Review: It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Audrey takes on a job at a posh cinema to escape from her mum’s grief, only to have to associate with a boy who flirts with everyone. As part of a school assignment, she decides to tear apart film cliches that are rarely ever reality, but will being around such a flirt have an affect on this?

I absolutely love the message this book puts front and centre: love is only perfect in films, and even then – is it really? One of my favourite parts was The Kiss that talks about men in films basically pressuring the woman into wanting to be kissed. I also liked that the lack of lesbian kisses in films was pointed out. The counsellors thoughts about unrealistic relationships were very appreciated, too.

My favourite character has got to be Audreys mum, no doubt about it. She’s really struggling (post divorce mental health crisis) and the scenes she’s in feel very raw and open. Her reactions are of someone that needs help moving on from a very tough situation.

I appreciated It Only Happens in the Movies discussing consent, safe sex and being sex positive. These are very important topics for young readers to be aware of. I’m not a big fan of reading about sexual experiences, they make me feel a bit uncomfortable (not the books fault), but I’m sure most other readers will have no problem with this.

I actually liked how this book ended, I didn’t see the Sad Thing coming but how it was resolved I was happy with. I wish more was said about Harrys family, and that Audrey wasn’t left with so much responsibility in making sure her mum stays safe.

Holly Bourne again has produced a great book, one that tackles societys views. While it’s not my favourite of hers that I’ve read, as I did find it a bit too cheesy a good chunk of times, it’s still a worthwhile read.

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