Whilst I love reading, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve read very little over the past few months. Having been super busy in my working life, I haven’t really had time to read much nor have I been particularly enticed by any book.
However, this all changed recently when I was doing some sorting at the charity shop that I work in. Looking through a pile of donated books, I was immediately drawn to the bright yellow cover of Holly Bourne’s It Only Happens In The Movies. After reading the blurb and the first few pages, I knew it was going to be the book to get me out of my reading slump.
It Only Happens In The Movies tells the story of Audrey who, after going through a horrible break up and seeing her parents’ relationship collapse, is very much over romance. However, her world is soon turned upside down when she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. We follow the pair’s unconventional journey as Holly Bourne reminds us all that love in real life is nothing like it is in the movies.
I devoured It Only Happens In The Movies within a few hours. With each chapter, I found myself being unable to put the book down for even a minute. What stands out the most about the book is how different it is from most Young Adult fiction. Holly has managed to turn your typical YA book on its head, going against stereotypes and covering topics which are normally avoided in a realistic yet humorous manner.
The book’s main protagonist, Audrey, is fiesty, sarcastic and pretty relatable. Whether you’ve past your teen years or are currently a teenager navigating through this crazy world, there will be at least a small part of you which will relate with Audrey as a character. Audrey is a strong feminist who loathes the movie tropes which are always over romanticised. Having experienced heartache at first hand, she knows that life isn’t like that and even goes on to write an assignment exploring why love is never like the movies.
In addition to the main theme of romance, there were also engaging sub-plots surrounding family, friendship and heartbreak. I also loved the use of modern references throughout. At 26, I’m not Holly’s usual target audience. However, living in the digital age makes it impossible not to relate to the references used. One of my favourites was the list of common dates in movies, such as night-time picnics in empty parks, verses common dates in real life: Nando’s.
It Only Happens In The Movies is a a very mature, true-to-life book – romance isn’t always sunshine, glitter, and happy endings. Relationships require a lot of hard work and for the most past, things will be difficult. The book reminds us of that in an engaging manner, and will make you think twice the next time you watch a rom-com.
Prior to reading It Only Happens In The Movies, I’d never heard of Holly Bourne nor had I been a fan of YA fiction. However, after capturing the true essence of what a brilliant YA book should be about, I’m definitely going to give more of Holly’s books a go in the future. I’m also excited to know that she will be releasing her first adult novel, How Do You Like Me Now?, next year.
After I finished the book, I looked it up online and was shocked to discover it had only been released in October. I don’t know how it ended up in my charity shop so quickly, but I’m truly grateful that it did. If you’re after a sassy and relatable book then It Only Happens In The Movies is for you.