Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sarra Manning - You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

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?

Comment: This was the other Christmas book gift I got. I had never herd of this author before but I trust the taste of the person who gave it to me so I was quite eager to try it and see if I was going to be a fan of this story. This isn't a style I normally look for but it doesn't put me off completely so I just went with it right after the other present to put the gifts out of my lists.

This novel tells the story of bookish Neve, she's a young woman who went on a diet and has lost many pounds but still sees herself as too fat although her weight has reached a good number if not the one she could. Neve is still on a diet, living a good lifestyle and doing exercise. She has a crush on this guy working on the US but he will return to the UK and she wants to be a size ten by that time. In the meantime she wants to learn how to flirt and date so when her guy comes back he is impressed and falls for her immediately. Max seems the perfect to help her because he is just interested in casual or fast dates and not a relationship...right?

This story is mostly told from Neve's POV. although not in a first person narrator. Still, sometimes I wish I could have Max's vision of things because at some scenes that would offer a new meaning to things and the way things are, we could only know about Max's feelings or ideas when he told Neve. Not a bad thing, but something I wouldn't mind changing, at least in some key moments here and there.

The overall storyline is pretty much that idea that we work for a certain goal and don't always see what's in front of our eyes. Neve wanted to be closer to perfection, to be what she thought William, her dream man, wanted her to be. On one side she thought he might like and fall in love with her because of that, but at the same time she led her lifestyle for herself too, even is she didn't see it always like that. The truth was she didn't like her fatter side and she worked a lot to change, so it can't be all because of a guy. But for the purposes of this story I can see why she would focus more on that.
In comes Max, a so told man whore who just wanted casual flings but after a misunderstanding with Neve and a old fashioned letter of apology from her, Max looks for her and they start dating just so Neve can have some experience dealing with men, because Neve never felt confidant for that but she wants to be so for William. I liked Max a lot, he had an inner side quite beautiful and worthy and I liked getting to know him. His relationship with Neve starts as something flimsy but evolves and it was so romantic and special to see those two growing confidant in each other and what they had. Perfection is overreacted and really, it only matters in the eyes of the person who loves you back.

I liked how Neve and Max were together, their discoveries, the sharing, the support for th other when needed, all th little things that make a relationship work and how they wouldn't admit it to themselves for what it was...still, so many wonderful moments, like how they learned the intimacy of sleeping together, sex apart. The sexual side of things only came later but I liked how the author dealt with this aspect as well.

Of course, there's the expected conflict close to the end to allow the characters to learn their lesson and acknowledge their feelings but once more I was happy enough by the way things were done. I liked how Neve was bookish and funny and interesting and how at some point her body didn't define her completely. I liked how Max seemed shallow but had more inner beauty and courage one wouldn't wait for but existed. Together they found someone to cherish and teach the other why is vital to trust and to be with someone you really love and who can be there for you. I loved all the little things that made their relationship special.

This book offers quite the lessons and I was glad to be reading it. I think many little details don't seem important but manage to fulfill this novel with all the needed ingredients t be interesting and addictive to read. I recommend it because I had such a good time with it.
Grade: 8/10

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