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

About the book
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a contemporary adult novel by Sarra Manning. The book was published by Corgi on 3rd February 2011 and it is 560 pages long.
Synopsis
Since university, Neve Slater has been in love with William. But, William is in LA and Neve has next to no self-esteem. As a larger lady she believes that she could never get a guy like William so she’s spent the last three years slimming down and changing herself. Now she’s changed, she can’t wait for the day that William returns and falls madly in love with her. Only problem is, she’s never had a boyfriend and needs to learn about having one… fast.
Neve needs someone to show her what being in a relationship is all about and she needs some experience with men in general. Max is a well-known player from Neve’s sister’s office and he’s sexy as hell. Neve knows that she could never fall in love with someone like Max so he should be the perfect person to show her what to do with a man!

What I thought
Sarra Manning, one of my favourite authors of young adult fiction also writes adult novels although I have never really gotten into them until recently.
At the beginning of the book, Neve is getting herself ready for distant love William’s return to the UK. He’s been off in LA for the past three years and she’s been spending that time reinventing herself by slimming down so that he will fall in love with her. Poor Neve has never really had any confidence due to being overweight for the most of her life so she hasn’t gone out there and had any experience with men. I instantly loved Neve. I’m not the slimmest of women and I could connect with her immediately. There have been times where I haven’t felt the most attractive and I have put myself down a lot in the past.
Neve constantly put herself down throughout the whole book and by the way she spoke about herself, you would have thought that she was massive. Maybe she had been at one point but she also works with a personal trainer the whole time and is extremely careful about what she eats. It turns out that Neve is actually a smaller size than she thinks of herself as and this also shows how much pressure society can put on someone. Neve saw herself as something completely different than how other people saw her.
Just like Neve, I also loved the whole premise of the story. Neve needs a man to show her certain things and for her to practise on. Max is someone Neve meets through her sister Celia at a work party. He’s incredibly good looking and he knows it but he shows an interest in Neve and they end up going home together. However, this really doesn’t work out as he had planned and Neve feels so embarrassed. As she tries to apologise, and explains her situation with William, Max becomes even more interested and offers to become her ‘pancake boyfriend’ (you’ll have to read the book to find out what that means).
As the two get to know each other better, the book just gets funnier and funnier. Max lives a completely different lifestyle to Neve and this introduces her to a whole new way of living. Max takes her out to swanky parties and work dos and even a WAG wedding at one point and the situations they get in are hilarious. It was also super sweet watching them get to know each other better. Max doesn’t do girlfriends and Neve hasn’t had a boyfriend so their whole situation is a big learning curve for the both of them.

Not only is this one of my favourite adult books by Sarra Manning but one of my favourite books of hers altogether. It’s sweet, funny and romantic all at the same time. It has everything I could want in a book. 

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