AUTHOR: Sarra Manning
RATING: 3 STARS
PUBLISHED: February 2011 - Corgi Books
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"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?"
UK author, Sarra Manning, wrote You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, a charming adult romance novel. This novel was inspiring.
One of the big themes throughout this novel is Neve’s struggle with her weight. Neve used to be a large girl. She has lost a lot of weight over the last few years, but she still sees herself as a large girl. I think many women have issues with their weight, or have at least struggled with their weight at some point in their life. I mean who isn’t familiar with the pillow move and Spanx? I think women can easily relate and empathize with Neve. Her struggles make her a relatable and likable character. She’s not a model thin, perfect heroine. She has real life, every day struggles.
It was extremely hard to listen to Neve criticize herself. Even though she works out and watches what she eats everyday she still has very low opinions of herself. Every time she beat herself up about her weight it broke my heart because you could see how hard she was trying. When I heard about how kids teased her, spit on her and threw things at her it made me want to cry.
This story is more than just a sad story. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me is also a hilarious, happy story. Neve’s inexperience in the dating world is endearing and entertaining. Her arrangement with Max is uncommon but creative. And what begins as an experiment for experience turns into something more.
You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me is great Chick Lit. I thought this story was entertaining and realistic, and I really connected with the characters. However, the conflict was obvious and the conclusion was a little disappointing. I am happy with the way things turned out, but I wanted more from the ending. I think Manning did a great job keeping the ending realistic, but I wanted more romance.
I gave You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning 3 STARS. I strongly recommend this novel to adults looking for a realistic but relatable romance.