02 February 2011

You don't have to say you love me - Sarra Manning


You don't have to say you love by Sarra Manning
published February 2011
chick-lit/contemporary romance
bought my own copy

Shy and bookish Neve Slater has worked hard in the last years to change her life. She has gone from obese to normal but still feels shy when trying to flirt and self-conscious about her body.
In a few months William, whom she has a crush on, is supposed to come home after three years away and Neve wants to impress him with her new figure and a more self-confident personality.
To get used to flirting and being around men she starts a pretend relationship with womanizer Max. Neve doesn't really understand why Max would want to spend time with her but she soon realizes that he is so much more than you can see at first glance. Max is also suprised by how well Neve and he fit together and that he enjoys their time together.
But will their relationship have a real chance once William is back? And will Neve finally learn to like her body?

Since reading "Unsticky" by Sarra Manning a few weeks ago I have been super excited to get "You don't have to say you love me". I had high expectations before starting to read and they were definitely surpassed. I have all this wonderful feelings inside me about this book but have a hard time to phrase them so this review might sound a bit gushy and crazy :)


I adored the main characters Neve and Max because they felt like real people and I cared about them as if they were my friends. I loved Neve right from the first moment I met her in the book however when I first read about Max I thought that he wasn't good enough for her. But only about 10 pages later Sarra Manning had convinced me that Max might indeed be just perfect for Neve and that I would love to learn more about him. And I really did. I was excited for every detail I learned about Neve and Max. Their relationship was complex and never got boring. I loved the way Max tried to make Neve see her body through his eyes and although he was at first glance a very unlikable hero in the end I adored him. 
Reading about Neve and her body issues touched me deeply and the way Sarra Manning desribed Neve's fight for a happier life was very powerful and impressive. I sympathised with Neve when she felt insufficient. I enjoyed that Neve had time to change and that the book spanned several months.

The best way to explain what I love about the author's writing style and her powerful way with words is by sharing a short excerpt with you.

It wasn't a perfect body but it was the body she deserved. 
Not just from every bar of chocolate or bag of crisps or laden
plates of food that she'd eaten. This body was also testament
to all the hours in the gym, and cycling up hills on her bike
and glugging down to litres of water a day and learning to
love vegetables and fruit that didn't come as an optional
extra with a pastry crust. She'd earned this body. 

Ah, isn't it amazing!

I loved meeting some characters from "Unsticky" again but there's no need to read it to understand what's going on or to enjoy "You don't have to say you love me". Of course I would recommend you to get "Unsticky" because I think it's a fabulous book.
I don't want to tell you what happens to Neve, William and Max in the end but I think every reader will know after meeting William and Max who's perfect for Neve and who's only interested in using her. 
When I finished reading "You don't have to say you love me" I was very happy and had a big smile on my face. It's definitely a book I will reread in the future because it's enjoyable and I was deeply moved by it. I'm very excited for Sarra Manning's next adult story and will definitely get her YA books because I want to read more by her. 

cover
I love it because it looks beautiful and stylish. 

final appraisal
A fantastic book from the first sentence on to the last. While reading I had to laugh, smile, cry and swoon. This book is full of interesting characters and I especially loved reading about Neve and Max. Both are fascinating, likable characters and their relationship was complex in a good way. I was very happy when I finished the last sentence. 
After reading "Unsticky" and "You don't have to say you love me" I definitely have an author crush on Sarra Manning because her books touch me deeply and are just wonderful.

11 comments:

  1. Oh about the sizes, well they always confuse me. Anyway, sounds like a great book, and I am certainly loving contemporary romance now

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    Replies
    1. The sizes are always so weird, especially because we have a totally different system here in Germany.

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  2. I've been meaning to pick up Sarra Manning's YA books for awhile now. But after your reviews of this one and UNSTICKY, I really want to get a hold of her adult titles. WHY are they only available in the UK???

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  3. I just recommended this to some friends. It sounds a bit like Jemima J by Jane Green. Have you read that one?

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  4. I will have to get these! I am starting to dig chick-lit again!

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    Replies
    1. And this is one special chick-lit book, very complex and lovely.

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  5. Wallace, I don't know Jemima but will look it up.

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  6. I'm curious, really curious... and tempted.
    But I'm kind of worried about beeing in the wrong reading mood right now, since I just finished "Anna and the French Kiss" yesterday (in about seven hours because I loved it SO MUCH!), which was perfect, but a sweet and easy read and "You don't have to say you love me" seems like a much more serious book.
    But I'll definitely order and read it one of these days!
    I love it when the bad boy turns into a... well, not so bad guy xD

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    Replies
    1. Hope you had the time to read the book in the last months, it's too good to not give it a try. :)

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  7. i loooooooooooooooooooooved this book and im dying to read something like it any ideas?

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    Replies
    1. It's hard, because in my experience many other chick lit books are not as complex and good. I haven't found anything similar so far.

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