Let's Get Lost

Let's Get Lost

4.4 55
by Sarra Manning

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A compelling YA novel from the best-selling author of Guitar Girl!

Isabel is the girl who rules the school with an iron fist and a gang of minions who do her bidding. Her friends are scared of her, her teachers can’t get through to her, and that’s just the way she likes it. With her razor-sharp edges and tall walls, nothing gets to

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A compelling YA novel from the best-selling author of Guitar Girl!

Isabel is the girl who rules the school with an iron fist and a gang of minions who do her bidding. Her friends are scared of her, her teachers can’t get through to her, and that’s just the way she likes it. With her razor-sharp edges and tall walls, nothing gets to Isabel—and no one, but no one, is ever going to discover her dark, sad secrets. Then she meets Smith. And Isabel learns that sometimes when all the expectations and pressures are too much, you just need someone to help you get lost.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leslie Wolfson
It's difficult to like Isabel Clarke, the main character in this young adult novel. Her mother recently died in a car crash, but it hasn't slowed Isabel down at all. She is the teenager from hell—she stays out late, smokes cigarettes, gets roaring drunk at parties, makes out with guys she barely knows, is disrespectful to her father and other authority figures, and is unrelentingly nasty to her fellow students. She's not even nice to her best friends, or "minions," who she calls "The Trio of Evil." Although she is a straight-A student, her behavior at school also leaves much to be desired; among her underhanded moves, she takes an incriminating photograph on her cell phone of a fellow student in a compromising position, and then posts it on the Internet. It's clear that Isabel doesn't like herself any more than she does anyone else, and she justifies her behavior by saying, "It's not like I enjoy it. It's just what I have to do to get through school." Once she meets Atticus Smith, her world changes. He is a free-spirited college student, unlike anyone Isabel has ever met before, and he appears to like her despite her nastiness. Their emerging relationship is based on a series of lies, which eventually backfires. Isabel is clearly unable and unwilling to deal with her mother's death, and drives everyone she cares about away from her. Her tough, I-don't-need-anyone attitude wears thin, and it may be hard for readers to feel much empathy for her. Thankfully, Isabel is somewhat redeemed by the end of the book.
KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Isabel is a high school student in trouble. She has survived years of bullying by bullying back. She is caustic in her remarks and brutal in her verbal attacks. Classmates had hoped for some softening now that she has recently experienced the death of her mother; they were wrong. She is proud of her reputation as a "mean girl," or at least that is the impression she gives. Isabel convinces herself that nothing has changed, that her attitude is necessary and that she is in control. When she meets Smith, an older college student, she is drawn into a relationship built on lies and in a sexual relationship she cannot help but talk about. She manipulates friends to cover for her but they decide to fight back, getting her into trouble with school officials and her father. Standing up to her is no easy task and when her father uses tough love to try to reestablish his authority, she balks and runs away. It is only after Isabel's lies have collapsed around her that she is able to face the truth, both the truth about herself and the truth about her mother's death. This is a compelling novel but one filled with rough language, vulgar British slang, inappropriate behavior and sexual references. Isabel has become hard in order to keep her soft side from showing. Ultimately it takes the caring relationships with Smith and her father to keep her from destroying herself.
VOYA - Kathie Fitch
Isabel lets no one in her life. She is sarcastic and rude to everyone at school. Her home life is almost unbearable as she has shouting matches with her lonely father, who continues to grieve over her mother's death, resulting in punishments of being confined to her room and the silent treatment from him. Her nine-year-old brother also incurs her wrath with his pranks as he tries to gain her attention. She has three girlfriends whom she bullies into submission. One night they go to a local club where she meets Smith, real name Atticus, and she tells him that she is eighteen and out of school when actually she is sixteen and very much in school. She is attracted to him but maintains her aloof image. They exchange iPods, thus insuring a future meeting. As their stormy relationship builds so do a myriad of Isabel's lies and deceptions to him and to her father. Predictably her friends gang up on her to cause her downfall by informing Smith of her real age and her father of her activities. It is painful to watch Isabel self-destruct with her family and the boy she eventually loves enough to have her first sexual experience. There is also a veiled impression that she had something to do with her mother's death, another secret she keeps locked inside. The haughty, arrogant girl at the beginning of the book slowly emerges as a scared teenager desperate for love and self-worth. The use of British slang might annoy some readers, but it is in keeping with the story. The ending is hopeful if not happy.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Isabel, 16, is not the warmest soul. She credits her "place at the top of the school pecking order" to her status as "the biggest bitch to ever stalk" the halls of the institution. She rules the roost at home, too; her father's attempts to set limits are met with sharp retorts and defiance. No one could ever guess how uncertain and frightened she feels. She has horrible nightmares on the few nights she is able to sleep and, more often than not, drinks to ease any doubts about her burgeoning relationship with a college student whom she met at a party. The teen's prickly nature and first-strike mentality are explained in part by the recent death of her mother; however, while readers may in fact know people like Isabel, she is not easy to relate to or even care about. Upon discovering her father's plans to send her away to school, she seeks solace in alcohol and in former enemies, and ends up narrowly avoiding tragedy. The resolution seems inevitable, yet is not completely satisfying. Veteran readers of Manning might be interested in the activities of Isabel's boyfriend, Smith, and his roommates, who are ex-members of the band The Hormones from the author's Guitar Girl (Dutton, 2004).-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Isabel, a 16-year-old British teen, passes herself off as 18 to hook up with an older boy, embarks on alcohol binges, bullies classmates, is rude and is oh-so-bored-with-it-all-but she is covering up deep emotional pain. The problem is readers are not clued in to her past until the last 20 pages. Until the cause of the pain is revealed, Isabel comes across as an unreasonably angry shrew. She crushes on Smith, the older guy with whom she loses her virginity, and then emotionally slams him. Unwilling to broadcast the sexual relationship, or end it, Isabel deceives her father and friends and sneaks off to passionate weekends in Smith's arms. Manning provides an all-access portrait of a hurting and at-risk girl, causing the work to read a bit long. That said, this title will please fans of teen titles featuring bold and layered female characters such as Joyce Carol Oates's Big Mouth and Ugly Girl (2002) or Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (May 2006), co-authored by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. (Fiction. YA)

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Penguin Young Readers Group
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Penguin Group
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Age Range:
12 Years

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