By Holly Bourne

Published by Hodder and Stoughton April 2020

What it’s about?

From the blurb:

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry.

If only April could be more like Gretel.

Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.

The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her.

As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua.

Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

What I think?

Oh my goodness! This book is so intense.

Holly Bourne’s books are always hard hitting and emotional and this one continues the themes of some of her recent YA fiction, The Places I’ve I’ve Cried in Public.

April’s feelings are so raw and honest there were points when I had to put this book down and have a break from reading.

April’s previous relationship was abusive and traumatic and she is struggling to deal with the impact on her mental health.

The relationships in the book are complicated but common. It will leave you thinking about how to support and protect your girl friends.

Despite the issues and emotions, there is a lot of love and humour in the book. I want to be friends with April and Megan and eat ice lollies and watch re-runs of Dawson’s Creek with them. These are real people and one of Holly Bourne’s strengths is her ability to write wonderfully real characters.

I will definitely be recommending this book but it absolutely comes with a trigger warning. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy of Pretending in return for an honest review.

Pretending is published later this week – order a copy from:

Waterstone’s: click here click here

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