Book Review – You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning & I’m giving away my print copy…

by Maryse on May 29, 2013 · 87 comments

in My Book Reviews

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
A very good read, with fantastic writing and extensive character development, and at 555 pages (!!!) I really feel like I got to know them well. But at 555 pages, it took me a few days to finish it, with a few stops and starts along the way as I went (especially between 30% and 45%… it was still good, but lagged somewhat at that point). I’m a fairly fast reader, but unless a book has me on the edge of my seat and I simply can’t put it down, a book of this length will take me some time. While it didn’t have me hooked to that extent, I was certainly in for the long haul, and by 50% I was good to go the rest of the way.

I could tell that I would very likely end up loving it (especially if these recommendations are anything to go by. :) ):

Cece: Just finished Sarra Mannings “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”! I actually think I liked it better than Unsticky. It is set around the same place/people. I won’t be able to play a game of scrabble again without thinking of Max!

Kelsey: Hi, I would just like to recommend Sarra Manning You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Unsticky, and Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend. What a brilliant author…

Libby: God I love “Unsticky” and “You Don’t Have To Say You Love” Me by Sarra Manning.  They were both fabulous. I even read Adorkable which is a YA book because I love the author so much.  Wish she would write more adult fiction. I also wish I could find more books like these.

Lengthy or not… it was well worth it. If you’re in the mood for a nice long read with moments of quirky humor, sweetness, realistic angst and romance, but not on a roller-coaster-ride level, this is for you. Oh… and it does get steamy. Not erotica steamy, but certainly steamy enough for me. *blush*

But it’s the life lesson that stands out the most. When I think about where the main character started, all the way through to the end of the book, I really do feel like I went on a personal journey of self-discovery with her and I’m thrilled at where it took us. What an incredible, wonderful difference, and all of it was just… right.

So lifelike in detail, from her own self-image and body issues to her interactions with her family, her work peers and… Max.

You see, Neve was once obese and lost most of it with the help of a trainer (and her own strength and self-determination). But she still suffers from self-deprecating thoughts. From her innate tendency to still cower from her childhood bully turned sister-in-law (GAH!!) to her fear of rejection, to her plans of wowing her best friend, William, into one day… falling in love with her. Neve has plans for a “new her” but her past and her insecurities continue to haunt her. Stifle her.

And that’s where Max comes in.

Max wasn’t a cad. A cad would never treat a woman quite so badly. Max was simply, the lowest of the low. Exactly the same as those well-bred, boorish boys at Oxford who’d only ever noticed Never when they wanted to have a cheap laugh at her expense.

He’s an obnoxious, known womanizer that works with Neve’s pretty sister and haphazardly sets his sights on Neve one night at a company party. Despite pretty much ignoring her that evening (preoccupied with his usual bevy of girls on his arm) he ends up following Neve home.

… when Max smiled back at her she could understand why the Skirt girls forgave him for being such an obnoxious flirt. It was a suggestive smile that stopped just short of being leer, and when it was aimed in Neve’s direction, it made her feel as if she was sexy and desirable and worthy of it. In fact, it was such a good smile that Neve was powerless to resist its potent charm. “Come on, then,” she said.

What a great start to the book! I could absolutely feel her desire to crawl into a hole and hide at times…

She stared at a spot on the rug where she hoped a handy vortex would open and swallow her up. Alas, those handy vortices never appeared when you really needed them…

Her shyness and insecurities palatable. Her embarrassment when men at the party would overlook her…

Neve was already talking to Martyn’s back. Now that she knew she was boring and physically repulsive, even to a man who did spellchecking for a living, there was no harm in standing up and giving her knickers a good yank.

… and her disgust with the flirty promiscuous Max.

“Max eye-f@&ks everyone,” Celia said nonchalantly.

“He’s our Editor-at-Large, he’s a complete slut and he is not, repeat not, the kind of man to practise your light flirtation skills on, Neevy. He’ll eat you up for breakfast and still have room for a full English afterwards.”

From her initial awkward party interactions to finding herself wrapped up in that very good looking… “cad” ;) at the end of the night. I was excited!!

And then… things went south. And I knew I was in!

I thoroughly enjoyed their tentative friendship that had no choice but to to develop into something more considering the “deal” they made. Max would teach Neve how to be in a relationship, so when William came home from California, she’d be ready for him. She could finally win him over. But both learn many new and unexpected things along the way, which turns this sweet, “sort of predictable” storyline into much more.

… she felt like she was getting a glimpse of the real Max that was buried so deep beneath the glitter and the free champagne and the air kisses, the she hadn’t realised he existed.

They are just tooooo cute at times!!!! I truly loved them.

And you know what? Max is AWESOME. *heart* If I had experienced just a bit more intensity and adrenaline in this one, I might have really bonded, and totally fallen for him. He could easily be one of my #1 heroes, but because of the slower pace and the lighter romantic feel, it didn’t turn me inside-out (which is usually what I need to fall into that love-fog).

But you know what? It didn’t need that. The depth of the characters and the easy-going feel of the story (even with the darker more personal issues) was “bigger” than that. More than a romance. Chick lit? Maybe that. Personal angst (but not melodramatic), a personal journey, personal achievements, mistakes and realizations (especially “you’re your own worst critic”…) and the cherry on top. Romance!!

Mind you… the romance doesn’t come easy, but that’s where the growth comes in and seals the deal on this solid read. ;)

… her last conscious thought was that everything that she thought she knew was wrong.

Very good, fun and light (even with it’s contemplative side).

4 stars!

P.S. Just to give you an idea… for those of you that read “Unsticky” (also by this author) I liked this book more!

Now about that giveaway. See… a long time ago, I received quite a few recommendations for this book. But it was only available in the UK (in Kindle & in print format). No Kindle or Nook version for me. :( So I purchased a used print copy. And then… ’cause I’m an ebook snob, I never read it. I wanted to, but instead… it sat on my bookshelf. And when I found out that this book was on sale last week (AND was available to US Kindle users) I jumped on it and moved it to the top of my TBR list. So I’m giving away my copy!

How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment below, and tomorrow night (Thursday May 30th, 2013) by 10pm EST, I will randomly select one winner.

The winner will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond with a mailing address, so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance. Sorry for my international readers, this is a open to U.S. residents only (but you’re welcome to comment and join in any time!!).

And while you’re here, if you haven’t already joined me (actually “us”, ’cause we’re a big group now) on Facebook and Twitter, whatcha waiting’ for?!

:arrow:  OH AND!!! —-> Many of you have been asking how to receive a notice each time my blog is updated. Just use this link right here:

“Subscribe to my blog and be updated everytime I post:

Get Free Email Updates from me :)

{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Anima G May 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Looks like a great story! Would love to win!

Alison M May 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM

I love your blog! I cant thank you enough! Thank you so much for all the good reccs! I read nonstop and haven’t found a book yet on here that I haven’t enjoyed! Thanks for sharing. This book looks amazing! Hope to get a chance to read this as well! Take care and read read read :) nothing better for the soul than a good book!

Corinne B May 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I would love to read this book! I loved Unstisky.

Teresa May 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Oh, sounds good. Would love to win a copy!

Jennifer May 29, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I would love to read this ! Thank you!

Jess W May 29, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Sounds like a book I would enjoy! P.S. I love your blog! I have read so many great books because of your recommendations. So thank you!

Sharon May 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Looks like a great read! Would love to read it!!!! :)

Jean May 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Looks like a long one worth reading! Thanks Maryse! (Read Sea of Tranquility this weekend and am recommending it to everyone – loved it!!)

Jackquelin May 29, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Love your blog… love the books you recommend!
Love your reading taste! Exactly like mine! Please keep up the excellent work I would die without ur blog! Lol Thanks mayrse time to give this book atry:)

Jamie May 29, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I love finding long books! And I have never won anything ever!!

Jessica Katz May 29, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Sounds like a great read!

NiteReader May 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

This book still isn’t available in ebook format in Canada, darn it!! I’d love to win this copy… :D

Kay May 29, 2013 at 2:01 PM

I love Sarra Manning and You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is one of my faves. Unsticky is another good one!

Elizabeth May 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

You don’t have to tell me I won but I sure would enjoy it!

Aleyna May 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Pick me!

Karen G. May 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Thanks for the great review and for the chance to win!

Katie Cary May 29, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Would love to read this!!!

Tarah May 29, 2013 at 2:24 PM

So it’s a long book. Is it stand alone or a series? I’m all for a long one and a higher price as long as I don’t have to wait for 3 more books??

Brittany May 29, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Sounds really good! Would love to win :)

Teresa H. May 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM

I love your blog! Great review!

Maryse May 29, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Completely a standalone. :) Of course I’d certainly be interested in more from this story, but this one is a complete story.

Esther May 29, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Sounds like a great book. Would love to read this !!

Dena May 29, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I haven’t heard about this book until now and I am completely intrigued. Thank you for bringing it to my attention….good luck everyone!

Jeannie Smith May 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Another one on my TBR list – thanks for a great review.

Rose May 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I’m really looking forward to reading it this one. I have the paperback for Unsticky and would love this copy to join it on my shelf. I did like Unsticky and while it wasn’t romantic, I think the growth of the main character in that book is what kept me reading until the end. The author is definitely talented. You’re comment above about this book being more chick lit vs romance is a perfect description of Unsticky but seems like this one has a little more “…” that I think was missing in Unsticky- plus the hero was not anywhere near my usual favorites.

Alicia B May 29, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Can’t wait to read this book!

Amanda May 29, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Sounds like a good book!

Alison K May 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I only recently discovered your blog, but it has quickly become my go to source for new reading material! As an avid reader I am always looking for recommendations and almost always agree with your reviews. I would love to read this one!

Corrie May 29, 2013 at 3:57 PM

It sounds like a book I would definitely like. Thanks for the giveaway!

V. May 29, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Loved this book. Sarra Manning is a great writer and I love that he books are longer. Something you can sink you teeth into and not one dimensional like so much of the stuff written these days.

Jennifer vanlew May 29, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Looks really good! Hope I win

Sara Jean Breaux May 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I would love to win!

Beth May 29, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Can’t wait to read it!!!!

CHELSEA L. May 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Great, classy review! Would love to read it, so please pick me! ;-)

Kat P May 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Awesome review sounds like a book I would enjoy reading…adding to wish list.

Trina P May 29, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Love your site and would love to read the book. I have a Nook and they arenn’t available on B&N. Boo!

Tasha May 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Pick me!

Cody May 29, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Sounds good! Would love to have a copy!

Libby May 29, 2013 at 6:49 PM

I loved this book. I connected with heroine on so many levels. I loved the British-isms and all her references to the books she read (consumed) in her youth. I just wish I could find more books like it.

Sarah May 29, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Pick me please :)

Anne Marie May 29, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Sounds like a great read. Will definitely add this to my TBR list!!

Jen P May 29, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Oh Yay!!! Added to my TBR

Isadora May 29, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I would love to win this!

Elizabeth @ Stuffed Shelves May 29, 2013 at 8:16 PM

You are the first blog I’ve ever started following, and for the longest time I used your blog as my only reference on what books to read next. Thanks for all your amazing reviews and hard work you put into your blog. I look forward to seeing more reviews. Thanks again.

Much love
Elizabeth @ Stuffed Shelves

Barb May 29, 2013 at 8:16 PM

I would love to have a paperback book. Unfortunately, I can not read a kindle or ipad at work. So I am often looking for paperbacks to read at work and share with friends.

Jenn J May 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Great review….looking forward to reading it.

day May 29, 2013 at 8:51 PM

already on my tbr will bump it up

Katherine May 29, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I just finished unsticky and loved it!! Looking forward to reading this one too =)

Jennifer N May 29, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Sounds good, would love to read! Thanks for the giveaway;)

Jennifer Valencia May 29, 2013 at 10:22 PM

have read lots of good reviews regarding this book, and because i’m old school and prefer conventional published books to ebooks, i’m definitely crossing my fingers and hoping i get chosen for this giveaway. ^.^

Jenn May 30, 2013 at 4:25 AM

This looks like a great book, I’ll definitely have to add it my TBR list! Thanks for another great recommendation. :)

kim May 30, 2013 at 5:13 AM

I’ve been on a run of kicka**bad boy books lately, so this looks like the perfect ‘next read’.
Definitely on my TBR list

Debbie May 30, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Love this site. Thanks so much for a chance to win. Find that you make me change my TBR list almost daily. I can handle a long read like this book – I read the Outlander series in a month.

Debbie May 30, 2013 at 5:43 AM

Thanks so much, Maryse, for the opportunity to win this and for all the wonderful recommendations you give us on your blog. You have introduced me to some pretty memorable characters. Hehe!

tina perry May 30, 2013 at 5:51 AM

Anxious to read this…. Oh, I want to thank you for introducing me
Kellan and kiera’s journey. (swoon)

Kelly Watson May 30, 2013 at 5:59 AM

Thanks for the opportunity! LOVE your reviews. They are sooooo helpful. Unfortunetly my one-clicking and TBR are now completely out of control…..but I don’t blame you….well not really…..;-)

Joan May 30, 2013 at 6:08 AM

Great review! I have not read anything from this author yet but I would love to have the chance to read this book. Thanks!

Rhonda Beyer May 30, 2013 at 6:14 AM

Sounds like a great read. Thamks for the giveaway!!!!

Brianna Lee Book Reviews May 30, 2013 at 6:26 AM

Thanks for the giveaway! This would make the perfect birthday present for me!

DA May 30, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Oh – I’ve been dying to read this book – I have Unsticky on my TBR – so I humbly beg you to pick me! Thanks so much for a chance to win a copy.

Jen M May 30, 2013 at 6:52 AM

Thanks much for the chance to win! I love to find new authors. Thanks!

Lyndsay May 30, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Great review!!! Really looking forward to reading it )

Michele Dewellm May 30, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Absolutely love your blog. Thank u so much for the giveaway.

Doris Linton May 30, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Thanks for the givaway.

Shelly May 30, 2013 at 7:21 AM

I love your blog. Thank you for all the giveaways you do.

Jill May 30, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Sounds great! Definitely adding this to my TBR.

Lariza May 30, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Awesome giveaway! Can’t wait to read this it’s on my TBR list!

BethL May 30, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Thanks for the opportunity!

Sweeta D May 30, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Always love a chance to win some good reading material! Thanks Maryse!

marsha shew May 30, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Thank you for the giveaway!! :)

Ally May 30, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Hi maryse! I love your blog! I’ve been using your recommendations on my own TBR list for the last year and have found some of my favorite books through here :-) . Anyhow, ever since I read Unsticky I’ve been somewhat obsessed with Sara Manning, I love her writing and really hope she writes more adult books. I read You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me awhile ago and adored it but I would soooo love to have a physical copy of the book!

Thalia May 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

I will be adding this to my to be read list. I would love to win a copy. Thanks for all the great reviews and recommendations. I love your blog.

Tiena May 30, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Would love to read!! Always for winning any kind of book. I love to read….so much that my family thinks that’s all that I do. =)
I love to read your blog and its the first thing I look at every morning!

Dawn Bush May 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Would <3 a copy! Thanks or sharing!!

bn100 May 30, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Nice review

Mary Anne May 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM

I would love to read this one! Thanks!

Shanda May 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I read it with you, LOL. I felt the same around the 30% – 40% mark, I felt like it really picked up between 55%-60%. The characters were well developed. It took me a couple days to read also.

Michelle May 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I would love to win a copy!!

Melanie Fling May 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Sounds like a great book, thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Catherine N. May 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Awesome giveaway! There’s nothing quite like holding a book in your hands. I have to say though…I do often find that when I come across a word that I either don’t know or want clarified, the temptation to touch the word is extremely high. lol @ me!

Chanpreet May 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I’ve read Sarra Manning’s YA book Adorakable and it was quite good. I’d love to get a chance to read one of her books geared to adults, seeing as I am one. Your review has me eager to read it asap. :)

bonnie May 30, 2013 at 4:17 PM

It sounds like a great read!!!! Yea ;-)

Allie Mathews May 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Looks good. I like long reads when they’re good stories, so I’m looking forward to this book!

Kristine May 30, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Although I love my Kindle and it is always attached to me I am still one of those “book worms” that loves the feel and smell of a printed book. Yup, you can usually find me in the corner of a bookstore (with Kindle in hand) smelling books. I would love to win a printed copy of this book. Crossing fingers……. :)

renee May 30, 2013 at 8:08 PM

pick me pick me

Alyssa May 30, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Your review makes me want to read the book so badly! Thank you so much for sharing! =)

Erika May 30, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Excited to read this! Thanks for the chance to win!

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