Dear Sarra Manning

Allow me to begin by saying how absolutely jealous of every romantic relationship each of your protagonists have had. I mean, does a girl have to move to England if she wants a complex, a textured, a somewhat existing love life?

But your books were about more than romance; you tackled body-image, grief, self-love, friendship, and family dynamics. Each of your characters exhibited a form of strength in their own unique ways that were inspiring and relatable.

Though it’s hard to choose, my favorite book is Let’s Get Lost.

let's get lost

Isabel’s defense mechanism was one that resonated with me. She was so layered and the structure of the novel kept you guessing about what was fact and what was fiction. You handled grief in such a delicate yet poignant way that made me revaluate the way I treated my mother. Isabel was a mess and watching her crumble was as painful as it was cathartic. I felt like I was looking in a reflection at  girl who was so coded, guarded, and hidden by defenses that no one–not even the people who cared–could get in. You beautifully and realistically showed that none of those defenses can fight the true source behind them. You managed to create a dynamic character arch and enriching plot without leaving me feeling manipulated. It inspired me and intimidated me, as a writer, I’ve always admired the honesty in your work.

There is a vulnerability in each of your female characters that my teenaged self could relate to. They were not perfect, but then again who is. They were a mess the way that I was as a teenager and still am in my twenties, but they were actively trying to cope and grow and learn (a painful process that no one has a more acute skill for illustrating than yourself). You are the absolute queen of Teen Lit because you see the experience for the visceral and life-altering journey that it is.

Thank you for understanding, thank you for writing.

xoxo

Stephanie

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