It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Where do I even start when talking about this book? It is everything that I expect a Holly Bourne novel to be and more. I didn’t know if Bourne’s writing could get any better, but it did… It really did…

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…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies…

This book spoke to me on so many levels it was just crazy. Two years ago, I went through a horrible break up and ever since I have felt so cynical about love. This is exactly what happens with Audrey and exactly how she feels. I could just relate to her so much, I felt like I was reading my own story (up until she meets a guy part!) What I loved about the character of Audrey is that she tells it like it is when it comes to love. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine, and it is definitely NOT what you see in the movies. Throughout the book, Bourne makes countless references to romantic comedy films where love is shown as easy, and there are grand gestures such as flash mobs or running to the airport to propose. Bourne doesn’t sugarcoat relationships for her readers, she doesn’t lead them into young adulthood relationships (and even adulthood relationships!) blindfolded. She tells her readers not to expect fireworks 24/7 and that you have to work. Relationships. Take. Work. And that’s what is so beautiful about this book. We see Audrey and Harry work through each of their personal problems, they learn that they have to communicate with one another, and they learn that you have to act like a team to make it work.

 

 

“The only love affair I needed to invest in right now was one with myself. Spend some time with me. Figuring out myself and why I picked the relationships I did. I was holding out my heart to me. Because I’d realised I was the only person who could give me a happily-ever-after.”

― Holly Bourne, It Only Happens in the Movies

 

What I loved about the character of Audrey is that she tells it like it is when it comes to love. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine, and it is definitely NOT what you see in the movies. Throughout the book, Bourne makes countless references to romantic comedy films where love is shown as easy, and there are grand gestures such as flash mobs or running to the airport to propose. Bourne doesn’t sugarcoat relationships for her readers, she doesn’t lead them into young adulthood relationships (and even adulthood relationships!) blindfolded. She tells her readers not to expect fireworks 24/7 and that you have to work. Relationships. Take. Work. And that’s what is so beautiful about this book. We see Audrey and Harry work through each of their personal problems, they learn that they have to communicate with one another, and they learn that you have to act like a team to make it work.

BUT! The book isn’t as serious as I’m making it out to be. In the usual (and perfect) Holly Bourne style, she teaches her readers about feminism that women’s role in society isn’t just sitting there and waiting for a man to come along. I learnt so much about myself whilst reading this book.

Of course, how could I forget the zombies? Ok, so they aren’t REAL zombies. Harry is a film-maker and the current film that he wants to make is a zombie film, so Audrey has to dress up as this kick-ass feminist zombie and act in his film. Which is absolutely hilarious to read because she’s always changing the character so that it fits in with her feminist views.

However, there was ONE scene in this book that really triggered me and it is that of self-harm. It’s a very graphic scene and one that I wish I had a warning for because it really gave me a good jolt. Noticing this made me realise how all books that have triggering content in should have trigger warnings at the beginning of the book or HELL! Even before the chapter when the triggering content takes place.

But… apart from that, I really enjoyed reading this book and I really really want to read it again (minus the trigger scene), because really… Holly Bourne is one of my favourite authors ever.

Trigger warnings: self-harm, mental illness

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