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Nobody's Girl

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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?

370 pages, Paperback

First published February 4, 2010

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About the author

Sarra Manning

32 books1,851 followers
Sarra Manning is a teen queen extraordinaire. She spent five years working on the now sadly defunct J17, first as a writer and then as Entertainment Editor. She then joined the launch team of teen fashion bible Ellegirl, which she later went on to edit and has consulted on a wide range of youth titles including Bliss, The Face and More.

Sarra is now editor of What To Wear magazine. She's also been a regular contributor to ELLE, The Guardian, ES Magazine, Seventeen, Details and Heat and wrote the Shop Bitch column for Time Out. Sarra lives in North London with her dog Miss Betsy

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 83 reviews
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,492 reviews3 followers
March 1, 2010
I’ve loved Sarra Manning’s books for years and I wasn’t surprised when Nobody’s Girl became one of my favourite books of the year so far.

I see Sarra Manning as the darker, edgier and quirkier UK version of Sarah Dessen. And like Sarah Dessen’s novels, Sarra’s focus on normal, every-girl characters who are (usually) completely lovable, easy to relate to and find out who they really are. In Nobody’s Girl, Bea is a former shy and boring doormat (or so she thinks) who turns into a strong and feisty girl with a passion for all things French and gift for wreaking revenge. I have to admit that the Bea of the beginning of Nobody’s Girl reminds me of me far too much!

But being Bea means you get a Toph (sounds like loaf), so maybe it’s not all that bad! Toph is possibly one of my favourite of Sarra Manning’s boys. Even if he is a toxic boy. (Speaking of toxic boys, you should all check out Sarra’s guest post about them at Wondrous Reads.) A gorgeous American student backpacking around Europe? Yes, please! Thinking about it, Toph might even be on par with Dylan from Sarra’s Diary of a Crush trilogy. That’s quite an achievement!

I stayed up very late to finish this book, which is something that doesn’t happen very often as I LOVE my sleep, so that tells you just how much I loved it. But more than that, I even lay awake thinking about it after finishing it. And at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I’m going to tell you why. Bea lives inside her head with her hopes, dreams and fantasies being her focus (like me), but not once in Nobody’s Girl did she let go of her dreams or expectations, and some of them even came true. It made me think that some of my ridiculously silly and unrealistically romantic dreams could maybe, just maybe, possibly come true.

Nobody’s Girl has elicited one of the most personal reviews I’ve ever written or posted and I hope that will demonstrate how much I loved it and encourage you all to pick it up.
Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews373 followers
September 8, 2010
Recommended: About first kisses and love and friendship, this is a book for any girl who has daydreamed about finding adventure, a knight in shining armour and discovering a world bigger than the worries of high school.

Nobody's Girl has just been short-listed for The Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010 which is a prestigious UK based award

This was my first Sarra Manning novel and being the contemp girl that I am, I loved the sound of the premise. Europe, romance, coming of age, etc, etc.

The book definitely had that Sarah Dessen vibe going down, but it's UK, so it has a UK feel about it that resonates with me after reading so much US based YA. (Not that I'm British, but I get the vibe).

It's complex being a teenager when the line between self-identity and peer acceptance and convictions blur. Sarra Manning nails that feeling in Bea who starts out as a bit of a doormat, craving acceptance from Queen Bitch Ruby who is suddenly suspiciously friendly. What ends up going down between Bea and Ruby and her posse is girl warfare at it's best: startling and vicious and reminds me why teen boys have it better with just getting to the point, smashing each other faces in and moving along.

When Bea turned fiesty, I was in awe or her and her talent for revenge. Yeah, Bea! After that, Toph arrives on the scene and I couldn't put it down. Because, I mean, swoon. Toph's laid back and sweet, but speaks his mind and adds some 20 year old perspective that reminds you that although the intense struggles you have at 17 can be world-shattering, that they too will pass.

It's such a daydreamy book, to be in Paris at seventeen and meet older, cooler backpackers who accept you for who you are. While I was a sucker for the love story and the adventure of Paris, this book is so much more than that. It's about friendship, facing secrets of the past, forgiving your mum, standing up for yourself, and realising that being you is enough. Also, watch out for some sweet and steamy moments :)

Other stuff:

The annoying thing about this book was the back blurb. I felt impatient with the pacing as I kept waiting for Europe, France and Toph to turn up... it took a good one hundred pages to get there. I think I would have settled more into it if it wasn't for me hanging out for that.

Toph is short for Christopher. But, really? Toph? It didn't particularly grow on me...

I definitely think this book would have resonated with me more reading it as a teen than reading it as an adult. The teen voice is authentic, so Bea's struggles felt real and reminded me of what it was like to be back there, but as an adult, I had too much hindsight that sometimes left me feeling frustrated with Bea's struggles.

I gave it three stars b/c I liked it. I probably would have loved it harder if i had read it as a teen. If you get what I mean :) I'm keen to read more of Sarra Manning as she did impress me with this book.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,583 reviews292 followers
March 27, 2010
Bea thinks she's the most boring teenager in the world and even her Saturday job - at Wilson's - is boring. So when Ruby and her posse (Ayesha, Chloe and Emma) invite her into their gang, Bea wonders if it's supposed to be some kind of joke. She hesitantly joins the group and it turns out that Ruby and co. do really like Bea. They even invite her on holiday to Malaga with them. Within 48 hours of being in Malaga though, Bea finds herself at a train station and she decides, on a whim, to head to Paris to find her absent father. Bea hooks up with a group of American backpackers on the way, including gorgeous Toph, and the group head off to Paris. Is Bea in danger of falling in love with more than Paris, though?

For a while now I've been getting into the genre that is Young Adult (YA) and Sarra Manning is billed as the Queen of Teen so who better to introduce me to a new genre? Sarra has a great writing background and Nobody's Girl is her 11th book so since Nobody's Girl was her most recent release, I decided to buy it for myself. It was one I was really looking forward to reading and after completing Dorothy Koomson's new book I decided to give this a go!

As I mentioned, I'm relatively new to the YA genre but I've been told many a time that some YA books are similar to the chick lit books I love so much so I wasn't too worried about giving Nobody's Girl a try. Especially since the blurb makes the mention of a potential romance between Toph and Bea and who doesn't love a good romance? The book starts as Bea is at the train station in Malaga but quickly goes back to when Ruby and co. suddenly wanting Bea as their new best friend. Like Bea, I was wary of what Ruby was up to and as it came clear exactly what it was, I felt so sad for Bea. What Ruby does to Bea is something everybody hears of all of the time - not to mention a lot of people have experienced it - so everyone will be able to relate to just how angry Bea gets about the whole thing before heading off to the train station.

As Bea decides that she is going to go to Paris to find her absent father - and defy her mother in the process since her mum so is anti-anything that could relate to boys and going to Paris could certainly bring boys into Bea's life - Bea buys herself a train ticket and rushes off to find her train. After falling asleep Bea wakes up confused and finds out she isn't exactly in Paris. Turns out Bea is still in Spain. In Bilbao in fact. A group of young, American travellers then take Bea under their wing as they're heading to Paris, too, and the group set off. Bea immediately takes a shine to the beautiful Toph but does he feel the same way?

That may sound like a lengthy plot but so much more happens in this book that really, my description is nothing! What I mention above is all on the back of the book and I thought that was all that would happen but there is so much more. There are quite a few secrets revealed - particularly concerning Bea's dad - which really surprised me. What also surprised me that on the blurb of my book it says Bea and Toph search for Bea's father in Parisian cafes and that is every so slightly misleading. In fact, it's very misleading and a strange inclusion to the blurb.

I immediately warmed to Bea and I think that's mainly because I'm kind of a dull teenager and I sometimes wonder if I fail at being a teenager. Like Bea, I'm not really into parties or anything like that so I could relate to her right from the off. Although I haven't yet gone on holiday to Malaga before running off to Paris and I don't think it's going to happen! Most teenagers will be able to relate to Bea because not only does she feel incredibly dull but her mum is rather over-protective and worries constantly. It's no bad thing, of course, but if it happens to you, you'll know and understand why it irritates Bea. Bea's family seem very important to her and I really liked her family unit. Her mum was over-protective, yes, but she was still a lovely character. James and the twins were also great characters but my favourites of Bea's family had to be Grandma Major and Minor. I adored them and thought they were hilarious. I loved Toph right from the off although there were a few scenes where he appeared to be off with Bea. Bea and Toph seemed to sink into their friendship really easily and I wondered how long it would take for Bea to fall for Toph.

Sarra Manning's writing is really fantastic. She very easily conveys what it's like to be a teenager and I'm always astounded how writers who aren't still in their teens are so able to get into the mind of a teenager. The book spends a lot of time in Paris and the descriptions were outstanding. I've never been to Paris but Nobody's Girl took me a lot lot closer and I could practically see everything Bea was seeing. Manning must have really done her research and she made Paris sound as magical as Bea seemed to believe it was.

I hugely enjoyed reading Nobody's Girl and it seems I am falling in love with the YA genre. I'm now sorely tempted to buy the rest of Sarra's books although that would be a hugely expensive thing to do but I'm sure it would be totally worth it. Nobody's Girl is a fantastic read and I'm so pleased to have found a YA author who has quite a few books out so I get the chance to read all of her previous works. If you love a good teen romance book then Nobody's Girl is definitely for you!
Profile Image for Lyndsey O'Halloran.
432 reviews60 followers
July 18, 2011
When I started reading this book, I really wasn’t sure that I was going to like it. I was actually contemplating not carrying on with it after a while but I always like to try to finish books when they have come from the publisher so I decided to stick with it for a little longer and I am damn glad I did. It took around 100 pages for this book to really get into the swing of things and to get to the parts that really mattered, the times when Bea was on her own and ready for a big adventure.

As soon as Bea leaves the mean girls, I was so much happier. Stuck, Bea comes across a group of Americans who are heading to Paris anyway and ask if she wants to go with them instead of on her own. Bea was a lovely girl, if not a bit dull to begin with, so I was happy to finally see her come out of her shell a bit more with her newfound friends and start being the girl she wanted to be. Being older, the American characters had experienced more life and did a lot more fun things so they were great for getting Bea to do more exciting things. I really enjoyed watching Bea change from being completely shy to having a great time and getting drunk in a club and dancing the night away. I was kind of a bit proud of her for standing up for herself and setting out to do something that she really wanted, all by herself.

Bea and Toph were great characters to read about together. Due to certain circumstances, they find themselves alone in Paris and decide to make the most of it even though their friendship has been far from smooth up until this point. Being the only two characters left gave Bea and Toph a lot of time to develop and for me to get to know a lot more about them and I really enjoyed discovering the little things which made them tick and also the things which made them both extremely happy, even if they were only silly little things like taking the metro instead of walking around. Their friendship was one of the best parts of this book for me and it was a lovely thing to discover for me as well as them. Yes, there is also a very slow building romance between them but it was truly perfect. There is none of this love at first sight rubbish. Bea and Toph actually spend a lot of time getting to know each other before even admitting that they like each other.

When I read this book, I had been going through a bit oh a phase of reading books set in either France in general or Paris. This was not intentional though apart from one book and it was pure chance that the publishers sent these books and that I happened to read them within the space of a month. Anyway, this was the book that inspired me to take my own trip to Paris next summer and to have myself a bit of an adventure, even if it is only for a week or two. Of all the places I have been, Paris is not one of them and now, I am dying to go and explore and all because of this book. The descriptions of the places that Bea and Toph go are wonderfully written and many of the places are now where I want to go myself. I also think I may write myself a list of rules like they did for while I’m there. If you haven’t read this book and have no idea what I’m talking about, some of the things that Bea and Toph had on their list was:

Take pictures of everything…preferably in black and white
Make the most of Paris at night
No eating in places where the signs aren’t in French

I know these may sound a little bit silly, but I think it will be quite fun to have a check list for my adventure and to see how many of the things I actually do.

Sarra Manning’s writing is impeccable so there is no wonder that she is dubbed the Queen of Teen. She knows exactly how to write teenage characters and has their mannerisms, speech and thoughts down perfectly. After reading Nobody’s Girl, I immediately added every other book she has ever written in the YA genre to my wish list and cannot wait to get around to buying them. Manning is definitely a new favourite author of mine and I completely and utterly loved this book!
Profile Image for Mikaela.
6 reviews
July 3, 2010
This book leaves me upset and hurt. Sarra Manning will always be the author who made me fall in love with books, however this book to me puts her name to shame. It started out boring, with a boring character and a shitty story line. Things got better when they went overseas, especially the multiple bitch fights, and when Bea was throwing clothes out windows and writing scandals on whiteboards i have to admit i couldn't put it down.

Then we meet Toph and his gang (Just quietly i love jess, there should be a book about her.) who really make the book more interesting. I loved Toph in the beginning but i couldn't help comparing him to Dylan (Moodiest boy and one of the hottest boys in Sarra Mannings books).

i can't help but love drama. Of which this book had none. There was the whole Ruby thing but i was totally waiting for one of her psycho groupies to bring out a gun in their last stand.

But i love you Sarra, so im going to let this one slide.
Profile Image for Mireille Duval.
1,342 reviews81 followers
August 13, 2017
This was a good read! You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by the same author took me on a huge emotional ride and made me whimper good book noises, so maybe my expectations for this one were a little high. It's a pretty typical YA story, with the mean girls and the family issues and the first love, but it was well executed. I liked the European setting - I was actually planning a trip to Malaga when I read that bit, so that was amusing. The whole part with Ruby in Malaga actually made me super anxious, so, that was good writing, hah. And I loved the American gang, the Auberge espagnole feel of them traipsing over Europe. I thought the romance was fine, though it didn't give me butterflies, and I also thought the Mom story was fine.

So, basically the perfect example of a three-star rating: a little better than average, but not very memorable either!
Profile Image for Lisa.
704 reviews5 followers
September 27, 2011
Sarra Manning has become one of my favorite Y.A authors. It started with "Let's get lost" which left me sobbing, and I do mean sobbing, like a little girl. I think this is my second favorite Sarra Manning book. I love everything about it. I love the travelling and descriptions of Paris! It reminds me of "Anna and the french kiss"(or rather, "Anna and the french kiss" reminded me of this book), which is obviously a great thing.
Basically, it's a great story. I read it in one sitting. I could NOT put it down. I loved it and I got a little teary eyed at the end!

Read first on April 1st, 2011
Second time on September 27th, 2011
Profile Image for Josie.
1,485 reviews31 followers
December 19, 2012
Okay, apparently I'm never going to get around to doing a proper review for this, so have some sketchy bullet points instead:

* Gorgeous cover. ♥
* Loved how BRITISH it was! Having a Plymouth Brethren friend! Charity shops!
* The abundance of strong female characters was awesome. (Grandma Major and Grandma Minor in particular!)
* Bea herself was pretty amazing. I was completely sold on her voice, and her character arc was all kinds of wonderful.
* The American gang were great -- loved that Jess, Erin, and Bridge all had their own personalities.
* Toph was adorable! I feel sure that boys like this don't actually exist irl, but the romance between him and Bea set my heart a-flutter.
* The WRITING!!! It utterly transported me. The sense of place was fantastic -- the sunshine of Spain, the cobbled streets of France, even the suburbs of London. I could eat this book up, the writing was so good.

However, while I liked this a whole lot, it wasn't quite perfect. I'm giving it 5 stars because I'm rounding up, but I want to set out what bugged me:

* Not 100% sure about the pacing? Felt like it was kind of slow to get going, and after the stuff with Ruby it just randomly switched directions to ~European roadtrip yeah~
* The whiteboard scene was... really not that dramatic. I mean, the bit where Bea realises she's not upset, she's angry was so powerful it gave me shivers and I had to re-read it to savour the moment a bit longer. But after throwing Ruby et al's clothes out of the window and pouring all their booze down the toilet, to then write up a TIMELINE of their indiscretions felt a bit... amateur... and slightly anal. :\ I guess I just didn't get what the big deal was? For it to have had such a huge impact on Ruby and her gang seemed bizarre, since they went through boyfriends so frequently.
* I thought it was a mistake to have the week with Toph in London. I mean, yeah, nice for the reader to see that Bea's confidence transferred back to home soil re: Ruby, but the awkwardness between her and Toph seemed to take away from what they had in Paris. The pacing began to drag at that point.
* For Bea to still not be as close to her mum after a year seemed wrong? You get over these things. I wouldn't have minded if Bea was just growing up and becoming independent, but not forgiving her mum leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Everyone makes mistakes, and at the end of the day her mum was the one who was always there for her, trying to do the right thing and bring her daughter up not to make the same mistakes she did. Not knowing who your father is isn't the end of the world.

P.S. Can anyone explain the last sentence of the prologue? "I just never realised my destiny would have a really thick Spanish accent." Who on earth is that referring to?? Surely not Iban-the-lecherous-creep that Bea met in a club? Or is it supposed to be a red herring? Because all it's done is left me baffled.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bobby.
265 reviews6 followers
April 20, 2011
I went through a Sarra Manning phase when I was younger, and in a recent fit of self-inflicted reminiscing, I borrowed and read Nobody's Girl. Suffice it to say that over the years, her books have lost none of their innate ability to drag me into the story and keep me there until it's good and ready to let me go. I started reading it at gone one in the morning, so confident was I that I would soon be putting it down again, but when I closed the back cover at half past four, I didn't have a single regret.
All of Sarra Manning's books (or at least the ones which I have reade) follow the same basic principle; a young girl undertakes an adventure of some sort and in the midst of all the angst and excitement that causes, she somehow finds herself. Please don't mistake me, however - if this is formulaic, then it is very definitely a formula that works. If you think I have just given away the plot, you are very much mistaken; there are so many nuances, so many ways in which Manning communicates these feelings that every time I read one of her books, it's a new experience, regardless of whether I've read that one multiple times before. We've all been that age, we all remember that time when every small grievance against us was life-changing and our parents were out to get us. So if you're a teenager who would read along and identify, or someone who's been there, done that and are now going to dig the t-shirt out of your wardrobe and indulge in your own reminiscing, I dare you not to be moved by this wonderful story about finding oneself.
Profile Image for Michelle Sallay.
966 reviews29 followers
July 18, 2012
Originally on my blog: http://ilovedthisbook.blogspot.com

I'm kind of in love with Sarra Manning these days. In fact, I feel like I might be having some kind of one-sided book affair with her. I picked up my first Manning book on a whim, and devouring her past books has been ever so wonderful.

Nobody's Girl might be my favorite yet. A lot happens in this book, and it is one of the best coming of age stories that I have read in a long time. It might have been a bit slow going for me at first because I do not like mean girls and Bea takes some time to get a backbone, but after the big girl blow up things take a turn for the wonderful. Being in Bea's head is a delight, she is such a loveable, strong, vulnerable, real girl. Also, the love interest, Toph is so freaking adorable. He just might be one of my favorite male characters ever.
Profile Image for Claire.
93 reviews
July 15, 2011
This book was great. I read it in one sitting in about an hour and a half. Totally loved it and the bit with the whiteboard was INSPIRED! :D
Profile Image for carolina ☾.
252 reviews
Want to read
April 8, 2015
Bea thinks she's the most boring seventeen-year-old in the world... .
Me at this very moment.

Profile Image for Josephine.
354 reviews
August 27, 2017
4.5 stars. I have finally found a similar book to Anna and the French Kiss!
Profile Image for Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic).
484 reviews229 followers
September 30, 2012
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!
Profile Image for Hannah.
177 reviews89 followers
December 5, 2011
First off, I loved Bea. Not because she had amazing gifts, or because she kicked arse. But because she was like me when I was her age. Bea was kind, nice, and too shy to stand up for herself. She had a completely overprotective mother, like mine, who wouldn’t let her out of the house without some sort of emotional chastity belt on. I could completely relate to Bea, and what it felt like to be in her shoes, so when I was reading about how she stood up to the mean girls in Malaga, I practically ‘yippeed’ for her! Bea's narrative voice was also very real and genuine, perfectly portraying teenage anxieties, dreams and the occasional drunken nights.

Her relationship with her mother was fraught with tension, usually around Bea's relationship (no matter how imaginary) with boys and her mother's constant worry that Bea might lose her virginity and get pregnant as a teenager like she did. The parental chains felt so real, and I was glad that the mother's push about abstinence was tempered by Bea's physical feelings for Toph.

Bea's love interest, Toph, really won me over too. I'm getting really bored of gorgeous, sexy guys that have no substance or character to them; but Toph was different. Manning squeezed in so much about his personality, little details about the curve of his eyelashes and his quirky habits such as wearing 'I LOVE...' hats that I actually felt like I knew him as a person without thinking how hot he was.

As part of her mistaken, forbidden travels Bea ends up in Paris. References to Amelie, Audrey Hepburn and French music showed how well Bea (and Sarra Manning) had obsessed over and learnt about all things French, and even though I didn't get all the references I still loved the idea that Bea decorated her room to look like Amelie's and wanted her first kiss on the Pont Neuf! Reading about Toph and Bea's days spent wandering the streets of Paris and visiting cafes and restaurants made me want to jet off to Europe, sip coffee with a pain au chocolat and travel around with my own set of amazing but absurd rules.

Despite being a 'girl meets guy' type scenario, the plot still managed to surprise, intrigue and interest me. When Bea was confronted by the mean girls' final act of abuse, I was literally hooked to the pages and spent several nights going to bed late because I couldn't put the book down.

Genuine and true to life, Nobody's Girl had me hooked from the start and took me right back to my teenage years. My love affair for Sara Manning has now officially started.

Rating: 5*
Profile Image for Andréia.
360 reviews6 followers
November 15, 2014
Review in portuguese by blog MON PETIT POISON

Às vezes a gente quer livro alucinante e às vezes a gente quer algo que flua e seja singelo e ‘Onde Deixarei Meu Coração’ é exatamente a segunda opção, não que isso signifique que ele é ruim, ele é bonitinho, doce, nos faz pensar em algumas coisas, passamos bons momentos com ele. Não seremos arrebatados, mas será uma leitura agradável.

Comecei odiando a protagonista. Eita menina que não fazia nada para se defender, era tipo aquela pessoa capacho? Que se batem do lado direito do rosto, a pessoa mostra o esquerdo para bater? Ela é assim durante o primeiro terço do livro e ficava muito irritada. Longe de mim dizer que tudo precisa ser uma anarquia, mas gente, ninguém é tão passivo assim!!! E o pior de tudo é que não tinha um motivo realmente forte, ela apenas era...

Mas depois que a ficha cai, a personagem começa a se revelar e a crescer. E essa virada é bacana, sair atoa pelo mundo não necessariamente pode ser a melhor ideia, mas a sequencia de coisas que a fazem fazer isso foram a sacudida que ela precisava para reagir e tudo se encaixou e foi intrigante.

É um livro que fala principalmente de adolescência, desse período intenso e louco, cheio de expectativas e desejos e o quanto sem querer os pais podem prejudicar ou ajudar os filhos nesse processo (e a família toda também, porque às vezes os pais são oks, mas os primos, tios, avós não ajudam).

O romance é tão lindinho... meio utópico em alguns momentos, mas deixarei isso de lado, porque ele acontece em Paris e ele aconteceu aos poucos, então foi fofo e leve e divertido. Bem coisa de primeiro amor mesmo. Aquela leveza que apenas o primeiro amor nos dá. E o casal era bacana, bem como as pessoas que ela conheceu nesse momento doido.

A leitura flui bem rápido, ela é ágil, levemente divertida e depois que a parte da protagonista sendo ‘saco de pancada’ passa, você evolui melhor. Como tive esse ‘desentendimento’ no início, a leitura travou um pouco porque estava bem irritada, mas depois foi. É aquela leitura da tarde chuvosa e quando você termina fica aquele sorriso bobo no rosto.

Profile Image for Emilyandherlittlepinknotes.
64 reviews26 followers
May 3, 2010
I love everything about Sarra Manning’s books: writing style & characters & references (songs and general culture). J’adore Sarra Manning and I have all her books on my bookshelf.

Nobody’s girl is a coming of age story in which 17 years old Bea, the most boring seventeen-year-old in the world, embraces in a journey that will take her to Paris backpacking with a group of american students.

Every time I pick up a book from Manning I feel a perfect connection between me and her characters, she writes YA that makes my heart beat faster, it’s intense, it’s compelling.

Bea is a very different character from Edie or Molly (to mention two of my favourite heroines) , at the beginning I was afraid that she was too passive and mild for my taste, if you find yourself thinking the same do not worry as Bea really grows through the story and she will prove to be a strong minded, kick ass, passive-aggressive girl you’ll find yourself rooting for.

Toph is adorable (he is Texan not just American), again I was surprised by his personality, over the years I got used to Sarra’s toxic boys (moody troubled characters that won’t commit easily) , yet an outspoken, easy going, friendly young man like Toph is a welcome addiction to the YA romantic gallery.

You have to read this because:

* Bea is a dreamer, if you enjoy daydreaming and playing adventure inside your head you’ll probably connect to her deeply;

* there is a great playlist, you can check it out on Sarra’s blog;

* most of the story takes place in Paris, it will encourage you to pack your bag and book an inter – rail in one of the most beautiful city in the world;

* it’s real, this is the kind of adventure that can really happen when you are 17 (when I was 17 I was actually backpacking between Barcelona and Lisbon and that experience was unique and unforgettable);

* it’s a love story;

* once you start you’ll feel compelled to stay up all night and finish it;

* once you read a book written by Sarra you will feel compelled to read all the others, she is amazing and it will be worth it;
Profile Image for Jim Dean.
90 reviews147 followers
December 27, 2010
17 year old Bea is obsessed with France. Who wouldn't be, when they had a Parisian father they'd never met? Especially when life back home with an over-protective mother and rather boring friends is so, well, dull. At least it is until Ruby takes an interest in her. Falling under the spell of her school's most glamorous girl, Bea finds herself agreeing to go on holiday to Spain with Ruby and her mates. Except when she gets there, she's suddenly kicked out of the in crowd. What's a girl to do? Crawl home to her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother? Or head off to Paris to search for her long lost dad?

Of course, she chooses Paris, and meets a new group of friends, some American backpackers - rather nicer this time, especially the gorgeous Toph. Ignoring her mother's demands for her to return home, Bea finds solace in her new companions and falls completely in love with the city - and possibly with a certain boy as well. Are they meant for each other? Or is Bea destined to be Nobody's Girl forever?

Sarra Manning is one of my favourite YA authors and delivers another funny, romantic and fast-paced read here with lots of great characters. I thought Bea's family - especially the grandmothers - were particularly strong and liked the way the two groups Bea travelled with were fleshed out as well; it was interesting to see the way Bea's impressions of some of her companions changed throughout the book.

The romance develops nicely and I also thought it was interesting that Toph was such a nice guy generally - compared to some previous Manning leading men he's an absolute angel. Bea, as I've come to confidently expect from Sarra, is a fantastic narrator who really comes of age during the course of the book.

A final thing - Manning's descriptions of Paris are particularly strong - so much so that I've caught myself considering leaping on a plane at least two or three times since finishing the book!

High recommendation, particularly to fans of Sarah Dessen, Simone Elkeles and Cecily von Ziegesar.
6 reviews
June 21, 2012
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 heals Bea's hurting heart.

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?
I loved nobody’s girl it was a pure delight to read i really enjoyed it. It is an all round book that can be read anytime of the year. I have actually lost count how many times i have read it. You wont want to finish it in one sitting it is that good. If i could describe it in two words i would say just WOW and Exciting.
You will feel so many different emotions reading it you will be broken hearted one minute and it will be glued back together in the same sentence
shout out to sarra manning for writing such a brilliant book!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Resident Optimist.
321 reviews3 followers
December 7, 2015
Very unrealistic, no parent would let their seventeen year old daughter go to a foreign country if they didn't want to and definitely would not give in to peer pressure from a 'famous star'. The likelihood that she DID go, all that drama happened and then she met some American tourists that she got along with was unrealistic too. In reality, she'd probably find a police officer/figure of authority and explain her situation, get directed to the British embassy and be on the next flight home. How naive must the Americans be to meet a girl at a diner and suddenly decide to take her under their wing and decide to let her live with them and take her with them to Paris. What if she had robbed them of all their possessions? Seriously. They were just like 'Oh. She looks sad. Let's help her and mother her until she's happy again.' x_x

Very cliquey. The whole Ruby is on a pedestal thing was so off it was unreal. These things don't happen in real life. Year 13's do not look up to a year 12 student and have the rest of the school worship that girl. I'm from London, I've never in my life witnessed such a thing.

Bea wasn't a very likable character, she was immature, never considered her mother's points, never even thought to consider her mother's feelings and has too many spur-of-the-moment impulses. Also, she was oblivious to almost everything. Even when things were OBVIOUS to her, she thought the complete obvious - this happened like 5 times throughout the whole book. 'He keeps staring at her every so often and is jealous of other guys touching her.' - 'Oh he must be angry about how rude I was earlier.' You've got to be stupid not to see these things. Bea herself points these things out and then waves them off.

Editing was a bit shoddy, there are quite a few misspelt words and words that should not even be where they are.

The entire story is very predictable and you can pretty much guess what the end of the story will be.
Profile Image for Renata.
7 reviews
March 11, 2016
3.5/5 estrelas

Vamos lá. Esse livro começou de um jeito bem divertido e bastante previsível, posso dizer. Mas o jeitinho que a autora fez pra que as coisas fossem tomando rumo foi autêntico — pelo menos em alguns pontos altos do livro. Foram essas atitudes que me fizeram amar a personagem à cada página que eu lia, afinal, ela estava crescendo e tomando decisões que tinham a dose certa, como aquela cena no apartamento na Espanha. Sério. Incrível.

Mas, ao mesmo tempo que isso acontecia, foi com que eu fosse criando uma expectativa tão grande em cima de toda a trama, da própria Bea, que, em certo ponto, fiquei desapontada com algumas escolhas feitas pela personagem. Eu entendi o por quê de estarem ali mas parecia que a autora estava preocupada em criar um confusão onde, na verdade, não tinha fundamento nenhum, sabe? A mesma coisa com o cliffhanger pertinho do final: parecia que a estória precisou ser empurrada de qualquer jeito com cenas românticas que, aparentemente, iriam convencer o leitor. Fiquei bem desapontada com isso.

Por outro lado, o que me deixa indignada é porque a trama toda do casal não merecia um final tão apressado como esse. As cenas dos dois desde Bilbao até o restante da semana são verdadeiramente sinceras e, deixa eu te falar, lindinhas. Sim, lindinhas. O Toph e a Bea são umas coisinhas preciosas e essa viagem toda por Paris só me deixou morrendo de vontade de ir pra Europa de uma vez.

É uma leitura bem divertida (de novo) sobre se conhecer e aprender a ser melhor, fazer algumas bobagens e tentar concerta-las pelo caminho. Uma pena que tenha sido ofuscado desse jeito, pelo menos para mim, por esses pequenos detalhes. Acabei um pouquinho irritada com a Bea: parecia que ela não tinha amadurecido nada lá para o final. E não sei se culpo a Sarra Manning ou a personagem por isso. Talvez as duas.

Profile Image for evelina.
43 reviews
February 16, 2023
Nobody's Girl totally surprised me. I didn't have very high expectations, and I only read it because I didn't have anything else to read at the moment. But since Anna and The French Kiss, I've become this total sucker for anything French. So it was kinda obvious I was going to fall in love with this novel too.

Lets just start with the fact that this books just tells us how EVIL girls can be. Ruby and her gang are so mean, you think it just exists in fiction but thats the thing. It doesn't. I can name at least 10 girls in this town that would actually do that to another girl. And it sucks. But the way Bea gets back at them is worth gold. Is it wrong? Yes. Was it really necessary? No, not really. Did they deserve it? YES!!!!!! I sat there, laughing at all the things she did. They totally had it coming their way. You know, what goes around comes around. And all the things she wrote on the white board was.... well, worth gold. Just the way she did everything made me love Bea as a character so much.

Already on the first page, Sarra had me hooked and just after a chapter I realized that Bea is the fiction version of me. I can find at least 20 quotes that will prove that she and I are so much alike its scary. I actually read several of them to my friend and he laughed so hard because everything I read was so me. It was just SO ME. I'm going to have to buy the book so that I can mark out all the things that reminded me of myself because there were a few. I loved it anyways, it made it more realistic and it kinda made me love this book more than I probably would have if she hadn't reminded me so much of myself.

Everything in this book is awesome. Its the definition of awesome. Her obsession with France, her grandma's, Toph's adorableness and how she totally put Ruby on the spot. I loved it. Every second of it.
Profile Image for Kirsty .
3,463 reviews329 followers
January 27, 2015
Where's do I start with the gushing about how much I loved this book because quite honestly I don't think I can say enough good things about it.

I loved nobody's girl and I think a bit reason why I did was because I really 'got' Bea. Quite honestly the way she describes her life, her social situations etc this book could have been lifted from pages of my diary at the same ages (had I kept one that is). She was brilliantly written and I thought this was especially the case when you saw the way in which Bea interacted with both her friends but also with the popular girls whom she wanted to accept her. She just captured the way in which at 17 you think everything going on around you is so vitally important but yet at the same time it really isn't and it said a lot about the fragility of the popularity hierarchy in your average high school where the nasty bitch queen bee rules and others just try to survive without incurring her wrath and yet as soon as you are out of the situation it no longer matters.

Without going into too much detail about the storyline things really kicked off more me once Bea had the chance to be her own person more and you could really see her grow as a character. I loved seeing her becoming the person she wanted to be rather than the person she was expected to be or told to be and I loved seeing her gain that confidence she had never had before.

This ramble on wouldn't be complete without a Toph mention. That boy *sigh* ....... Anyways I loved him lots especially when you saw the influence his presence had on Bea and the way in which that moulded Bea becoming the character she was by the end of the book.

I also loved the brief Jeane (from adorkable) cameo in a super geeky way!

A fab read which I completely enjoyed. A perfect YA read.
Profile Image for Sophie Elizabeth.
16 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2010
This gets four stars in my book: and the detraction of one star is only because I'm quite choosy about that fifth star. It's one of the best YA books I've ever read, but in saying that, I have been reading some truly astounding books of late so my comparisons are tainted.

I cannot pick many flaws out in this book: it was atmostpheric, quirky, funny, intelligent... Sarra Manning's writing is improving (I fell in love with her writing when I read "Guitar Girl"... and then I devoured "Pretty Things" and "Let's Get Lost") in its eloquency and its use of description.

I had been reading about Paris not long before this novel: I had dipped back into Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat": and that was an altogether different Paris that I was living in, it was snow covered and full of death and decay. I was immediately taken with this book because of the fact it was by an author I love (she's one of the top YA authors that I can think of - probably even better than Sarah Dessen because her novels don't seem so formulated) and because I was already absorbed in its setting.

What struck me about this book was the atmosphere: it made all those little romantic clichés seem new and beautiful again (kissing on the Pont Neuf... awwww).
I liked the characters an awful lot: I even liked the characters I hated, because they were so well-drawn. Ruby, who doesn't know a Ruby? And Bea... I sympathise with her living inside her own head - I'm a fool for that, myself.

This is a perfect example of YA fiction at its best: it is simple, easy, clever and it makes you feel.
946 reviews
June 30, 2012
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.

A lovely, easy-to-read story. The author certainly seems to be able to get into the teenage mind!
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