Title: London Belongs to Us
Author: Sarra Manning
Pages: 288 Pages
Publisher: Hot Key Books
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 she’d 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 life 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.
When I look back at my life (32 and a half years of it) I don’t remember the specific days when I went to work or when I spent time revising for exams or idling my hours away texting friends (yes, I had a mobile phone at 16…although to be fair it was an Orange brick and you couldn’t technically send text messages) however, what I do remember are the crazy, unexpected adventures that I had. Days and nights when I went out and things didn’t go as planned but I ended up with henna tattoo’s and had made friends with random people. Ah, youth.
This is exactly what Sarra Manning’s latest book London Belongs to Us is all about. It follows a day in the life of Sunny and how having a cheating scumbag of a boyfriend has led to her having the adventure of a lifetime. You know what? This book is bloody brilliant.
In 288 pages, Manning manages to make you feel a kinship to protagonist Sunny, you want to wind your neck all out of shape as she takes on her cheating boyfriend, go on all of these crazy escapades even though you will probably get arrested at some point…or lose a shoe. Though what I mostly felt was that I wish I was still young enough to have wild potentially foolish adventures just like Sunny and co. London Belongs to Us made me miss being young in the best possible way. Equally, it made me remember some of the mad things that my friends and I got up to over the years. Memories.
If you are young you should read this book to make you realise that there is adventure around every corner and you need to make the most of it. For us who are no longer in our late teens, or as I used to refer to them, our ‘twenteens’, read London Belongs to Us and look back fondly on your life.
London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning is available now.
For more information about Sarra Manning (@sarramanning) please visit her on Twitter.
For more information about Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit the official website www.hotkeybooks.com.