Christina (christina_reads) wrote,
Christina
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You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by…7. Sarra Manning, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

Neve Slater is 25 years old and has never had a boyfriend. This is mostly due (or so she believes) to the fact that she has been morbidly obese for most of her life. Now, however, in an effort to impress her longtime crush William, she has lost over 100 pounds and is living a much healthier lifestyle. Yet she still feels as though she's not good enough for William: not only is she still not a (U.K.) size 10, but she also has absolutely no romantic experience. So Neve decides that she needs a fake boyfriend -- someone with whom she can practice being in a relationship, so she'll be ready when William arrives to sweep her off her feet. Enter Max, a womanizing colleague of her sister's who surprisingly agrees to Neve's plan. But the more time Neve spends with Max, the more she begins to question, not only her feelings for William, but her whole identity.

Despite being chick lit, this book isn’t afraid to explore some deeper issues, particularly relating to weight, self-esteem and body image. Neve is no Bridget Jones whining about an extra 5 or 10 pounds; she’s struggled with obesity all her life, and her self-perception has really suffered because of that. I found her an extremely believable and relatable character. I also loved the development of her relationship with Max, which unfolds slowly and naturally. There are a few surprisingly graphic adult scenes, so skim them if they’re not your cup of tea, but they actually do help to further the plot and character development. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of this book, but it was still an incredibly fast and fun read – I really liked it! Definitely recommended for chick lit fans, and thanks to janicu for bringing this book to my attention!
Tags: challenge: 12 in 12, challenge: new authors 2012, country: england, era: contemporary, genre: chick lit, genre: fiction, genre: romantic, reviews
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