All tagged British

A Feel-Good Novel with Surprising Weight: It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning

But then again, one kiss from someone could mean more than a two-year relationship with someone else. A kiss could change your life.

Sarra Manning’s Unsticky is a novel I recommend all the time—I love how Manning plays with common tropes and archetypes, subverting them into fresh and witty stories. Her newest novel, It Felt Like a Kiss, is no different. And, it has the added bonus of being something of a companion novel to Unsticky, as Vaughn from that novel plays an important role in this one as the owner of the art gallery where It Felt Like a Kiss protagonist Ellie Cohen works.

Ellie lives a carefully-produced life, a reaction to her chaotic, bohemian upbringing with her musician mother.

...when all around you was chaos, you needed to find some area of your life that you could control and let that define you. It didn’t matter that she was on free schoolmeals and had a mother who wore leopard-print catsuits and dressed her in charity-shop clothes, when Ellie had the neatest handwriting in her class and was homework monitor five years in a row. Or when she had a tidier bedroom and better manners than her many cousins, who all lived in two-parent, semi-detached splendour in Belsize Park. When your boss was giving you hell and your flatmates were fighting and you’d been dumped again, there was something cathartic and peaceful in spending the afternoon in your pristine, minimalist office, rearranging your reference books by height and colour. So, a girl who could parade around Glastonbury in a spotless white dress was a girl who was calm and in control. Sometimes you had to fake it to make it.

Review: Unsticky by Sarra Manning

“We're broken. It's like we have all these jagged edges that scare other people off, but when we're with each other, our jagged edges fit together and we're almost whole.”

On paper, Sarra Manning's Unsticky has all the trappings of a novel I should hate: a wealthy man; a desperate, naive young women and an outlandish scenario throwing the two together. 

And yet, it came highly recommended by Angie, whose taste is excellent and is very similar to my own. (also excellent) taste. And where other books with similar plots enrage me, Unsticky enthralled me. I lost sleep and fought through weary eyes to get through this captivating 550-page novel.

Grace is a recent almost-grad (there was an incident at her senior show that prevented her from actually graduating from college) who partied too hard, hooked up with too many losers, is drowning in debt and working in a dead end job at a fashion assistant at a magazine where she seems destined to never get her shot.

At one of her lowest moments, Grace meets Vaughn, an older--extremely wealthy art dealer--who has an intriguing, and disturbing proposition for her: in exchange for thousands per month, she'll be at his beck and call, host his parties, and be his arm candy whenever she's needed. Desperate for cash and in need of something--anything--different in her life, Grace signs a six-month agreement and she's quickly drawn into Vaughn's world of privilege and society.

Sound familiar

Actually, Unsticky isn't what you think.