Book Review: French Kiss by Sarra Manning

Posted October 16, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: French Kiss by Sarra ManningFrench Kiss by Sarra Manning
Series: Diary of a Crush #1
Published by Atom Books on June 8th, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Slice-of-Life, Young Adult
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

The first in the much-loved Diary of a Crush trilogy from bestselling teen author 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. . .

Fast forward to the college trip to Paris and things are really heating 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 boys like Dylan ever play for keeps?

3 Stars

Oh, French Kiss. You adorable little book, you. *pets* I’ll say upfront that I didn’t like French Kiss nearly as much as my all-time favorite, Adorkable. But still there is so much enjoyment in this book, and I am sure by now that Sarra Manning is one of those authors of whom I want to read all their work.

I got off to a rocky start with this book. Edie, the main character, is a weird one. At first I totally couldn’t place her personality (or rather, figure out if she had one or not). That, I think, was primarily kind of a disappointment to me because of how upfront and in-your-face Jeane’s personality in Adorkable was.  I couldn’t place her – was she the quiet, studious girl? Was she the inwardly sarcastic, loner girl? I didn’t know. Likewise, Dylan, the love interest, also didn’t have as greatly outspoken a personality as Michael did. So then, these two less likable, less memorable characters had an insta-attraction / instalove thing going on.

I was all ready to just cry my eyes out and *headdesk* because I was expecting more.

But it got better.

French Kiss, the first installment of the Diary of a Crush series, is the British counterpart to the Jessica Darling series, which is rather funny as I just read Sloppy Firsts recently. This is not an official comparison, but this is what I feel it is. French Kiss is the same kind of slice of life story. It’s not outspoken in its plot. It’s told in a diary form, like Sloppy Firsts. It’s real and perhaps not always pretty, but rather true to life.

But I think I like French Kiss a little better (though they got the same rating) because it fills in the romance part that I was expecting in Sloppy Firsts but didn’t get. Sarra Manning knows how to write chemistry. Like, “oh my god, give me more, I’m just going to sit in the metro past my stop because I can’t stop reading” chemistry. And that I really loved. The scenes between Edie and Dylan past the halfway point of this super short novel were just electrifying. So good. I mean, if you want good kissing scenes, you need to read Sarra Manning, because that woman has some serious skills.

So the book was rather light and fluffy, centered around this romance. There were some nice scenes in Paris (including making out at the Louvre, because oh yes). There was a brilliant friendship, though it had its rough start as well, between Edie and Shona. And the friendship between Edie and her two gay friends was also wonderful to read.

I wish we could have kept the mean girl antics to a minimum, but I guess that was kind of an inevitability in this kind of slice of life story. However, my biggest problem is still that the romance was ultimately rather instalovey, and I wish that there was just more dialogue between the characters to prove it wasn’t all a physical attraction thing and so that we could get to know the characters and their personalities, which I’m sure they have. But I’m rather positive about the fact that this will get better further on in the series, as this book also got better as it went along. And luckily I have the whole series on hand to just binge read.

Summing Up:

This story was so cute and such a fun, quick read. And I mean quick, the story itself is just over 200 pages. So if you’re going to embark on this series, I recommend having all of them on hand so you can just continue. Because you will likely want to continue. I mean, that romance is just electrifying and addictive. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To…

Fans of chemistry, hot kissing scenes, and/or the Jessica Darling series.

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12 responses to “Book Review: French Kiss by Sarra Manning

  1. Having just read 3 Sarra Manning books in a row (thank you for introducing me to her btw, Adorkable is sill my favorite) it seems like her specialty is characters/situations you don't totally like at first and then all of a sudden realize you're totally into as the story unfolds. The best I can figure is it's some sort of witchcraft and incredibly well-written making out. I can't wait to read this one!
    My recent post Review: The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

  2. Samantha Stewart

    I read this series years ago and I totally forgot all about it! I remember absolutely loving the chemistry between Dylan and Edie. I think I'm going to have to get a hold of this series again so that I can re-read it.
    Great review Debby! 🙂

  3. cfiel25

    After seeing your review of Adorkable and that cute Debby book button, I immediately included it on my TBB list. I guess the humor in this book can still compensate for the instalove. I might give this a try in the future but first I have to read Adorkable and see if it will work for me.

    Awesome review, Debby! <3
    My recent post Age and Gender: Do They Matter?

  4. darlingmisswendy

    Oh, I can't wait to read this, Debby! I don't mind seeing your 3.5 rating since a couple of her books have been around that for me as well, but I just love the bouncy writing style, and as you said, there's always amazing chemistry between the characters. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this despite a few quibbles–definitely on my list to get from Amazon UK the next time I feel like splurging! Thanks for the review. 🙂

  5. Yay more love for Adorkable! This series doesn't entirely measure up to that awesomeness, but it's still a fun read (at least this first one, the rest of the series… I dunno.)

  6. We can form the Sarra Manning fanclub together and TOTALLY MAKE THIS A THING I REGRET NOTHING. *cough* I need to get more of her books. asdjfkl;

  7. Haha, have fun, if you do reread it! I really liked the first one, but the rest of the series may be a bit too juvenile for me. Oh well, still a fun experience 🙂

  8. True, her writing style is just SO FUN, and the way she tackles romance is just sooo praiseworthy. I need more of her books asdfjkl; Must read them all!!! 🙂