ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 38

Rave reviews for teen author

Thirteen-year-old Sara Samarasinghe living in the US is making waves with her novel ‘Dalaina’, recently published by U.K based Barnes and Noble.

Sara has chosen to write about what she is most familiar with and her novel captures the experiences of a teenage girl, and her brush with the politics of adolescent relationships and cliques. The result is a teenage drama, laced with suspense and emotion.

Dalaina follows the story of thirteen-year-old Lola Selina. Lola comes from a wealthy family, but has never been far away from her mansion. The daughter of doting parents, Lola has only her very intelligent sister for company. She grows up in the seclusion of the manor, entirely protected from the outside world. Lola’s life is turned upside down when her parents receive job promotions suddenly no longer have the time to raise a teenage girl. So Lola is packed off to Dalaina, a distant boarding school, where for the first time she must learn to cope with the sometimes harsh realities of adolescent life.

Her only source of comfort is her new best friend – Monique. However, on the other hand she also has Tiffany who despises Lola – not least because Tiffany and Monique used to be best friends. Both girls become a large part of Lola’s daily life.

As the plot thickens, a shady past of friendships and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are formed, broken and reformed.

In the middle of all this, Lola struggles to cope, and eventually attains some degree of equilibrium. However, she knows that she cannot afford to take anything for granted in this volatile environment. Surprisingly, despite all the upheaval, Lola soon discovers that she is content with her new lifestyle.

Currently available in many bookstores, including online sellers like Amazon, Dalaina has been raking up rave reviews. “Sara presents the rich and lavish setting of the boarding school Dalaina in a novel full of suspense and intrigue. She skilfully captures the dialogue of her teenage characters as she describes their highs and lows. A definite page-turner,” declared one reviewer. Another reader praised the book as a “captivating and enthralling piece of writing,” adding that the “plot was remarkably complex,” and that “the thoughts and ideas that were incorporated into the story were successfully entwined.”

Sara’s achievement is a source of much pride for her friends and family. “The entire school is extremely proud of Sara and her monumental accomplishment. “Her book, enlightening in its content and heartfelt in its story, is sure to teach adolescents valuable lessons about friendship and the trials and tribulations of growing up,” says Arthur Howard, Principal of the Holmdel - William R. Satz Middle School.

Sara’s 85,000-word debut novel was actually complete when the author was still a tender twelve years of age. She already has to her credit several awards commending her writing from her school district and other academic associations and she has been featured in many anthologies and featured in community publications. Sara who is currently engrossed in creating a sequel to Dalaina, is also a budding poet.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.