It Only Happens in the Movies
By Holly Bourne
What it’s about?
Audrey is over romance. While dealing with her parents’ contentious divorce, a breakup of her own, and shifting friendship dynamics, she has every reason to feel cynical. But then she meets Harry, her fellow coworker at the local cinema. He’s brash, impulsive, and a major flirt. And even though Audrey tries to resist, she finds herself falling for his charms. But in this funny, insightful, and ultimately empowering novel, love—and life—isn’t what it’s like in the movies.
What I think:
Holly Bourne is my undisputed queen of YA. Her stories and characters are so relatable and I love that she presents young women who are complex and real.
Audrey is just one of these characters. The blurb of this book makes it sound like a romance but the book is much more.
Audrey is in the sixth form and struggling. Having almost possibly not quite lost her virginity to her ex-boyfriend who then promptly dumps her. Humiliated, she withdraws from drama, her favourite subject, so she can avoid him. She also withdraws from her friends. At home things are just as difficult as her parents are in he middle of an acrimonious divorce. Her mother is utterly miserable and uses Audrey as a go-between with her father and his new family.
Audrey is drawn to Harry as soon as she meets him. His gorgeous and charming. He makes her smile and the share a passion for films and acting. But Harry has problems of his own and his bad reputation leaves Audrey wary.
What I really like about this book is that Bourne does not fall into some of the toxic tropes seen in YA romance. Audrey does not think she change Harry and make him into the perfect boyfriend. She accepts his faults and decides whether or not she wants to remain in a relationship with. She also doesn’t need a boyfriend to find herself again. Audrey works through some of feelings and decides which if the relationship ls in her life she wants to mend and continue and which she needs to walk away from. This is very much a book about growing up and maturing.
I loved Audrey. I loved the ending of this book. The film references and analysis of rom-coms is both amusing and truthful. Thus is a great book for older teens as their is sex, drugs and swearing.