Review – It Only Happens in the Movies

34564400Title: It Only Happens in the Movies
Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne
Publication date:  1st October 2017
Pages:  384, paperback
 young adult, contemporary, romance, feminism

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel. 


Many of you may know that I am a huge Holly Bourne fan – all of her books are favourites of mine, and I have been so excited to read this book since I first heard about it. I love the title, especially since movies are a key theme throughout, and this is definitely the best book I have read in the second half of this year.

As usual, Holly Bourne’s writing was a* stuff – she remains one of the few authors that can make me laugh out loud whilst reading, and the rapport between the different characters was entertaining throughout. Alongside this, the book was packed full of important messages, and I frequently found myself coming across a line or paragraph that filled me with delight, as Holly put into words what so many women (and people in general) feel. Case in point:

‘They’re never stroppy and they’re never difficult and they’re never needy and they’re never bloated and they never wear mismatching underwear and they never have cellulite and they never ask to have sex with the lights off because they hate their stomachs. And even if they ARE stroppy and difficult, it’s always something that’s MENDED by the end of the film because some guy with perfectly-sculpted arms kisses them in the rain.’

on how women are falsely depicted in movies.

I loved the character of Audrey so much: I thought she was so genuine, and as well as being extremely funny, I liked how she acknowledged that she was emotionally fragile, and that it was effecting her relationships with her friends. When she finally managed to take the first steps to mending these friendships, I was so invested in her as a character, I felt real pride and emotion. I also really liked Harry, all the more so because of his flaws – it’s so important to have male characters who are realistic, and even if Harry was completely gorgeous he still acted like any other British lad in many situations. I thought the relationship between the two of them was really interesting, and I think it really showed the ups and downs of teenage relationships in many ways.


Possibly the thing I loved most about this book was how I genuinely did not know what would happen next. Towards the end of the book, I started to think I knew what direction it was going in, only to find myself totally uncertain. This was perfect, and something I have not felt when reading a YA in a while – it was not predictable in the slightest, and it made me focus even harder when I was reading.

Every time the book was drifting close to a cliché or trope, it turned back around and revealed the witty and original plot. I knew I would love this book, but I was still blown away by the characters, the plot and the humour. It ticked all the boxes for me, and if you read one book by the end of this year, I would urge you to read this!



8 thoughts on “Review – It Only Happens in the Movies

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