Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Book Review: London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning

Trust me, Edinburgh is the UK capital you want to accidentally to strand yourself.

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. 

This is an alright contemporary, I liked the main character Sunny better than the protagasist from the previous books I've read by Sarra Manning. That being said the main characters from Adorkable made appearances in this book, but Sunny hates them so that makes her relatable straight away. I found her to be a lot less cliché and didn't belong some fashion moment.

 Things do seem to be include just because they are cool and hip other than fitting in with the story. Example, being drag queens because RuPaul Drag Race is the big thing right now, as well as the the side-characters being a roller derby team. They are stereotypes of Roller Derby girls, this could just be lazy short hand. This more obvious from previous books of Manning's and I think it why I pick up on it.

Every chapter takes place in a different part of London and we get info about each part of London. These were nice to start with but I did find myself skimming them as they got to be bit long and I was more interested in the story than two paragraphs factoids about London. The chapters were also separated by documents from Sunny, e.g. pie chart of her mind and lists she made, sometimes with other characters from the book. I liked this, but don't think it really added anything.

The main plot of this novel is Sunny chasing her lying boyfriend which gets to unrealistic level quickly and the character justification fizzed out quickly. Its fine if you don't think about how you would be carrying a boom around the city, standing for that length of time. They also a slight side-romance; it was treated in a nice realistic way. The characters are realistic for the most part, they just live in a fantasy version of London (with the same public transport).

Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars for hot wings. After starting with Adorkable, I don't think I'm ever going to love Manning's books, but for the most part they are enjoyable quick reads.

I received this book for review off NetGalley and it was published by Hot Key Books on

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