November 11, 2020

#BookReview: It Only Happens in the Movies by @holly_bourneYA @Netgalley @HMHteen

Synopsis: From award-winning British author Holly Bourne comes a clever, deconstructed rom-com that proves that in real life “girl meets boy” doesn't always mean “happily ever after” . . . or does it? At turns funny, feminist, and achingly real, this read is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Patrick Ness, and Julie Buxbaum.

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.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Review: This was a great story with so much banter that I fell for hard.  I loved all the emotion that ran throughout the story and Audrey's discovery of herself.  First love and a great journey are what await the reader in this cute romcom because what else could happen at the movies?


From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Audrey took the job working in the cinema to escape her mother who is going through a divorce and, to put it mildly, not taking it well. Her father has abandoned the family and created a new one with his new wife and their two children. Her older brother is at university and leaves caring for their mother up to Audrey. To make matters worse, Audrey is trying to get over a break-up with her boyfriend, who dumped her right after they slept together for the first time. Needless to say, she is not in the best state of mind. Her coworker Harry, an aspiring filmmaker, provides a much-needed distraction. Audrey, a lover of acting, jumps at the chance to be the leading lady in Harry's zombie movie. It doesn't hurt that this dark-haired bad boy takes an interest in her. This British novel pokes fun at traditional rom-coms by illustrating the differences between a movie and real life. Bourne describes the love between the characters but also the bickering and nagging that occurs in any relationship. She shows that it's not always sunshine and rainbows, but work. Audrey's appearance and ethnicity isn't described, and Harry is white. VERDICT YA readers will relate to the struggles Audrey faces and be pleased by the refreshing conclusion to this love story.-Jessica Perovich, US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Lib.α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


★ "It's enough that this well-cast British import cleverly elevates and deconstructs genre tropes without ever belittling them, but it goes beyond even that, candidly addressing the weight of expectation behind a first sexual experience and the misconceptions that women especially often have about theirs. A substantial romance for even the most skeptical teens." —Booklist, STARRED review 

"Audrey and Harry’s relationship sings with witty banter, electric heat, and feverish emotion, but Audrey’s journey to self-discovery reaps even more rewards, leaving readers with a fresh, realistic look at first love...A wild ride that’s high on drama and deep in self-reflection." —Kirkus

"Alongside snippets of Audrey’s rom-com essay, British author Bourne draws her protagonist as a believable mix of self-awareness and inexperience as she does her best to cope with her selfish father and hurting mother, her largely absent brother, and Harry’s omnipresent ex....a smart, funny, and emotionally satisfying rom-com." Publishers Weekly

"YA readers will relate to the struggles Audrey faces and be pleased by the refreshing conclusion to this love story."—School Library Journal

About the Author

Holly Bourne started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health. Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction. Alongside her writing, she has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She lives in London, England, but dreams of the day she has a garden, dog, chickens, and a bee hive.

Twitter: @holly_bourneYA
Instagram: @hollybourneya
Facebook: Holly.BourneYA

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