17 December 2010

Unsticky - Sarra Manning

Unsticky by Sarra Manning
published May 2009
chick-lit/contemporary romance
copy bought with my own money

23 year old Grace Reeve's life is not as it should be. Once again a boyfriend dumps her (on her birthday!), she has debts due to shopping binges and at work she earns next to nothing and is treated badly. When her life threatens to overwhelm her older and rich art dealer Vaughn offers the solution to her problems. He is willing to give her a large sum of money if she will be his mistress for the next months. For 7000 pounds a month Grace will be whatever Vaughn needs her to be (being lovers included). Soon sharing an intimate relationship with him, planning parties and entertaining his business partners is part of Grace's life.
But what will happen when the time with Vaughn is up? Will Grace be able find her own way in life and will the relationship with Vaughn change from business to something else?

When I first discovered "Unsticky" some weeks ago I was unsure if I would enjoy the book. The story is a bit different from what I ususally read but I decided to give it a try. And I'm so happy that I did take the chance because this book is amazing. 
There are funny, serious, lovely and sad parts in the book. If you expect a light-hearted story like in the "Shopaholic" - series then you will be disappointed. "Unsticky" is more serious and Grace's situation is not whitewashed. And she actually learns something from her situation and manages to change her life. Sarra Manning's writing style is very engaging and I was always interested to read on. Although the book has over 500 pages it was a fast read because every page was fascinating.   

Grace and Vaughn are both very complex and flawed characters. And even though I wanted to shake both several times I was always interested in their lifes and hoped that they would overcome their issues. 

Grace's decision to accept Vaughn's offer and to "work" for him was understandable from her point of view. Both her interest in Vaughn and the money made her say yes to his offer. I don't want to start a moral debate about her decision but like I said, from her point of view is was logical in a weird way. I wasn't shocked by Vaughn's offer or that Grace accepted it however I think some readers might be. 
Grace is a very interesting character and her reasons for getting into debt were not shopping because it's fun but because it helped her to forget feeling worthless. It was sad to read how she doubted her worth and I was so happy when she managed to get more self-confident.

"... I just feel like, like ... I'm just not good enough, not ever. I'm not worth anything. And sometimes I feel it so much, like there's this big hole inside me and I don't know how to fix it so I go and buy all this stuff because if I have these pretty, expensive things then it must mean that I'm worth something."

The description of her job situation seems to be spot-on, many people that work as assistents in the fashion industry (for example at magazines) really earn a pittance but still have to be dressed up in chic clothes. I would love to know how much of what happens at the magazine where Grace works is based on real experiences by the author.
Grace was sometimes bitchy, she lied, she pouted and and I loved these aspects of her personality because we all do such things. Vaughn was just as flawed and broken as Grace but in a different way. She was without any self-confidence at the beginning of the book while Vaughn was arrogant and sometimes even a bit cruel. His business and making money were the main interests in his life.
Grace and Vaughn fit together like two pieces of broken glass. Their relationship was never easy and I enjoyed reading about the up and downs they had. I liked that their relationship changed slowly. At first it was like a business but then slowly Grace and Vaughn developed feelings for each other. Even the moments when Vaughn acted like a total a.. worked for me. That way the changes in him towards the end of the book became even more obvious.

"We're not objectionable," Grace contradicted. "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"

I was very happy with the end of the book and I'm already super excited for "You don't have to say you love me", the next adult book by Sarra Manning (she also writes YA). 

I loved that they got a happy end. Even though Vaughn did some mean things to Grace I was sure that he was in love with her. He just wasn't couragous enough to stand to his feelings. Grace was the active one at the end of the book and I really liked the person she became through the time with Vaughn. I loved that in the end they were together because they wanted to and because they were happy in each others presence. Even though their relationship started very unconventional in the end they were a pretty normal and happy pair. Both will never be "perfect" but that's exactly why so fit so perfectly.  

I'm in love with the cover and think that it's the perfect choice for "Unsticky". 

final appraisal
Before starting this book I was unsure if I would enjoy it however my fears were absolutly unfounded. Everything that happened in "Unsticky" worked for me and I loved reading about the two very flawed main characters and about their unusual relationship. Sarra Manning's writing style was very engaging and made me want to read more by her. I was very happy and satisfied with the end and the way Grace and Vaughn changed throughout the book. 


  1. You made me want to read it, but 500 pages? That's a lot. I'll check it out, though.

    1. Trust me, you don't want it to end! Lol! ;-)

  2. Sounds good. I am so thirsty for more contemporary romance.




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