It Only Happens In The Movies Review

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

By Holly Bourne 
Rating: 5/5
Source: Waterstones

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents' relationship imploded her mother's been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. 

Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn't mean things are easy. 

Because real love isn't like the movies...

In Only Happens In The Movies follows Audrey Winters, an ordinary girl with a lot on her plate as she navigates the murky waters of love and romance. This is such a spot on book about more than just romance, friendship, sex, family, there was so much in this book that rang true with me and my experiences that I can hardly believe that Holly managed to write it without interviewing me.

I feel less alone for having read this book.

I felt such a strong connection with Audrey. Her disconnection from romance comes from a similar place as mine does, so I was instantly hooked by this story. Something that has been said to me on before is that I'm not romantic. I don't know at what point I got this label, or if at some point I unknowingly labelled myself as anti-romance, but it simply isn't true.

Much like Audrey, I don't buy into a lot of the 'Hallmark' BS, and at twenty-two years of age have yet to experience anything real that isn't rehearsed or plagiarised and doesn't make me want to roll my eyes. I've never been in love, despite being so sure of it at the time. Sometimes I even think that I want a boyfriend, then I remember all the things that can go wrong and I swear off men again. None of this means that I'm not romantic, I just haven't experienced real romance yet.

I needed this book, and Audrey, to make me feel like there isn't something wrong with me and that other people have these thoughts about romance.

One of the reasons Audrey has a tough time with the idea of love and relationships, is the state her dad has left her mum in following their divorce. The scenes where Audrey's mum breaks down (and literally breaks things) is so heartbreaking, it's horrible to think that someone else could have the power to break you like that. 

Audrey's dad is a horrible man who chooses a new family, including twin babies, over his two grown up children. Thankfully this is where the similarities to my life end, I haven't instantly hated a character as much as Audrey's dad in a long time. He was ruthless and cruel for no apparent reason, you can fall out of love with someone, even start a new life and still care for all of your children. I've seen it happen. This really added a layer of conflict to the story. My trust in men is slim, but with a dad like Audrey's I can see why she was reluctant to let Harry in.

I never trusted Harry. He was a welcome ray of sunshine in a book where romance is thought to be dead, I enjoyed his character but from a book titled 'It Only Happens In The Movies', I knew it wouldn't be plain sailing. I wanted him to be the knight in shining armour, I'm sure a lot of readers out there will have their swooning moments with him, but the story that Holly Bourne instead tells is so much better.

Holly understands what it means to want the real thing and get a cheap knock off instead. She gives me hope that what I have experienced is nothing unusual, if I had this book when I was sixteen I would like to think I would have made some different decisions leading up to my twenties.

So I recommend this book to all younger people, read this and let it help you make the right decisions. I also recommend it the older of us reading YA, this book was such a reflection for me. I felt emotional almost the whole way through. This is such an important book for all of us, Holly knows what she's doing and now I'm going to read everything she has ever written.

Be your own happily-ever-after


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