Thursday, February 02, 2006

Let's Get Lost goes on sale in the UK tomorrow!

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I'm proud to announce that Let's Get Lost is available to buy from all good bookshops tomorrow, including Ottakers where it's Book Of The Month.

Although I love all my books equally, I'm especially proud of Let's Get Lost as there were times when I thought I'd never finish it. I guess this is the book that most made me feel like a proper writer as I put so much of myself in to it.

It's about a girl called Isabel who doesn't seem very likeable. She's one of the popular girls at school, the meanest of the mean girls. She rules her friends with an iron fist and a divide and rule philosophy. Despises her family. Keeps herself heartless and hard. Then she meets a boy called Smith and begins to unravel. All of us like to present a front to the world and keep the undesirable stuff hidden, but Isabel has it the wrong way round. And Smith finds her gooey soft centre, stirs it around and all of her secrets start spilling out.

I started the book about three months after my mother died and it was too painful and difficult to write. So I took a break to get Diary Of A Crush ready for publication, wrote Pretty Things and then took another look at Let's Get Lost. It's taken me three years to write, gone through about ten different drafts and if I'm brutally honest I cried every day as I wrote the last three chapters. But it's not all doom and gloom and woe is me. Like, all my books you'll find enough to make you smile including caustic one liners, smirky, know-it-all boys and tons of references to The OC.

I'd really love to know what you think of the book and Isabel, in particular. Be sure to review me on Amazon and/or leave a comment here. And Let's Get Lost will be out in the US and Canada in October, I think, of this year.

Smith walked fast with a loping gait, almost bouncing on the soles of his sneakers and I liked that he was so free, so unaware, not knowing that I was looking at him. Like when you’re on the bus and you stare into someone’s front room and you see them watching television or slumped on the sofa and it’s like you’re taking a tiny piece of them home with you.

He ambled into a couple of charity shops and rifled through battered piles of vinyl records and tattered paperbacks. I loitered by the racks of musty smelling polyester dresses - I was going for this whole melting into the walls vibe but I just looked really shifty if the suspicious attention I was getting from the blue rinse brigade manning the tills was anything to go by.

I hadn’t been able to get a good look at him before. It had been dark and there had been quantities of alcohol involved but daylight softened out the slant of his cheekbones and the hard lines of his jaw, so he looked less thuggish. Didn't know anything to lessen the effect of his nose. If you were being kind you'd call it aquiline, if you weren't, you'd call it beaky. And I could see those lips that I'd kissed - how they looked as pillowy as they'd felt. His hair was still ridiculous, he'd obviously never got intimate with a pair of straightening irons. But what I liked about him (and I did appear to like him, even though he had a stupid name and needed to stop kissing girls at parties because he thought they were other girls he'd kissed at other parties) was his serenity. There was something utterly calm about him, no matter how fast his elegant hands leafed through records or pored over books. It was if everything was out of focus except him.

He brushed past me on his way towards the door and I pressed myself against a rail of coats. I waited for the door to shut behind him, then cautiously slunk out in time to see him disappearing into the newsagents next door.

Luckily, I could pretend to read the ads for exotic Swedish massages while I peered through the window and watched Smith buy a packet of cigarettes and some chewing gum. As he was walking down the length of the shop, I realised my cover would be blown so I dived into the nearest doorway, which happened to be a hardware shop and looked with feigned interest at the display of screwdrivers and oooh, power saws. Imagine the damage I could do with one of them.

At first I thought it was the wind brushing against me, but then it happened again, someone was tapping me on the shoulder. Even before I turned round I knew it was him.

I’d forgotten how blue his eyes were. I wanted to compose sonnets in my head about ocean depths and cloudless skies because I was obviously suffering from severe sleep deprivation. He was frowning at me, this little furrowed line popping up between his eyebrows.

I felt like I’d finally been caught shoplifting. My cheeks were burning traffic light red as he fixed me with an intractable look. “Are you following me?”


mutilated-bliss said...

I absoloutley loved this book. You could feel Isabel's emotions on every page, and even though she acts like a complete bitch, you can so tell she's not really. and smith sounds exactly like my boyfriend! freaky huh? I loved all of Sarra Mannings books (and there all in my top 10) but i think this is my second favourite so far!

mutilated-bliss said...

I absoloutley loved this book. You could feel Isabel's emotions on every page, and even though she acts like a complete bitch, you can so tell she's not really. and smith sounds exactly like my boyfriend! freaky huh? I loved all of Sarra Mannings books (and there all in my top 10) but i think this is my second favourite so far! my faveourite is of course, guitar girl! is there gonna be a sequel???

mutilated-bliss said...

I absoloutley loved this book. You could feel Isabel's emotions on every page, and even though she acts like a complete bitch, you can so tell she's not really. and smith sounds exactly like my boyfriend! freaky huh? I loved all of Sarra Mannings books (and there all in my top 10) but i think this is my second favourite so far!

lil missy said...

oooh yay!

i'm so excited to read this, sarra! i'll let you know what i think of it once i get it off amazon.

sophie m. x

Ellie said...

hey sarra,

I have just started 'Lets get Lost' and im already hooked my friends keep teasing me for walking round with it, i loved pretty thing because of the way i felt, i felt as if i knew the characters. I have read the Diary OF a Crush trilogy and i was soooo upset when it ended, any chance of another one?? Though i suppose Edie and Dylan are sort of grown up now.
I really want to be a journalist and maybe progress onto being a writer, is there any way you could give me any tips, i'm very sorry to bother you and i will understand if you don't have time but it would help me alot. My email is:
thankyou very very much, I am at school at the moment and i think i will go and read a bit more of 'Lets get Lost'!!!

Love ellie xxxxx

Stacey said...

Just finshed the book today and i loved every page. I imagined Isabelle to be a grade A bitch, but i could really identify and sympathise with her. Smith was amazing. And i loved the suprise apperance of a certain chracter i won't mention, but that was awesome. You never fail to write a kick ass book and this is no exception.I love how I can become sucked into a chracters life and chucked right out at the end. I loved it and recommened everyone to buy it and fall in love with another Sarra Manning novel. Keep it up. Amazing.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I can't believe I only just found this blog...that excerpt was brilliant except for the fact that I, as a person officially out of her teens, shouldn't be seen anywhere near it- sucks to twentysomethinghood! And someone should do a good movie adaptation of Guitar Girl- with decent casting.

P.S. Sarra, it seems like you like an awful lot of the same things I do- and I don't mean to sound like some scary fangirl, but I have to ask- were you ever into Anne of Green Gables as a kid?

Dreamer said...

Hey Sarra, I've been a fan of yours since reading your columns in J17, so that's a pretty long time! I loved Pretty things so much, and when I saw that you'd written a new book I was really quite excited. I finished reading Let's get Lost about 10 minutes ago and it was just amazing. It made me cry 3 times, and I never cry at books! I really wish Smith was real... sigh. Thank you so much for being such an awesome writer, and keep up the good work!

Natasha said...

I finally got it!! After being stuck in my house with crippling pain, I managed to get out and into town to shop!
It took me ages to find the book, and after visitng 4 bookshops and getting the saem reply; 'We haven't got it in stock yet/It's on order' I finally fount in the last place I looked (Typical!). And what I've read so far, I love; it's your style, but so more mature. And I love the cover, so big kudos to the artist!
Now I'm off to read some more!

.x.Georgia.x. said...

Hey Sarra,
I bought your book on holiday and finished it in a day - pretty gripping. I read it for my english book review so I hope you dont mind if i miss a few , lets just say detailed, parts out... I'm sure my teacher wouldn't like to read about that : ). I haven't rad any of your other books yet but guitar girl sounds pretty cool, but could you do me a favour - either write faster or make the books a bit less gripping! Its torture waiting for a sequel *hint hint*, well I'm off writing the rest of my review - keep up the good work!
Georgia L x

fell in love with a boy said...

I just want to say that I have just finished reading Let's get lost and I loved it so much, what a rollercoaster of a book I have never laughed, cried and awww'd so much in a book before such a totally addictive read i love it so much! I stayed up until nearly 3am this morning finsihing it! I'm going to start Pretty things tonight I had forgotten i had bought it before xmas as i had loads to read for college so thats tongihts project.
I just want to say i love Guitar girl as well totally awsome

Lauren said...

'Lo Sarra. It's nice to finally find a decent author; let alone one with a website on the same host as one of mine! Anywho...yeah.

(I live in the US)...aww, October '06? That's a while. Alas. The states only have Guitar Girl and Pretty Things, and I already have both. Guess I'll just have to wait.


Tiggylou said...

I first read Guitar Girl on holiday in Prague a few years ago (2003 I think... cant remember) and I couldnt put it down. Ive now read all your books, and WOW they are fantastic!
I love reading the Diary of a Crush books, I must have read them a fair few times!
I bought Lets get lost and read it in two hours its that good. And yeah, I missed my stop on the bus but it was worth it!!
Keep writing!


Taintedblue_i said...

I bought that book as soon as it went out. How rare it is for a book to be funny but so moving! But this one was. I just reread it today and, just like last time, I cried when Isabel's story finally tumbled out at the end.
And the first book I've read that mentions the Kills, Franz Ferdinand and emos. Rock on! It's also led me to check out and Broken Social Scene, both of which rock, so thank you!

Jessicaaar said...

I've Just Finished Lost In You And I Thought It Was A Really Amazing Book. I Felt Like I Could Really Realte To Isabel. The Ending Made Me Cry And I Was Annoyed Because There Was No More To Read.

I've Also Read The A Diary Of A Crush Books, And Pretty Things. I Really Loved These Books Aswell!