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

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General Fiction > Chick-Lit > Contemporary

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?

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…I think Sarra Manning and I are going to be good friends. *beams happily*

Oh, I read romance, sure. But not this thick. And definitely not this author. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me has been sitting on my shelf for two years now, and I want to smack myself senseless on why I bother just now to pick it up. It was highly entertaining! Yeah, Neve‘s obsession on her weight was annoying, but it was irrelevant to me. What I love the most is how Manning portrayed Max. Absolutely delicious, that one was. 😀

End of Chapter Two. I was already swooning with delight. Man, does Manning really writes like this? It was addicting. But then, Max flopped the swoon. How? He doesn’t know Neve’s name. To think that he was all sweet and mesmerizing to Neve. Ha! Now that was fun. Absolutely hilarious. 🙂

I love Celia, Neve’s sister. She’s very supportive and very attached to Neve. I liked that there wasn’t any sibling rivalry between them, considering Neve has weight problems, and Celia has no issues with her body (or beauty) at all.

The verbal sparring between Neve and Max were amusing and most times, hot. You know? There’s something about two intelligent people who cannot see how right they are for each other, because they are two busy thinking on the reasons on why they should not be together. That’s Neve and Max. I should be irritated with that, but surprisingly, I was not. It even added to the swoon factor! Ah, must be the love bug this February, hitting my inner romantic. 🙂

It would not do you any good if you cross out this book just because of it’s too ‘chick-lit’ cover. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is endearing, charming, and fetching read. It was not perfect by my ‘contemporary’ standard, but the ‘lovey-dovey’ feel it gave last Valentines? So worth it!

#10 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME by Sarra Manning

Paperback, 555 pages

Published February 1st 2011 by Corgi Books

5/5 stars

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Book Review: Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

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Genre: General Fiction > Mystery & Suspense > Thriller

(Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #2)

When the body of a young woman is discovered in Portland’s Forest Park, Archie is reminded of the last time they found a body there, more than a decade ago: it turned out to be the Beauty Killer’s first victim, and Archie’s first case. This body can’t be one of Gretchen’s—she’s in prison—but after help from reporter Susan Ward uncovers the dead woman’s identity, it turns into another big case. Trouble is, Archie can’t focus on the new investigation because the Beauty Killer case has exploded: Gretchen Lowell has escaped from prison.

Archie hadn’t seen her in two months; he’d moved back in with his family and sworn off visiting her. Though it should feel like progress, he actually feels worse. The news of her escape spreads like wildfire, but secretly, he’s relieved. He knows he’s the only one who can catch her, and in fact, he has a plan to get out from under her thumb once and for all.

Book 1: Heartsick review

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… so this is a different take on brutal. There are less grisly scenes, but my heart, oh my heart! It took a beating that I never thought would’ve been possible when reading a mystery crime book. 😦

I don’t like Archie in Sweetheart because now I see how his ex-wife Debbie sees him when they are on the subject of Gretchen. He was in denial, inconsolable, stubborn, and over-the-top obsessed. But I admit it was brilliant that despite his uncontrollable feelings for Gretchen, he still managed to come up with a plan to capture her. Too bad his health is failing. and his heart is breaking. He really is messed up to the f*ck.

I was wary of Gretchen because she got Archie wrapped around her delicate, perfect finger. Still, it was always a surprise to catch her off-guard when she displays affection and emotion towards Archie. It sounded sick and revolting, I know, but it felt saddening in more ways than one. Now I am more than curious on her back story! What happened to you, Gretchen, before you were a serial killer?

I liked Henry and Susan. Their devotion for the truth and family was remarkable.

Sweetheart is a heart-numbing read. I really liked that Cain was not afraid to tell a story that was so unconventional it bordered on repugnant. But… I need a breather (like a month or two) before I read the next book, Evil at Heart.

#8 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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SWEETHEART by Chelsea Cain

Paperback, 352 pages

Published September 1st 2009 by Minotaur Books

4/5 stars

2nd Blogoversary Giveaway! (International)

image from exhale_love_weheartit

(This is for my readers, commenters, post likers, blog lurkers, co-bloggers, and online-friends-turned-friends-IRL — I salute you!)

For 1 lucky winner,

I will order one book of your choice from The Book  Depository!

As long as it’s $10 or less, that is. Haha!

RULE:

  • Just recommend one book (title and author, please) that is a standalone, meaning it is not part of any series, trilogy, whatever. That’s all! Rafflecopter will require this information in order for you to enter the giveaway.

NOTES:

  • Contest starts February 26th (that’s today!), giveaway will be done via Rafflecopter 
  • Opens Internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to your country
  • You don’t have to own a blog site to enter
  • Contest ends March 22nd, ONE winner will be drawn and announced on March 25th

Click HERE to join via Rafflecopter!!!

Good luck 😀

..

(P.S. I cannot believe I’ve been book blogging for two years already. O_o Yeah, but let’s get sentimental on a separate blog post shall we? *winks*)

Book Review: Legend #2: Prodigy by Marie Lu

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Young Adult > Dystopia

(Legend #2)

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

Book 1: Legend review

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The Elector put a hand under June’s chin and brings her face towards his own. He is taking something from me that I thought was just for me, and I feel a sudden, shattering sense of loss.

Emotional. Wreck. Right. Now.
*screams at the top of my lungs* Dammit!

Three days after I closed my copy of Prodigy, and I am still crestfallen over its ending. Why does Marie Lu have to take that road? 😦

In the ending of Legend, June went with Day and now she’s a fugitive. Their plan is to get to the Colonies after they manage to retrieve Tess and Eden from wherever they are. As with everything in a dystopian world, nothing comes free. So at the cost of transportation to reach the Colonies, June and Day accepted Patriots’ offer to assassinate the new Elector Primo, Anden.

So Day stayed with the Patriots, and June went back tot he Republic  to be the inside “man” for the job. And because of this separation, several issues emerged. There’s Day doubting June’s feelings for her, Day being dubious on June’s loyalty (is she still a soldier of a Republic or a rebel with the Patriots?). These insecurities of Day made his character somewhat limp and uncoordinated with the Day I met in Legend. So, what a startling contrast from June, whose character was far more superior and intelligent than what was portrayed of her in book 1. =)

I did not see the confidence in Day, but the arrogance is still there. He was bordering on pathetic, what with his gullibility with Tess‘ poisonous thoughts (I hate you, b*tch) and his incapacity to understand what June was going through. To think that he wasn’t the only one who lost a brother. Right?

Now, it seemed fitting that Prodigy is the title of this sequel, because June‘s character was quietly powerful and she was the focus of it all. For every decision she makes, she not only considers Day (although he’s the biggest factor) but also, she questions whether her actions will change anything to the Republic, for the better. She’s matured and level-headed when dealing with Day, brilliant and devious when dealing with the Republic. I just love her for it!

I have no problems with the story flow. It was far better than I anticipated in dystopian sequels nowadays. But the way that Day’s and June’s destinies played out in the end? Not nice. That is not very nice of you, Marie Lu!

Prodigy was a solid follow up to Legend. If I wasn’t too attached with Day and June, I’d say it was a kick-*ss sequel. Unfortunately, I feel too much for these two, who has lost their loved ones to the cruelty of the Republic.

F*ck that ending. I’m so sad still. *sob*

#12 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

#7 Dystopia Challenge 2013

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PRODIGY by Marie Lu

Paperback, 356 pages

Published January 29th 2013 by Penguin

3.5/5 stars