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Danielle

What Danielle Did Next

A YA and NA book review blog

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Diary of a Crush: French Kiss

French Kiss  - Sarra Manning Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next Gather round kids! I’m going to tell you a story about the good ol’ days! A time before Twitter, iPhones, and gasp! the Kindle!!! No it wasn’t 1875! It was the late 90′s and I was still a teenager (physically anyway, emotionally I still am and to be honest my chest never got the puberty memo O-O) reading my fave teen mag J17.Every month there was a serial called “Diary of a Crush” featuring uber cool cat Edie and her epic romance with the sulky but sultry boyshape – Dylan. It became required reading for me and my friends (after the Problem Pages cos…you know!) and we were enthralled with each new instalment of their saga and when J17 commissioned 3 novellas for even more adventures of Edie to give away as gifts with the mag – well it was like Christmas!Before YA really took hold and became the successful machine it is today most of my “YA” novels came from the US like Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew with some Judy Blume stuck in there too. There was no real UK/Ireland YA stories so when Sarra Manning started DOAC it was such a relief to read about teens that spoke like us, had the same cultural references and social backgrounds. Now with the internet and the age of instant information everything meshes together and there’s a uniformity to the young person’s social experience globally that wasn’t there when I was growing up so it was extra special.I’m delighted that Atom books have decided to republish Diary of a Crush incorporating the magazine entries and novellas into three separate volumes. While Manning has updated the boy crushes, music references and fashion to reflect the noughties there is still that spine tingling excitement when reading that brings me right back to huddling in the school yard, clutching the magazine and reading with my friends.Diary of a Crush: French Kiss follows Edie as she moves with her parents to Manchester from Brighton and has to settle into a new town, school, social circle. As Edie slowly makes new friends (and enemies) and falls madly in love with broody Dylan who drives her crazy with lust one minute and rage the next and bonds with new pals Shona, Nat and Trent, she comes out of her shell and makes some discoveries about herself and those around her. On a school trip to Paris, Edie gets swept up in the romantic atmosphere and we discover whether she and Dylan are the real deal or will the only souvenir be hearbreak?I adore Edie, she’s very much the typical teenager without Manning resorting to bestowing Bella-esque traits on her. She’s fun, sweet, caring and utterly frustrating at times as she lets her stubborn side get the better of her. She’s sixteen and all her friends are nineteen so at times the age difference is glaringly obvious but Edie has a lot of layers and a unique maturity of her own. Dylan is the typical moody hotty we all know and love with the blistering kisses coupled with the cold shoulder that those bad boys do so well. Their relationship goes through many twists and turns but it always has that element of real about it and never jumps into epic insta-love territory we see so often in YA.I love her friend Shona with her hip edgy style and caustic wit and Nat and Trent are adorable and a real support for Edie.It was pure nostalgia to reread this book and I enjoyed the trip down memory lane immensely. It was just as much fun to readit while pushing 30 as it was as a teen (seriously there’s no difference between me then and now!) and it confirmed Diary of a Crush as one of my all time favourite teen series.Many thanks to Atom for supplying me with a copy for an honest review!