REVIEW: It's Only Happens In The Movies - Holly Bourne

It Only Happens In The Movies - Holly Bourne
Published by Usborne on 5th October 2017.
My rating: 5/5
Book depository purchase link.

Holy freaking hell. This is Holly Bourne's best book to date. 

It's about Audrey, named after Audrey Hepburn, and her troubled home life, her love for drama (the subject, not like drama drama) and her hatred for romance films. When she gets a new job at her local cinema to escape the problems at home, she meets Harry. This is the part where Taylor Swift's Trouble starts playing. He's got a reputation and she shuts him down. Until she doesn't. 

Audrey is a fierce character with feminist views and the honest confusion of any teenage girl. She's a bit mean at times and not the best friend but she's got a good heart behind it all and is definitely a character to root for. After a crappy first-serious-relationship, she's damaged and scared, although no one can see it from the outside. When Harry starts to see Audrey's vulnerable side, she has to decide whether to be brave, logical, fleeting, or just violent. For anyone who's read the book, you'll know what I mean by violent. 

At this point, Taylor Swift's Love Story is probably the most likely background music you'd hear. This is YA romance at it's best and fans of Bourne's previous work, as well as readers of Nicola Yoon, Becky Albertalli, Sara Barnard and Kasie West, would love this writing style. Layered with Audrey's complex feelings about her parents' divorce, her half-siblings and step-mum, I often went from "aww" to "OMG NO" in about six seconds. So, you know, if you want to go on a roller-coaster from your own living room, this is the book for you.

I absolutely loved how it broke down the conventions of romance films, and the romance genre in general. Some chapters start with a romantic convention and compare it to real life, from kissing to dates and everything in between. It was read-out-loud and read-read-read-again worthy. Audrey's media coursework is to analyse romance films and  she comes across some pretty serious topics (sexual assault) as well as baffling ones (eye kissing) along the way. It was like analysing romance while reading a romance. 

Much like Adam Silvera's They Both Die At The End, you know the ending of It Only Happens In The Movies right from the start, but you can't help hoping that something will change it. You're rooting so much for the characters and their story. Right at the end is when Taylor Swift's Look What You Made Me Do would come on and I think it burns even more than Tay Tay's music video.

All in all, It Only Happens In The Movies is the kind of book you can't put down even when you're absolutely desperate for a wee or need to sleep because you have work in the morning. My bladder and eye bags didn't appreciate this story, but I did.

I'm going to Holly Bourne's event in Birmingham this October. Come and say hello if you're there! I may vlog the occasion so keep an eye on my Booktube channel.

Love, Jess

P.S. I want to go on a zombie run SO BADLY.

Thank you Usborne for a copy of It Only Happens In The Movies.


  1. Ooooooh it just sounds so good. I can't wait to get my hands on it!
    Cora ❤


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