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It Only Happens in the Movies

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  4,798 ratings  ·  875 reviews
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 ev
Paperback, 410 pages
Published October 1st 2017 by Usborne Publishing
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,798 ratings  ·  875 reviews

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Holly Bourne, where have you been all my life?

A short, by no means definitive list of just some of the literally innumerable awesome things this book contains:
- feminist criticism of romcoms
- a takedown of the bit in The Fault in Our Stars when the characters' steamy makeout happens in the Anne Frank House
- a screaming rant against the line "not like other girls"
- a powerful, badass, damaged heroine who heals herself
- and a bunch of satisfying scenes in which that heroine screams and/or gets her
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm changing my rating to a 5 stars simply because, as soon as I woke up this morning, my first thoughts were of this book! I am in love!

The story was about challenging the notion of romantic-comedies or romantic movies in general. How it is not realistic, giving women false sense of security or hope and calling out the misogynistic viewpoints that are ingrained in our society.

This is exactly the type of book young girls should be reading and I love that Holly Bourne always challenges particula
Aj the Ravenous Reader
4.5 stars

“You can’t help your feelings. But you can choose what to do about them.

I am literally standing up right now, wildly clapping my hands in frenzied adoration and reverence to that most wonderful, powerful conclusion to a supposedly romantic story. Seriously. I could still feel goosebumps all over. Just *sighs*

But wait, did I just say romantic? I guess I did even though the main purpose of the book is to contradict everything about romantic movies. It’s actually a blatant deconstruc
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Maybe more of a 3.5? It was mega feminist and I really liked the ending but honestly the plot itself was a little boring. Meh

TW: drug use, depression, divorce
chan ☆
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, ya-contemporary
i'm just going to eternally scream into the aether about how viscerally satisfying this book was

this story is about what is essentially audrey's senior year of high school (i say essentially cause hoe is british) and the life changes that are happening to her. her father has left her mother for another woman. her brother is away at uni. her ex dumped her pretty savagely. and there's a new guy at work that she's kind of crushing on.

unfortunately, the most satisfying part of this book is also the
I have so many feels about this book. SO MANY!!!!

I think it's fair to say that Holly Bourne has fast-tracked her way to the title of my favourite YA contemporary author as this is the second book by her that I have enjoyed in recent days.

I love rom-coms. They are my absolute favourite type of film to watch. My personal favourites are any of those Richard Curtis ones with Hugh Grant playing a foppishly dashing leading man! Heck my dog is even named after a dog from a rom-com (Brinkley in You've
Kate (GirlReading)
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5* There’s no denying my love for Holly Bournes writing style, it’s incredibly easy and comfortable to read. The way she writes feminism into her books is always a winner and her humour is so brilliantly British. I’m also always all for anything to do with movies in books, so the concept for this book instantly had me hooked and I expected to adore it. However, I didn’t love this as much as I’d anticipated and to be honest, I can’t quite put my finger on why just yet. I didn’t totally warm to ...more
Spoiler Free Review


Trigger Warning: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, possible Self Harm

To begin, I got this in my bookboxclub subscription and for the month of November I've only been reading books from my subscriptions. I've found some really really good reads and this is 1000000% included! Honestly I'm so surprised by how much I enjoyed this.

What I liked so much is how it challenges the representation of romance throughout films (I'm also going to include books as well) and how
Sara➽ Ink Is My Sword
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it

That ending made me feel so bittersweet.

For more book reviews, bookish things, top 10s, book tags visit me on Ink Is My Sword🌸

💭Pre-reading thoughts:

My first Holly Bourne book!!! If this is not a success I am gonna be disappointed.

Buddy-read with the summer to my winter💛
Patricia Crowther
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked how this showed 'real' relationships. How difficult and messy and just downright awful they can be. Exactly the bits we don't see in the movies or in a novel even. I completely agreed with many of the points raised, particularly about those using social media to shout about how wonderful their relationship is. Which is a major pet peeve of mine. Who are they even trying to convince?

Anyway, overall I thought it was a great reflection on all things relationship, first love, betrayal
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
A romance set in a Cinema? Um, heck yes!

Audrey is tired of romance movies after her parents dealing with their messy divorce. In her final year of studies before going to Uni, she lives alone with her Mum who is mentally struggling to cope with all of the stress. To save some money up, Audrey finds work at a local cinema and meets Harry who loves making his movies. Both have some hidden secrets of their own that over time, start to be revealed as important life decisions have to be made... The p
Kate (beautifulbookland)
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
So I’m gonna be brutally honest and say that this book right here was a cover buy, for the simple fact that I didn’t have very many yellow books for my Bookstagram rainbow pictures and it was low-key stressing me out.

I’m happy to announce, though, that It Only Happens in the Movies was delightful, and my cover buy paid off. And now I have yellow books to use in my pictures, so it’s a win all round really.

Not only does Audrey have a pretty difficult home life (thanks to her dad for leaving their
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No one does it like Bourne.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
4.25 ‘true romance’ stars

Why love is never like the movies?

So apparently love and romance aren’t like the movies! Surprise surprise!!
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the book that deal with true life romance, with all its highs and lows. Without sugarcoating it. Without showing you the happy fluffy side of things only. This book show you true life romance. It shows you how to choose yourself, to love yourself first. Something many girls would relate to.

Because you always leave a little piece of
It Only Happens in the Movies

5 stars !!

This book got me !! I was all over the place: happy, sad, feeling butterflies, laughing out loud, the pain and embarasment. It got it all! This book was good and sad at the same time and well written! I couldn't stop reading!
- warning tearjerker -

“Shit, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," I yelped.
Harry was rubbing his jaw. "What was that?"
My keys were in my fingers, my back was to him. I fumbled with the lock. I had to get out of here. Oh my God, I'd tried to
Such a brilliant take on romantic movie clichés. Also, zombies.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Its a story about Audrey, who because of a heartbreak became a bit of cynic. She starts working in a movie theater and thats when things start to change.

Audreys character was a bit annoying at the beginning, she changed her whole life just to avoid her ex-boyfriend. Its not something I can imagine doing myself.
To be honest for about 50 pages I was hating this book. There were two possible endings and I absolutely loved the one she went with. If she did anything else I would have no faith in Ho
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, 2017-reads, ya
I've got so many thoughts on this book, where do I even begin?

First off, I am a hardcore lover of romance movies, books, shows etc. So, you might be wondering why a girl like me would even pick up a book that smacks down the notion of romance movies and how they can be full of empty promises and realistic scenarios. Well, this is exactly what intrigues me, as I'll be the first to admit that 90% of romance movies are a tad unrealistic but I think that's what makes me love them. As a sucker for a
Abbie (boneseasonofglass)
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I really enjoyed this book. Holly writes such honest books with real stories and it's just brilliant to read
Trigger warnings: parent with mental health problems, self harm, alcohol abuse, dubious consent in flashbacks, zombies.

3.5 stars.

I was super excited when I heard there was a new Holly Bourne book coming out, because the Spinster Club trilogy is absolutely phenomenal and I love everything about it. So I jumped straight into this one, hoping for more of the same.

And I did kind of get more of the same. But I also...didn't. There's definitely plenty of feminism here. Audrey's sick of the classic
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owsogood
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's been almost a month since I read this and I'm still unclear how to voice my feelings toward this book.

I love the cover. I love the concept. I love the movie tie-ins. I love that this ended how it should have. I love that it subverts the tropes.

Ultimately its necessary. Stories like this are needed to shed a light on healthy relationships.

All that being said...I still felt torn. Maybe it's the conditioning...I don't know.

Like I said, it's been a month and I still seek resolution. Full RT
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVED THIS BOOK. And loved the ending even more.
Kathy - Books & Munches
This has been standing on RTC since.. May 2018 and we're currently January 2019.
I'm so sorry for never writing a decent review on this book and not being able to now. How could I, having forgotten so many of the little things I loved about this novel?

I do remember I loved the author mentioning all the cliches we see in movies and then using them, in one way or another, to steer her characters. It Only Happens at the Movies isn't a typical, predictable contemporary read at all - not as far as I
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love this.

LIKE . . . thoughts. . . what are they???

This book showed actual REAL relationships in REAL life and important things that I quibble over in contemporaries:

- [x] not everyone was a relationship expert at age 17 and hsgbldfghbbgfjfdb.
- [x] About how cliches are bs and never actually happen in real life.
- [x] Not everyone has everything figured out at 17-19!!!!!!!!!
- [x] People have shit going on in their lives.
- [x] basically this book was perfect fo

I think I really enjoyed it but I might change my mind/rating tomorrow morning....
more thoughts soon!


Nope, I’m gonna leave the five star rating! I really loved this book and the movie parts in between! Definitely a recommendation
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
Such a good love story. Very real, not too cheesy. Liked it a lot!
Fizah(Books tales by me)
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-read
I was looking for cute, light and quick books as so many things are going on in life, I am in the right mood to read books which take time. So I asked for suggestions on my Instagram, and one girl suggested this book. I knew about it but it never intrigued me. I have this weird feeling when I see a book and know that no Fizah don’t read it. I tried to not follow my gut feeling a couple of time and it didn’t go well. But seeing this girl’s enthusiasm and the way she defines to me why I should rea ...more
Follow my blog for more posts: hjbookblog

"Romance films are money-spinning cathedrals of

love, wobbling on the foundations of unbelievable

and damaging stereotypes."

‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ is one of my most anticipated read of 2017. It has a fresh take on romantic comedies and tackles all the clichés like a pro. It is different than anything else I have read and smashes the misogyny and sexism deeply ingrained in the society.

Each chapter starts off with a movie trope (like a bad boy who ch

Marie Andrews
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full Book Review also on my blog here:

Well what can I say? This was probably my most anticipated book of the year and Holly Bourne is my favourite author so there was definitely a lot to live up to! I was counting down the days until publication day, but managed to grab an early copy from her London Piccadilly book launch last week (which was so fun and I got the chance to meet so many other book bloggers!) and devoured It Only Happens In The Movies in o
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A Book Nirvana: BUDDY READ It Only Happens in the Movies 57 13 Nov 10, 2017 12:03AM  

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Holly 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, including the best-selling, award-winni
“Love isn't just a feeling. Love is a choice too. And you may not be able to help your feelings, but you are responsible for the choices you make about what to do with them.” 24 likes
“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.” 24 likes
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