Author: Sarra Manning
Format: Paperback Edition
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Transworld Publishers (February 2011)
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?
I had a bloody grand time reading You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning, I keep on humming the song with the same title. It is funny, sweet, heartwarming and simply amazing.
Neve, is now one of my favorite heroines – she’s funny and intelligent. But her self esteem must be buried somewhere 50 feet below the ground because she could never see herself as beautiful. She used to be fat and a size 32 but through hard work (no fad or crash diet) she’s down to size 14. She works in an archive – it’s not a library – it’s really an archive. This book is her journey in her struggle to be more comfortable with herself and her body.
And Max – the ultimate sex-god-slash-man-whore. Okay, he’s charming and could disarm all your defenses with a smile. He’s a bit of a jerk. But of course, deep inside, he also has issues which he kept to himself and his therapist. You will just adore him – how he takes care of Neve and how he tries to behave with her.
Yes, both the characters of this story are somewhat f*cked up – but that’s because they’re real and they deal with issues that are present and alarming in today’s world. Health issues, obesity, fad diets, sex addiction sprinkled with a toe-curling romance. But despite the fact they have crazy issues – they are just perfect for each other. Neve needs a man who sees beauty in her, no matter what her size is and Max needs someone who would really care for him. Neve and Max together is just magic and you can see sparks floating in the air. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me is very entertaining from the first page down to the last. I am sure you will not put it down until you reached the final page.
But really it says everything that’s wrong about the publishing industry, that a quarter of a million people bought and read a sex and shopping novel that wasn’t even written by one of those footballer girlfriends, and yet most of the shortlisted titles on the Orange Prize, which is an award for women writers, don’t even sell ten thousand copies. It’s just not right.
“That was the worst thing about having a relationship with someone, even a pretend relationship. You opened up, let someone in, and when it was over, they had all the ammunition they needed to completely destroy you.”
“The thing about love was that it caught you unawares, turned up in the most unexpected places, even when you weren't looking for it.”
“If Madonna loves me, then you will too.”
“Having a relationship and not even a sexual one is so straight, it's practically perverted”
“But Neve, you can’t start a book and leave it halfway through,’ he’d said implacably. ‘It’s almost as bad as turning down the corner of the page, instead of using a bookmark.”
“I guess they're called moments because they don't last very long.”
“Then what he said and how he said it won't be important any more. What will be important are all the things you never got to say.”
“I suppose the things that you always take for granted, that you don't even notice, are what you miss the most.”
“You took out a book on blow-job technique from the British Library? They shouldn't have books like that in there!”