Aly in Wonderland

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Sarra Manning Read reviews and more at The Beautiful World of Books!

"What you look like is just one part of who you are - but it's not all you are."

Before I begin waxing poetic on the wonderfulness this book is, I have a few bones to pick and a rating to explain.

When I was eight years old, I bordered on anorexic. When I turned eleven, I was overweight. By thirteen, I was back to squeezing into my eleven year old sister's jeans, and when I turned sixteen, I was overweight again. I am now twenty, and even though I'd love to be able to squeeze back into a size eight/ten (UK size), I don't let the obsession of my looks and my body get the best of me.

Because I'm not fat.

I'm not saying that to sound big-headed or give myself an ego boost, I really am not fat. After my car accident, I gained the pounds because I couldn't move and I have NEVER been happier. I know that once my body is ready, I can hit the gym and exercise healthily, I know I can stuff my face with greasy Chinese takeaway every once in a while and I just need to be careful of how much bad stuff I eat.

Because fatty foods (crisps, chocolate, takeaway, McDonalds) aren't just dangerous because they make you fat, but they have an awful, terrible impact on your health. It's like that with all foods, though. Too much sugar, you're facing diabetes. Too LITTLE sugar, and you're on even more dangerous territory when you begin dealing with hypoglycaemia which isn't JUST a side effect to being treated for diabetes, so don't be fooled.

My point is, I know how Neve felt in the book, and Neve had every right to be obsessed about her weight. She was a size 32 when she was barely 21 and it ruled her life. My second point is, do not obsess over it. It's YOUR body and if you don't love your body, how do you expect anyone else too? Don't think that "just losing a couple of pounds" will bring you great things in life (in most cases a boyfriend, a glamorous job, whatever) because it won't. Fact of the matter is, if you don't believe in yourself and you don't love yourself, no one else will either.

The issues dealt within [b:You Don't Have to Say You Love me|8471815|You Don't Have to Say You Love Me|Sarra Manning||13336502] are very real and they're issues that women obsess about every day. You are never going to look like the model on a bikini advert, and you know why?

Because that woman is covered in stretch marks, leftover skin and cellulite, too. The art of photoshop really is glorious, ladies.

And just to prove my point:

Kelly Clarkson:




And I want you to read this article and watch those videos and tell me that those people are "perfect" before photoshop. I dare you.

The major problem I had with Neve in this book is how she wouldn't see any positives at any given time and she did not know when to quit. There's dieting and exercise and then there's being an obsessive workout freak who instead of looking at the fact she dropped six dress sizes in two years, moaned and groaned about the leftover skin. Even when she found the most glorious, perfect, gorgeous man Max, who didn't give to fucks about how she looked naked, she still managed to screw everything up with her insecurities and determination that he "wasn't the one" because "the one" was William, her phantom boyfriend who lived in LA, whom she hadn't seen in three years and whom she'd began dieting and slimming down for in the first place.

And you know what bugs me? Phantom boyfriends. SO many issues could've been resolved in half the time if Manning hadn't given Neve a long distance love interest, especially since we all know that Max and Neve would end up together, regardless if William suddenly showed up with 24 roses in every colour of the rainbow and a diamond ring as big as my head. It wasn't going to happen, because even though Max is the "here and now" and William was "the future", EVERYONE knows that Max is really the "here, now, future and whatever other tense you want to throw in there".

And there were literally pages and pages and pages of self deprecation that made me want to slap the silly bitch. I get that you used to be morbidly obese, but Jesus Christ, you're not any more! Grow some balls and stop worrying about shit that doesn't exist!

Not to mention how self involved, narcissistic, depressing and hypocritical Neve was.

"If Shelly's the kind of woman you prefer, then there's really not much point in either of us continuing this little charade," she told Max coldly. "I'd hate to think that all the time you were with me, you were wishing you were with some other girl who--"
"You've got a fucking nerve!" Never had never heard Max sound so angry and she really didn't like it. He turned to her. His face was pinched and tight, eyes blazing with sudden fury. "The whole point of "this little charade" is because you're in love with some guy on the other side of the world, in case you'd forgotten!"

I'm so sorry but if I had someone as wonderful as Max by my side, I'd dump my phantom boyfriend and run into the sunset with him. Not only is he hot, but he's also sweet, kind and caring:

"William would never shove the word WAG into pop songs to make me laugh and he wouldn't bite the chocolate off chocolate-covered strawberries for me and he'd never, ever watch a film with Sandra Bullock in it... he'd never go down on me for half an hour beacause he'd lost a game of Scrabble."

So yeah, you can say I spent a lot of my time growling at Neve through clenched teeth, trying desperately to not lose my temper whenever she pulled another self-centred, arrogant move on Max and every time she made the boy go through hell because it "wasn't a real relationship", but the book was actually an eye opener and I would definitely recommend it to every girl I meet.

It doesn't matter what you think you look like or how much you weight. All that matters is that you love yourself, because the day you start loving yourself is the day people will love you, too.

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