Bea is plain, frumpy and dull. She has friends but since her best friend ditched her for Ruby, the popular girl, they are more like acquaintances. But that’s all about to change. Ruby has her eyes on Bea, wanting her to become one of the popular girls. When an invitation to Malaga with them arrives and seems like the real deal, Bea can’t wait to make her life fun. But as soon as they land, it appears that Bea was some kind of pawn in a game she doesn’t understand. She needs to get away and decides to jump on a train to Paris to find the father she never met. On the way she bumps into a group of American college kids of the kind of backpacking trip she never dreamed of. Will this be the summer that this nobody’s girl becomes her own girl?
I love Sarra Manning’s work, I have loved her since I first read Guitar Girl when I was 15. Her books make me long for teen life and having all those problems that I know now aren’t real problems. So I knew I would love Nobody’s Girl, and I did. There were some moments when I wanted to shake Bea and reading this book as a mum made me side a bit more with her mum than I would have done at 15.
Bea is a lot like many girls will feel growing up. She’s got friends but no one special. There are a lot of changes as a teenager and Bea and her best friend went through those changes. She doesn’t have anyone to trust and she’s kept on a tight rein by her mum. There’s many reasons for this, many to do with her mums fears that she will turn out “like her” but there’s no solid reason for it that Bea has created.
I loved the growth of Bea throughout this story. She was very naive at the start of the book but by the end, she knew a lot. She was more wary and understood more about people and their motives. She understood her mum more and that was beautiful. But there was still a lot of growth needed. A lot of the book was spent thinking to myself “Bea, you need to think about your actions and how they make others feel!”
There was a lot of anger in this book and I think that is valid. Especially with what is uncovered in the story But it made it difficult to read sometimes, I just wanted to hold Bea and reassure her that these feelings would pass. I pretty much understood why she did everything she did, even though I knew a lot of it wasn’t right. She was a fool in places but it wasn’t really her fault.
The love story in this book is like no other and I loved the way that it was ended between Bea and her American boy when they went to London. Again this was a part of the book where I wanted Bea to really understand more about her behaviour and how it affects others. But the final London scenes were beautiful and really quite mature.
I laughed and cried and cheered while reading this book and although I am writing this review over a month after I finished the book, one line stuck so much because it made me laugh that I need to repeat it now. “I do Pilates with your grandmother!” Ahh, Bea, some things I think should always stay the same.
If you are a teenage girl, or know one, then make sure you pick up Sarra Manning’s back catalouge, you will not be disappointed!
Nobody’s Girl was published in 2010 by Hodder Children’s Books. My copy was bought online. For more information or to buy the book please visit: