Wednesday 8 June 2016

London Belongs to Us, Sarra Manning

Pages: 288
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 2nd June 2016
Edition: UK proof, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Guitar Girl; Diary of a Crush: French Kiss, Kiss and Make Up, Sealed With a Kiss; Let’s Get Lost; Pretty Things; Fashionistas: Laura, Hadley, Irina, Candy; Nobody’s Girl; Unsticky; You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me; Top Ten Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend; Adorkable; It Felt Like a Kiss, After the Last Dance

Twelve hours, two boys, one girl…and a whole lot of hairspray

Seventeen-year-old Sunny’s always been a little bit of a pushover. But when she's sent a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she knows she's got to act. What follows is a mad, twelve-hour dash around London – starting at 8pm in Crystal Palace (so far away from civilisation you can't even get the Tube there) then sweeping through Camden, Shoreditch, Soho, Kensington, Notting Hill…and ending up at 8am in Alexandra Palace.

Along the way Sunny meets a whole host of characters she never dreamed shed have anything in common with – least of all the devilishly handsome (and somewhat vain) French ‘twins’ (they're really cousins) Jean Luc and Vic. But as this love-letter to London shows, a city is only a sum of its parts, and really it's the people living there who make up its heart and soul. And, as Sunny discovers, everyone – from friends, apparent-enemies, famous bands and even rickshaw drivers – is willing to help a girl on a mission to get her romantic retribution.

A fast-paced, darkly funny love letter to London, boys with big hair and the joys of staying up all night.

I'm a huge fan of Sarra Manning’s books so I obviously went into London Belongs to Us with high expectations. And obviously it was brilliant.

I've been hearing for weeks what a love letter to London this is and that couldn’t have been more spot on. Sunny lives in Crouch End but journeys from Crystal Palace to Soho to Notting Hill and finally, to Ally Pally in one night of adventure, heartbreak, making unexpected friends and embracing her true self. I’ve always lived just over an hour from London so I’ve spent a lot of time in our capital, but I can’t help but feel I've missed out from not living there.

I really loved getting a quick history on the London boroughs that Sunny visited at the beginning of the chapters – they were a lot of fun. And there were also lists and pie charts scattered between which is always really fun to include in a novel. As Sunny romps through London she bumps into familiar faces for long-time Sarra Manning readers. We catch up with Jeane from Adorkable who’s still ruling the social media world and Molly from Guitar Girl, her first YA novel. It was SO good to catch up with her and I was pleased I made the connection considering it’s been over 10 years since I read Guitar Girl!

The people Sunny meets and the adventures she goes on during the night make her wake up to the person she’s been with Mark. A lesser, squashed-down version of herself and I was nearly cheering every time she stood up for herself or took a risk, and by the end I was so in love with her it’s a bit ridiculous. I want Sunny to be my friend.

London Belongs to Us is a heart-warming, joyous romp and I couldn’t have loved it more if I tried.

Thanks to Hot Key Books for the review copy.


1 comment:

  1. I loved this too! Definitely appreciated the history/geography lessons :)


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