Monday, 29 October 2012

Review - Nobody's Girl - Sarra Manning

Nobody's GirlTitle: Nobody's Girl
Author: Sarra Manning
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication: February 4 2012, Hodder Children's Books
Pages: 370
Source: Library book :D
Bea thinks she's the most boring seventeen-year-old in the world. She's not pretty or popular or funny, unlike her mother who had Bea when she was 17. The only glamorous thing about Bea is the French father who left before she was born and lives in Paris. She yearns for la vie Parisienne every moment of her dull existence. So when Ruby Davies, the leader of her school's most elite clique picks Bea as her new best friend and asks her to go on holiday with them, she's wary but delighted. If nothing else it's two weeks away from her over-protective mother . But when the gang arrive in Spain, Bea is crushed to realise that Ruby and her posse have simply been using her. Bea wreaks vengeance on her so-called friends, and plans to decamp to Paris to find her father. But when she falls asleep on the train and wakes up in Bilbao, she meets a group of American students who are backpacking around Europe and bonds with them straight away, especially the gorgeous Toph, who helps heal Bea's hurting heart. And though Bea has a shock in store when they finally get to Paris, the 'City of Lovers ' really works it magic on Bea and Toph, who spend a week wandering the sun-dappled streets of Paris, talking, holding hands and falling in love. When it comes time to go home to confront her Mum about her mysterious father, the new version of Bea is determined that she 'll never go back to her old, boring way of life - she's no longer Nobody's Girl; she belongs to herself and to Toph...But with an ocean between them, will he wait for her?
When I went to the library a few weeks back I saw Nobody's Girl sitting on the library shelf. It seemed like whenever I went to the library, Nobody's Girl would always catch my eye. A few weeks back I finally took it out, the premise sounded really intriguing and I'm kind of obsessed with reading Young Adult travelling books that are situated in different parts around the world at the moment. When starting Nobody's Girl I noticed they had quite a few swear words that put me off reading it but I'm glad I continued reading as I absolutely loved the story! Nobody's Girl might be one of my favourite contemporaries this year.

The first page of Nobody's Girl was interesting and grabbed my attention, I could just tell that the character, Bea, was going to have a major turning point in her life and that she was going to have an amazing adventure, therefore dragging us along for an exhilarating ride. Nobody's Girl was a book that kept me reading up until eleven at night, a book that I was reading while I was supposed to be doing other things and a book that kept me hooked and had me turning the pages at neck-breaking speed, okay, maybe not that fast, but close to it ;)

The plot definitely had a few surprising events. There were parts where I was gawking, mainly at Bea's hilarious tactics and I was exclaiming that I couldn't believe Bea, Bea of all people, had just done that, there were parts where I was chortling out loud and parts that had me close to tears. I also love the way Sarra Manning writes, her writing has such intense emotions that when Bea was spitting with anger, I could feel my anger rising too, when Bea was upset, I had tears brimming in my eyes, you really experience the all the characters' emotions when reading Nobody's Girl. The plot flowed at the right amount, not too fast and not too slow, there was always something happening to keep me interested and not let my attention be diverted from reading the book. 

I loved Bea. I really did. I think every teenage girl can relate to her. We all go through those times where we feel plain, frumpy, dull and unpopular. I could empathise with Bea and at some parts in the story I was like "Oh my gosh, I know exactly what she means" and its always nice when you can relate to a story. Most of the time Bea was a really good role model, she had her flaws but she tried to correct them and at the same time trying to be her own person. Towards the end she realised she was perfect the way she was and accepted herself for who she is. A lot of the time in contemporary, chick-lit fiction, the main character is a shallow, selfish person who keeps running themselves down, it was so refreshing to see Bea discovering herself and accepting herself. She really changed and matured throughout the book and when I finished the book, sat back and thought about what I just read I realised just how much she had changed (in a good way) and I loved that Sarra Manning took us on this journey to travel along with Bea and help her find herself.

The mean girls were just horrible, I could not believe how atrocious they acted towards her, their schemes, their lies and everything else about them was just mean and vicious. The author really got into their minds and I could imagine the girls perfectly. When Bea got revenge on them I was so astounded that she actually did what she did - and I loved every minute of it.

The romance was stunning. I haven't actually read a Young Adult book that is like that sugary sweet romance you sometimes see in soppy, romantic comedy films. But the romance in Nobody's Girl was perfect. The ending had tears welling up in my eyes and I was close to sobbing and was like "Toph, don't do this to meee!" It wasn't insta-love and I loved how they took things slowly. A major plus as well was that the Bea and Toph were actually friends, usually in YA books all the romance is about kissing, but Bea and Toph could really speak to each other and pour out their emotions, which had earned a cupcake from me!

There are two other great things I loved about Nobody's Girl:
a) There was actual, parental mention in a Young Adult book! I don't know if you've noticed but most of the YA books out there have little to no mention of the parents. I really liked that the mother was involved and that there were limitations to what Bea could and couldn't do, even though sometimes she ignored her mother and did what she wanted, but if she didn't do that, it wouldn't have really made her a realistic character.

b) The scenery of Paris <3<3 I read a book a couple of weeks ago called 13 Little Blue Envelopes, I really enjoyed it but it was just lacking the European feel, the author didn't really describe any of the places in detail, so when I read Nobody's Girl I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of description of Paris and London. I could imagine walking down the cobbled streets, hearing the exuberant French language and seeing the little cafes serving delicious French foods. From now on I am going to try and read as many Children's/Young Adult books that are based in different countries around the world.

The one and only thing I didn't like about Nobody's Girl was the amount of swearing. I really, really hate books with swearing in and from my point of view, it completely ruins the book. Thankfully the amount of swearing decreased as the book continued and I fell in love with Nobody's Girl all over again because of the interesting characters, the lovely plot, the funny sayings and the great romance.

Nobody's Girl is a book that I would highly recommend to fans of Pushing the Limits and 13 Little Blue Envelopes. A journey of a girl who wants to find out who she is and where she belongs. The setting and description was stunning and I could imagine the Parisian cafes, the  gorgeous food and the beautiful Parisian land marks. The characters had depth and exposed raw emotion throughout the book. A friendship that begun a sweet romance. Nobody's Girl has everything you could ask for in a book and, maybe,even more...

I give it: 5 CUPCAKES!


  1. Reading the blurb makes me a little wary but I might try and seek it out at my library!
    Great review! <3

  2. I bought this ages ago but then I swapped it online for another book - I really regret it now! D: Glad you enjoyed it, great review! :) xx

  3. Were'nt you just absolutely IN LOVE with Toph as well? Everytime I read it I want to cry that he's fictional and that real boys are never going to live up to his standards!


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