It Only Happens In The Movies By Holly Bourne
Format: Paperback, 410 pages.
Release Date: 1st October 2017
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 as 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.
I think there might be a really good chance that until a month ago, I was one of the few people to have never picked up a Holly Bourne book. Which wouldn’t be as bad if I hadn’t owned a copy of It Only Happens in the Movies since it was released back in 2017. I had previously seen her books in my local bookshop but it wasn’t until I saw a yellow and popcorn covered book that I finally bought one and even then it took two years before I finally read it.
Now, I had no idea what I was heading into exactly when I picked up It Only Happens in the Movies, except that it really altered the traditional YA romance narrative which intrigued me. Although I adore romance novels, I have a problem with how romance is often portrayed in YA novels as some type of ultimate love with the couples always getting their happy endings and the appearance that they would be together until they were old and grey. But Holly Bourne completely changed that and as she wrote a more realistic representation of romance which I found comforting because no way did any of my teen romances ever turn out like they did in YA novels.
At first, we are introduced to Audrey as she applies for a job at her local cinema and that is where she meets Harry. Audrey has experienced heartbreak and humiliation from her last relationship which has caused her to retreat from the theatre that she adores, that along with her parents warring relationship and a brother who is away at university. Audrey’s job becomes an escape from everything else in her life and gives her the opportunity to heal just a little too. This was something I adored, as the book doesn’t just centre around Audrey’s relationship with harry but also with her friendship group, her relationship with her ex, brother, mother and father which I found really enjoyable. Another pet peeve of mine concerning YA romance is that often the book centres completely around the relationship and forgets about other aspects of the characters lives.
Upon meeting Harry, an aspiring filmmaker, Audrey is dragged into his world and current project – the zombie bride! However, throughout the process, Audrey and Harry ultimately fall in love and we see their relationship blossom. But life isn’t like the movies, and soon enough Audrey realises this which leads to an absolute epic conclusion. As Audrey comes to terms with all the various situations in her life – I adored her character growth. In case you haven’t realised I’m hoping to keep it really cryptic for those of you who haven’t managed to picked up a copy of this book yet.
All I will say is that I would love to see a sequel of this book one day, perhaps set fifteen-twenty years after the event in this one and see Harry and Audrey’s paths to cross once more.
Have you read ‘It Only Happens in the Movies’? What other Holly Bourne novels would you recommend that I pick up?