London Belongs To Us by Sarra Manning, published by Hot Key Books on 2nd June 2016
Seventeen-year-old Sunny's always been a little bit of a pushover. But when she's sent a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she knows she's got to act. What follows is a mad, twelve-hour dash around London - starting at 8pm in Crystal Palace (so far away from civilisation you can't even get the Tube there) then sweeping through Camden, Shoreditch, Soho, Kensington, Notting Hill . . . and ending up at 8am in Alexandra Palace.
Along the way Sunny meets a whole host of characters she never dreamed she'd have anything in common with - least of all the devilishly handsome (and somewhat vain) French 'twins' (they're really cousins) Jean Luc and Vic. But as this love-letter to London shows, a city is only a sum of its parts, and really it's the people living there who make up its life and soul. And, as Sunny discovers, everyone - from friends, apparent-enemies, famous bands and even rickshaw drivers - is willing to help a girl on a mission to get her romantic retribution.
I thought I would enjoy this title a lot as I've really liked all of Sarra Manning's previous books. Unfortunately it just didn't grab my attention and it seemed too much like other stories I've read before. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for contemporary YA when I picked it up, but for me, it was more of a miss than a hit.
The main character Sunny spends most of the book, which takes place throughout the course of one night, on the hunt for her runaway, potentially cheater, boyfriend. Her travels take her to numerous well-known areas of London, including Mayfair, Soho and Camden (Ahh Camden, I know it well). What frustrated me was that I wanted to shout at her not to bother, to forget all about Mark and go home instead, rather than traipse all over London for someone that she shouldn't waste her time on. On the other hand, I did enjoy being reminded about how diverse and varied London is and how much the City has to offer. It's one of my favourite places to visit so it was fun to see some of the areas I haven't been to before.
The ending was a bit too clichéd for my tastes and I felt that it didn't really offer anything new to the reader. It's such a shame because the book sounded good and I thought it would be great fun, but in the end it fell flat for me and was a struggle to finish.