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Pretty Things

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,609 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Brie is in love with Lancôme Juicy Tubes, Louis Vuitton accessories, and her gay best friend Charlie, who is in love with 1960s pop art, 1980s teen movies, and serial heartbreaker Walker, who has ever only been in love with his VW Bug, until he meets Daisy . . . who is too busy hating everyone to know what love is. Set in London, this girl-loves-boy-loves-boy-loves-girl ro ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 17th 2007 by Puffin (first published January 13th 2005)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,609 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Agatha Lund
Sep 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult, 2007
I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this one when I started, but it turned out to be a real page-turner for me. Four British teenagers working on a summer production of The Taming of the Shrew, and Brie is in love with her gay best friend Charlie, Charlie is in love with straight boy Walker, and Walker is in love with Daisy, who's a lesbian. From there the standard hijinks ensue, but I ended up really enjoying Brie, Charlie and Walker (Daisy not so much) and I found myself pulling for them to all ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Yeah, this one was... not great. None of the characters were likeable, not in a cool complex way, just in a... wow, I really hate you kind of way. The fatphobia, ableism & classism was beyond belief, and there was a lot of homophobia too, plus a healthy dose of misogyny. Sometimes it was checked- Daisy called out a lot of Walker's rampant sexism- but other times it wasn't, and also the characters calling it out were often made out to be angry and over-reacting. I am all up for books that look at ...more
Aug 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, queer
YA Fiction. Four teenagers spend their summer putting on a production of The Taming of the Shrew. The chapters alternate between their POVs as they fuck around and treat each other terribly, think Sex and the City with London teenagers -- just as concerned with appearances, and just as superficial. But, like SatC, it grew on me. I ended up liking three of the four narrators, and even started to care about their tiny teenaged disasters. Of the four, we've got the straight girl who wishes her gay ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
My first ever low rating for a Sarra Manning what is the world coming to!!
Rosie Ellen
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A nice light read, I'd have loved it as a teenager. Not sure how I missed this author in my devouring of mid 00s YA lit.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of "Diva Without a Cause" or "Confessions of Georgia Nicolson", if there are any; masochists
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morgan F
Nah. I wasn't a fan of the book. I thought it would be more interesting and funnier, but it just pissed me off. The plot was very thin, the only real resolution was Brie gaining convidence. The only thing that happened over the course of the novel was that all the teens managed to get really drunk, sleep with each other, and get really really angry at one another. Half the book was just the characters complaining and using a lot of bad language. It didn't bring about any earth-shattering realiza ...more
app!e ♥ f!avour
This book was really good and I really enjoyed at 1st when my freind grace recommeneded it to me I read the 1st page and I thought it was absolutely rubbish but then I really got into it and before I knew it I was sucked into the book itself!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
it was good but didnt like it that much
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book once before but for some reason didn’t think it was that good. I found it the other day, and now I’m older I found it was one of the best books I’ve read for a while. It wasn’t extraordinary, but the simple plot I hadn’t been drawn to before actually ended up captivating me so I never wanted it put it down. It’s never said, but I think this book serves to remind us of all the beauty in the world and how each character represents each human that is beautiful, even when they’re an ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story was outstanding!! I fell in love with the characters and their backstories! I didn't think I would really like the book but it ended up not being boring. I love it!!
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.

I've been a fan of Sarra Manning's for a while, but hadn't yet got to Pretty Things, so was excited to see when doing my research for LGBTQ Month that Pretty Things fit the bill, especially as it was already on my shelf. And just the other Manning novels I've read, Pretty Things is amazing!

The blurb makes it sound complicated, but it's not. Each of the four teens narrates the story in alternating chapters. Obsessed with fashion and make-up, and known for
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
The weirdest thing about novels set in England or Australia or somewhere like that is you can’t hear their lovely accents. Seriously – if it wasn’t for the occasional ‘bloody’ and cues like that, you’d never even know where the book was set. Anyway….

I don’t really understand how the title relates to the book. “Pretty Things”? It has nothing to do with gay people or plays or unreturned love or anything else. Nothing that’s actually in the book draws it in. I just don’t get it.

Here’s a description
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a young adult book. It’s about four young adults who are going through the drama of relationships and love. The first character is Brie. She has a lot of issues to deal with throughout this book, but the main one is that she is in love with her best friend Charlie. There’s just one problem. Charlie’s gay. Along with this problem, Brie is super self conscious. She’s obsessed with her designer brands, fake tan, and calorie intake. Charlie is a care free kind of guy who tries to help ...more
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I must confess I do not remember how I came by this book. Did I buy this book off a second hand book stall? Did I order it off some online book shop? Was I gifted this book? My memory being what it is, I should go back to writing the and the venue of purchase on the fly leaf. It is a good habit that I have lost in recent times.

This novel is touted as a Splashproof beach read and has a 100% waterproof cover. By rights it should be something you read and feel faintly dissatisfied with. Or you shou
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Okay, I got some time to do this. WARNING: if it doesn't make sense at any point, just tell me because I am unbelievably tired right now and all Disney-ish because I just watched Pocahontas II.

Righto. I bought this book in a discount book store in Florida for $2.99 even though it's set in England and Sarra Manning is also an English author. So yeah, I brought it home.

Brie and Charlie are best friends. Brie is in love with Lancome Juict Tubes and Charlie...who is also gay. Charlie is in love wi
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
This review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies

Despite loving Sarra Manning's other books (both YA and adult!), I've had Pretty Things by Sarra Manning unread on my shelves for absolutely ages. I'm not sure why, but possibly that far too colourful and cheerful looking cover?

Either way, I've read it now and I really enjoyed it. Sarra Manning really knows how to tell a story and pull me into it. Pretty Things is the story of four teenagers over the course of a summer as they're all tak
When I first started reading this book I loved it, it was funny and I loved all four characters. The plot was really interesting and I was totally sucked in. I literally could not put it down (I started this last night and I finish it the next afternoon). I was sure I was going to give it 5 stars but halfway though the book, things went downhill. The plot became kind of stupid and Daisy just became extremely annoying and was a total witch to everybody, especially Walker. She was selfish and real ...more
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty Things is a coming of age story that revolves around four teenagers in Northern London. The four of them are in a drama production for the summer, working on "The Taming of The Shrew". Each chapter is narrated by the four characters.
Brie is a girly-girl who cares about fashion and her self image. She is in love with her best friend, Charlie, who is gay. Charlie is a fan of pop art. He is in love with a heartbreaker named Walker. Walker is a "womanizer", charming girls with his looks so th
I don't know why I'm on such a Sarra Manning kick at the moment, but I'm just going to ride it while it lasts. This is perhaps the weakest of her books that I've read to date (all two of them), but at the same time there is much that should be applauded.

While I'm not entirely convinced that there isn't an underlying heternormative impulse to the narrative, Manning had not one but two gay characters, whilst also exploring ideas of sexual fluidity, polyamory and garden variety teenage confusion.

Rachel 💚
Jan 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is very, erm, screwed up romantically. Girl meets boy meets boy meets girl and that sort of thing. I don't really know what to make of it; my friend (who recommended it to me) thought it was hilarious, but other people kind of turned away when I tried to explain the plot to them.

What really caught my attention is the thick use of British English in a republished US edition. Most publishers try to translate the slang, but this book left it as is. It's kind of difficult to sort through
Alannah Clarke
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Pretty Things is written by British author Sara Manning. This is the first book that I've read by Manning. I feel that this book is almost perfect for teenagers because it goes through finding your sexual identity.

The novel follows four teenagers who participate in a day time drama school during the summer. These four teenagers Daisy, Brie, Charlie and Walker all appear to suffer from sexual identity. These people aren't exactly great friends but they do know each other and so this summer embark
Taylor Beth Mulholland
I'll be honest, this sort of book doesn't usually appeal to me, I think I picked it up on a buy 1 get 1 half price deal. I first read this in 1st year of high school so I was 12 at the time. The themes were a little much for me at the time. I enjoyed it for the characters, the book has four very distinct voices.
I don't like to re-read books, this one does break my rule. I've read it so much, a few years between each reading and I usually get something new out of it. Last time I read it was last
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty Things sounds like a great book to read in the summer, and that's why I picked it up.
We follow four teens: Charlie, Brie, Daisy, and Walker, who come together over the summer for a theater group. I enjoyed that it was told in alternating perspectives. That really helped make the point that we all think we have people pegged. We even think we have ourselves pegged sometimes. But people are fluid, ever changing, ever growing. People surprise us. We surprise ourselves.
That's really what Pre
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ukya, uk-author, lgbt
For me this book was about being a teenager, finding out who you are and who you want to be and the complexities of teenage relationships.

I enjoyed pretty things purely because I thought it was a bit different. It is told via split narrative from all four of the main characters.

It contains characters that are gay and not for the sake of it which is something that can annoy me and does a lot of challenge the different ways in which people view and treat gay teenagers which I really liked.

I love
Nov 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Was very disappointed with how Daisy's story turned out - other reviews have mentioned that the book seems to suggest you can just choose your sexuality, and that is what I basically took from this book. However, I've pretty sure the author wanted to show love just happens, doesn't matter what gender (kind of like the film Chasing Amy) but I don't think she did it very well. I think I was mainly disappointed that I'd finally found a YA book about gay and lesbian teenagers and hoped they'd be por ...more
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I read is faster than I've read any other book and I'm not huge on reading. It has four main characters and they're all very different but super. The setting is in England and they all drink. There is Charlie, Brie, Walker, and Daisy. Charlie and Brie are best friends and do everything together. Charlies gay but Brie is convinced that he can just change that and love her back. Walker is a player and Daisy is lesbian. Walker still tries to get with her and over the s ...more
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Pretty Things is a humorous novel about the relationships with different orientations. The four main characters of this story would be Brie, Charlie, Walker, and Daisy. Brie is in love with her best friend, Charlie who apparently is gay and crushing on Walker, the heartbreaking jerk. Well, that's not just yet. Walker thinks that he truly loves a girl named Daisy, who knows better than to get involved with a guy like him.

This is a funny book because it shows how complicated love can get. The auth
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What to say about "Pretty Things" hmm...I have read this book numerous times in my preteen years, rereading it now as an adult I find that I still love it. It has the British young adult slang that makes it feel just posh enough to get into the characters. Each character is different in their own unique way which is exciting because it's pretty tough to keep a story interesting with 4 POVs. It made you feel, it was funny, it was relatable, it wasn't just chick lit, it was an experience where you ...more
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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

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“Brie! Do Beyonce or Christina or whichever lame MTV diva you're mostly admiring this week waste their time with what-ifs? No, they spend all their energy on looking fabulous and cutting down any bitch that dares get in their way.-Charlie” 19 likes
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