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It Only Happens in the Movies

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  10,327 ratings  ·  1,653 reviews
A clever, deconstructed rom-com that proves that in real life “girl meets boy” doesn't always mean “happily ever after” . . . or does it? At turns funny, feminist, and achingly real, this read is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Patrick Ness, and Julie Buxbaum.

Audrey is over romance. While dealing with her parents’ contentious divorce, a breakup of her own, and shiftin
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published December 1st 2020 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2017)
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El It’s an older book but I read it when I was 13, I would recommend 13/14 as the youngest

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,327 ratings  ·  1,653 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  ·  review of another edition
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 particular
not my cup of tea. as in not my first drink of choice, but i will drink it if theres nothing else.

i can understand the important message of this story and why things ended the way they did (i would have made the same choice had i been in audreys position), but its not really what i wanted to happen. but maybe thats the whole point - to show that sometimes you dont get the ending you want, but you get the ending you need.

regardless, theres just something that kept me from truly connecting with
chan ☆
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-contemporary, 2018
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
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
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 deconstr
Miranda Reads
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it

Just published my October Book Vlog and whew! It was a lot of reading but so worth it!
The Written Review
Audrey has sworn off romance - and NO not in a "totally swears it off but is secretly looking for love" - she actually means it.

She's just gone through her first breakup, she's seen her parent's divorce, she's read all the books and watched all the movies.

She knows every possible romance plot there could conceivably be and she says NO to all of them.

When her home life gets a little
Emer (A Little Haze)
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
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here’s what we have for our literature menu:
Feminism vibes and realistic touch to the sensitive issues like mental health, drug addiction, divorce✅
Smart criticism of romcoms ✅
Witnessing an average heroine’s turning into a badass one who stands for herself including asshole cheating father like a rabbit’s transformation into a roaring lion✅
Good, supportive girl friendship ✅
Positive messages including choosing yourself and learning self acceptance✅

I filled all my check boxes. I always love good wr
Kate (GirlReading)
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

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💛
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun-and-dumb, ya, 2020
A few months ago, I wrote in my review of Love Is For Losers that every year I comb through a ton of YA looking for a specific type of humor and voice, but end up finding, on average, only two books a years that perfectly fit my reading taste. So, in 2020, It Only Happens in the Movies is the second such novel, and, naturally, I enjoyed it.

I wouldn't say this novel breaks some new ground, it is a traditional contemporary YA story - Audrey is not really romantically inclined at the beginning of t
Kate (beautifulbookland)
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patricia Crowther
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (Married To Books)
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
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one does it like Bourne.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
It Only Happens in the Movies was such a fun read and I really enjoyed the book. Especially the ending was a part I really liked as it was quite surprising but fit the story very well.

Overall, this was a perfect summer read and I definitely can't wait to read more books by Holly Bourne in the future.

instagram || my blog || twitter
grace dodd
This book is just bloody brilliant. End of story.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wordpress Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

📗 I should already know that if a contemporary romance book (if this can be even considered that) is over 400 pages long, I'm not going to be in for a good time. This book was torture, with slut shaming and problematic ideas of consent, with sex scenes that were bordering on assault that a little too graphic for me, as I prefer my YA Contemporary Romances to be fluffier.

📕 I liked Audrey and Harry's relationship while they were working at the cinema. They were
Robin (Bridge Four)
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from Amazon Vine. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’ve read a lot of romances and usually there is that area where you have to suspend your disbelief for the story to work.  They all follow a pattern of sorts and most of us know that pattern like the back of our hand.  It Only Happens in the Movies is a standalone novel which pokes a little bit of fun at all of those tropes and
3.5/5 stars
Okay, where should I start with this book? It was okayish good (if that makes any sense).. Like, in the veryyy I was a bit bored.. Then, kinda started to get into the story.. After that some parts were there that cringed me out, then, I got annoyed of Harry and slightly Audrey and finally, the ending was satisfying.. And I was like, Phew! Its about time that this story got better!
So, apparently, its about Audrey who is heartbroken cuz of her ex who well, lets say didnt end t
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 t
Such a brilliant take on romantic movie clichés. Also, zombies.
Laura Tenfingers
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, ya
All possible stars plus a few more on top! OMG! I loved this book more than I could have possibly anticipated. The characters were perfectly developed, believable and I spent A LOT of time gushing over Harry. But the message!!! OMG! Beautifuly done! (view spoiler) ...more
rebecca ☕️
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
Nov 07, 2020 marked it as wishlist  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ by: emma
Getting a copy from the pub and SO excited about that because it sounds all kinds of empowering and cute
Its a story about Audrey, who because of a heartbreak became a bit of cynic. She starts working in a movie theater and that´s 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 H
I like the easy/quick read of this book, and wanna read more from Bourne because of that, but i honestly felt annoyed sometimes that the book would call out movies on stereotypes/clichés and then preceed to use the same cliché...
To use the expression, having its cake and eating it.
I also want to point out that no one (of age at least) believes romance movies are realistic/how it's like in real life - but honestly, that's why people watch them. To escape real life.
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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

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110 likes · 35 comments
“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.” 50 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.” 44 likes
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