Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Review: Diary of a Crush - French Kiss by Sarra Manning
Released: May 30th, 2013 (updated edition)
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?
I first read parts of the Diary of a Crush series when it was serialised monthly in J17 magazine many years ago, then when it was published in novel format in 2004. I loved it the first time round and when I saw that it was being republished and updated, I was pretty excited. I won't lie. Nostalgia is the first feeling I got when I re-read it; I think I was in college the first time so I was a lot younger, maybe seventeen. I've changed a lot since then, as has my reading tastes, but I still enjoyed French Kiss. I wasn't sure if I would, but that old love for Edie and Dylan is still there.
Reading it again at age twenty-six, I noticed some things I didn't notice when I was first introduced to Edie and her super crush on Dylan. For starters, I now see just how obsessed Edie is with him. It's obsession to the point of irritation, but I suppose that's what crushes are like, aren't they? Though I must admit, I've never semi-stalked anyone like Edie has - that must definitely be a teenage thing! Also, Dylan is seriously *such* an idiot! He treats Edie so badly, often with no explanation as to why and, honestly, it's a miracle she continued to pursue him. Though, hey, teenage boys are very hard to figure out - am I right?!
I also picked up on the writing, and how it's not the best I've ever read. Still, it was Sarra Manning's first foray into writing anything expect magazine articles and, when you bear that in mind, it's good. Easy to read and fairly simple, but good and enjoyable all the same. Sarra Manning writes like she's still a teen herself; she knows all the ins and outs of their minds, what clothes they wear and what's popular. She's nothing if not authentic.
In this updated edition, some pop culture references have been changed (bye bye Leo DiCaprio, hello Ryan Gosling), bits of her writing has been tweaked (I think she mentioned some dodgy sentence structures in her author notes) and Edie and Dylan have generally been brought forward by a decade and a bit. It's about time this got an overhaul, as now it will appeal to a whole new teenage audience who probably haven't even heard of J17 magazine! Wow, now I feel old...
Anyway, if you read the original when it was published, then I suggest you pick up a copy of this edition and re-read it. The nostalgia will be in full force, along with a glaring realisation that you're glad you're no longer a teenager, consumed by drama and boys who have sticky up hair and a nonchalant attitude. I may even buy the next two books in this series and see what other changes have been made. I just can't help myself!