats, by way of the essential ingredient of teenage chick lit: her love interest. The pair’s relationship is filled with sweetness and sarcasm, as they bond over the embarrassing trait of being named after characters from literature and slowly become the focus of each other’s lives.

Anyone who’ll admit to reading J17 will recognise Sarra Manning as the writer behind the Diary of A Crush series. Edie and her group of friends have since made it to bound-and-published form, and Manning has also penned two original novels prior to Let’s Get Lost. In fact, a much-loved band featured in Guitar Girl make an appearance in this latest effort from the celebrated teenage girls’ author.

Let’s Get Lost
is one of those easy reads that’s comforting in its familiarity, and yet it will make you smile to yourself as page-by-page you break down another one of Isabel’s barriers. This is a children’s book that shouldn’t be read exclusively by children. It’s not a tale of magic and wizardry that’s going to secure Manning a multi-million movie deal, but it’s a heart-warming tale none-the-less. In addition to the love-life of Isabel and the death of her mother, it deals with a multitude of issues and is a very personal story to the author.
© Jenny Atkins March 2006

Jenny Atkins is a Creative Writing Major at University of Portsmouth

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