You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, by Sarra Manning

8471815Book Synopsis:

Published 23rd February 2011 by Corgi | 562 pages

Sweet, bookish Neve Slater always plays by the rules. And the number one rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don’t get guys like gorgeous, handsome William, heir to Neve’s heart since university. But William’s been in LA for three years, and Neve’s been slimming down and re-inventing herself so that when he returns, he’ll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her.

So she’s not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she’s an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she’d better get some, well, experience.

What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia’s colleague Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And since he’s such a man-slut, and so not Neve’s type, she certainly won’t fall for him. Because William is the man for her… right?

Somewhere between losing weight and losing her inhibitions, Neve’s lost her heart – but to who?

 

**Review: 3 stars**

This is a difficult book for me to review, I’m really unsure how to. All the other reviews I’ve read have been so phenomenal that I really feel like I missed something important. There’s a part of me that just couldn’t connect to the characters in this book but at the same time I think it’s a great fun piece of chick lit.couple-london-love-separate-with-comma-Favim.com-210207

On the one hand I thought it was a great chick lit novel! It checked all the basic chick lit boxes…

  • About a woman and her everyday struggles with work, friends, family and love? CHECK. This is one of the main reasons I adore chick-lit, it doesn’t focus solely on the romance but really deals with a wide-range of issues that nearly every woman struggles with and makes you feel all happy inside too. Neve is a real character! She struggles with her weight (probably a lot more than the average woman but I still got it), she is socially awkward around new people, totally awkward around men and has some deep-seated insecurities which make her a really relatable character.
  • A fun and cute romance with Mr. Right? CHECK. Ahh Max. I liked Max. A classic man-whore who can’t commit to women so for some mysterious reason he enters a faux relationship to help Neve learn to date and then turns out to be exactly what she needs. Max turns out to be a sweet, observant and amazing confidence boost that I just adored. He’s fun and he can joke around! I want a man just like him.
  • A road to self-discovery? CHECK. I was really happy with Neve’s self-discovery and the way she really learnt to accept herself, fat and all. I think it’s an important lesson that every female needs to learn.
  • A satisfying and uplifting conclusion? CHECK. CUTE ENDING, totally put a little smile on my face!

HOWEVER (and sorry in advance for the ramblings that are to come) I really just could not connect to the main character Neve. She pissed me off. A lot. I have ad541255d36f4d6359d601f62f8f42359 lot of issues with women who are overly conscious of their weight, especially if they complain about it all the time! Which is exactly what Neve does. I swear to God, when she turned to those freaking juice detoxes I just wanted to put the book down and walk away. I really had absolutely no sympathy for her. Rationally I get that she would still be super insecure about her body! Seriously, rationally I get it! I understand that any person who is half the weight they used to be will always be very self-conscious but it still annoyed the hell out of me. I honestly struggled to listen to her whine and complain about what to wear and how she wanted to be a size 10. Annoying. She also had annoying insecurities about her relationship with her work mates. At one point she was convinced they were going to turn against her and get her fired. Was there any evidence that this would happen? No. So please do not be so annoyingly and stupidly paranoid! Yeah. I really was fed up with Neve by the end.

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