It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne Review

Photo from @beautifulbookland on Instagram

Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So I’m gonna be brutally honest and say that this book right here was a cover buy, for the simple fact that I didn’t have very many yellow books for my Bookstagram rainbow pictures and it was low-key stressing me out.

I’m happy to announce, though, that It Only Happens in the Movies was delightful, and my cover buy paid off. And now I have yellow books to use in my pictures, so it’s a win all round really.

Not only does Audrey have a pretty difficult home life (thanks to her dad for leaving their family for another woman, who was pregnant with his kids), she’s also suffering from heartbreak after her then-boyfriend dumped her one week after their failed sexual encounter. Audrey is embarrassed and bitter and swears off boys – especially boys like Harry, who just scream trouble, and who have the ability to break her already fragile heart. But can you really choose who to love?

I think the thing that I like the most about this book is how much it makes you think. It challenges the many clichés that you find in romance films, from the bad boy turned good, to dramatic kisses and The Big Obstacle at the end that tests their relationship. I loved how Holly dedicated different parts of the story to different clichés and explored them.

Audrey is also a really good main character – her feelings are complex and often conflicting, and they’re so totally real. Her worries about her body and her feelings are real, and are things that are often glossed over or sugar coated in many films and books. I liked how, after her failed attempt at sex with her ex, sleeping with Harry didn’t suddenly make singing angels descend from the heavens, blow Audrey’s mind and making her a Changed Woman. Sure, she liked sex, but it wasn’t life changing; it didn’t complete her.

I also really enjoyed Holly’s humour in this book. I have no idea why, as an English gal, I often find YA books set in England slightly cringey and childish. Honestly, I don’t know either, it’s really irritating. But Holly’s writing is witty and addictive, and I loved it.

I think the only thing I wasn’t crazy about in It Only Happens in the Movies (apart from Rosie, who I would like to drop kick off a cliff) was the ending. And even then, I can appreciate the fact that it was a good way to end, and I like the fact that Audrey doesn’t put up with any shit and knows that she needs to protect her own feelings. BUT, I am a huge lover of happily ever afters, and I’m a huge romantic; I read books to escape real life, to experience a shit ton of happily ever afters, so while I can appreciate how relevant the ending was to the book, it still made me sad.

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