Monday 8 March 2010

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Review: Diary of a Crush: French Kiss by Sarra Manning

Diary of a Crush: French Kiss by Sarra ManningDiary of a Crush: French Kiss by Sarra Manning New town, new college, new people, Edie's feeling overwhelmed. What if nobody wants to be her friend? But then something happens that turns her life upside down: Edie spots Dylan. Messy-haired, pouty, frustratingly elusive Dylan. It's love at first sight!

Fast forward to the college trip to Paris and things are really hotting up. In between the shopping, the clubbing, the kissing and the making up, something happens between Edie and Dylan that changes both their lives for ever...But do toxic boys like Dylan ever play for keeps?
From Amazon UK

Oh, there are no words to describe how much I loved this book! I finished this book yesterday, but I was on too high a buzz to actually form coherent sentences to write the review, so decided to wait until today, but I'm still struggling on how to talk about this book without just repeating "EEEE IT WAS SO GOOD!" in several different ways, and just general unintelligible gushing. But I will try.

I really like the way in which this book was written; there aren't any chapters, it's all diary entries. But these diary entries could be anything from half a page long to several pages long. It
really annoyed me at first, simply because sometimes there were too many breaks after not much being said, and it also left me thinking "just one more chapter" would be pretty hard to judge. But as the story goes on, the diary entries get longer, and become more of what I'd consider an acceptable chapter length, and I actually started to like it! I've read maybe one or two diary-like novels before, but this is the only one where I've actually enjoyed the fact that it was a diary.

Edie was a great character, but she did annoy me a few times. The girl is 16, she's now at college studying her A-levels, so no longer a school girl - yet she seems to have forgotten this. She talks about how "boy shapes" suffer with "boy disease", and I just kept wanting to shake her, and shout "You're not 12!" And a few times she had these angsty, mopey periods over Dylan which I just felt were more the behaviour of a younger teenager, especially when considering all her friends were 19 - surely you would try to act a little more maturer?

I managed to forgive her all that because of Dylan. Who could fail to be all angsty over the gorgeous Dylan? There was so much sexual tension in this novel, you could have cut it with a knife. He's a bit of a bad boy, but not in that he's mean or gets up to no good, just he simply can't make up his mind! He likes Edie, but not enough to to commit to her - yet he can't stay away from her, and always ends up cornering her for a kiss. Talk about mixed signals! The boy wanted to have his cake and eat it, and ohhh, I wanted to slap him so many times! But this is partially why I enjoyed this book so much - it was real. Things like this do happen; girls get angsty, guys can be infuriating, and even though I wanted to slap them both sometimes, when they were together and not arguing, it was just the most sweetest thing!

The other characters in the book were also pretty cool; Nat and Trent, Edie's gay friends, were awesome in that they were always there for her no matter what. They were just lovely! Shona I had trouble working out at first; she was elusive, then she was nice, then she wasn't, then she was. I always thought, until the French trip, that she was up to something. I didn't realise it was actually Mia who wasn't the one to trust. As Edie so nicely puts it, "Mia est une grande vache." (Mia is a big cow). There was one point when even the secondary characters were a little off with Edie, because they thought she went a little far in one argument with Dylan, but I have to say, I was cheering her on so much. Dylan need not have been such a pig at times.

Oh, I really loved this book! It's now official; Sarra Manning is one of my favourite authors. If you haven't read this book yet, you really need to! Now I just have to get my hands on a copy of Kiss and Make Up.

Published: 15th July 2004
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
Sarra Manning's Blog


  1. Ah, what a wonderful review, full of ups and downs - it was like reading the book itself! :) I agree with you about Sarra Manning and I loved this book too! I hope you enjoy the other two books in the series as much as this one.

  2. I read these ages ago, and I still love Dylan. He's a toxic boy of the highest order. Glad you enjoyed it, Jo!

  3. OH this sounds like a wonderful book - have to look into getting it, it sounds wonderful! :)

  4. I'm SO glad you enjoyed this! Dylan is still one of my favourite lit boys after years of reading about many more amazing ones.

  5. Omg I've never read anything by Sarra Manning :S Must do soon!! Great review :) This one looks v. good :)

  6. Luisa - Oh, I am so looking forward to reading the next two books! I want to know what happens next! Oooh, I think I might just be addicted :)

    Jenny - Thanks! :) I did start to read your Sarra Manning toxic boy guest post last night when the start of my review was failing to save, but I didn't get very more. I'll read it now though. I can't wait to read the next ones! :)

    Jenn - Oh, it is, it's brilliant! I do hope you like it if/when you read it! :)

    Sophie - Dylan is awesome, in a completely infuriating way! I do love him, but if he continues being a div, I'm not going to be happy. I look forward to reading Edie and Dylan's future rows :)

    Sasha - Well, I only started reading Sarra Manning recently, so I wouldn't worry too much :) Thanks! It's a great book - and a great one to start with too, I'd say! Hope you enjoy Sarra Manning's books when/if you read them! :)

  7. For a girly book this sounds really interesting. I don't really do diary style books either but I'm certainly open to this one seeing as how you just love it.

  8. There is really something addictive about it, even though I got annoyed by the characters several times. I think it's just that it was.. real. And I kind of related to some of the circumstances/situations. I just loved it! I hope you enjoy it if/when you read it! :)

  9. I hadn't heard of Sarra Manning before but now I MUST add her name to my list. I'm hoping my bookstore has French Kiss when I go this morning :)

  10. Ohh, I hope they do too! It's amazing! I really loved it! I hope you enjoy it!

  11. This sounds great - I love books that are written like diary entries. Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. I have to say I'm not mad keen on diary-entry style writing... but I like the sound of this a *lot*. Your review totally makes it sound enticing and fun. Nice job!

  13. DKM - No problem! I hope you enjoy French Kiss if you read it! :)

    Lauren - Thank you! I think maybe I should point out the diary entries aren't exactly "dear diary, today..." It read more like Edie is talking to you, it just has a date above it. I just wasn't keen on how some were kind of short. But it was fine in the end. I hope you give it a go, and enjoy it if you do! :)

  14. I've been in love with Dylan since reading the serialised version of DoaC in J-17 magazine, back when I was 13/14ish!

    Kiss and Make Up is even better, it's my favourite of the trilogy.

  15. Oooh, I can't wait to read the next in the series! I read in the book that it used to be serialised, but I never actually read them in the mag myself.

  16. I have been obsessed by this trilogy for many many years and I recently wrote a review myself because I don't think Sarra Manning is given enough credit in the YA world (outside of Uk). Sarra is probably my favourite, I read almost all her books, Guitar Girl is also very good.
    She recently published "Nobody's Girl" and this is a book I am looking forward to reading.

  17. Oh, it's always great to hear that people really love a certain author's books! You make me more excited to read Sarra Manning's other novels! :) I have Guitar Girl sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read, and I can't wait to get to it! :) Thanks for commenting!