Cover Image: It Only Happens in the Movies

It Only Happens in the Movies

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Member Reviews

It Only Happens in the Movies is a refreshing romance.
Audrey is going through some stuff and is very disillusioned with love, especially Hollywood’s portrayal. Her commentary on different tropes in romance movies was beautiful and highlighted the differences and similarities in Audrey’s own romance. (I loved the scene where she lectured Harry for telling her she’s “not like other girls”)
Audrey’s growth throughout the book was terrific. She’s trying to handle the fallout from her parents’ divorce, she feels humiliated by how her relationship ended, and she’s depressed. She’s drawn into herself. She starts to find her confidence and joy in the thing she loves again: acting. The Girls, as she refers to her friends, were wonderful. Instead of being a source of conflict, they support her and are still there for her – I thought it was a great depiction of friendship.
It Only Happens in the Movies is honest, funny, sad, and heartwarming all at the same time. I couldn’t put it down. I’ll definitely be checking out the author’s other books!
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The storyline is cute.  Girl gets her heart broken, gets a job to distract herself from her heartbreak and the issues between her parents.  Meets a guy at her job, and ends up falling for the guy even though she was sworn off romance.  Everyone warns her about him, and yet, she falls for him.  In doing so, she learns a lot about her self.

This book was a so-so for me.  I really wanted to love it.  I tried to love it.  It just wasn't a love for me.  I didn't really connect with the characters like I wanted to.
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This was a very cute, smart YA romance that I'd definitely recommend to fans of Sophie Kinsella romances or YA novels by Erin Hahn, Jennifer E. Smith, etc. The love story between Audrey and Harry was both sweet and realistic, and Audrey's experience with her parents' divorce is something I think other kids of divorce will relate to. Overall really enjoyed this one and it made me want to read more from Holly Bourne!
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This book destroyed me in the best way possible. Everything about it was so unexpected but lovely at the same time. I loved Audrey as a character and her relationships with all of the other characters were so great and real. I am so thankful that I got to experience It Only Happens in Movies.
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I haven’t read a lot of British YA? Anyway, this was really really good, super feminist, and I really liked the message. (Side note: it’s very - exclusively? - white, so if that’s a thing you are avoiding, just an FYI). Audrey is dealing with a lot - her parents’ bitter divorce, a terrible break-up that left her with some hang-ups, abandoning things she previously loved to avoid her ex, feeling detached from her friend group, and wondering what it all means. So when the manic-pixie-dream BOY appears in her life, she tells him off and he is chastened. But they get together of course.

A lot of this book felt really, really believable to me. Have we not all been Audrey to some degree? And it was a satisfying ending on many fronts, particularly some things with her family that REALLY pissed me off while they were happening (this poor girl, leave her alone!!!), but they do come through in the end. 

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it felt pretty realistic and it was fun to get lost in this world for a while.
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THE perfect enemies to lovers romance for this pandemic period, if you want to think about something else and just appreciate a good old romance, this one's for you. A lighthearted novel that just transport you and will warm you heart and just make you smile, Holly Bourne just hits the nail on the head with this novel and if you read it you just gonna spend a good time with the characters.
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This book really bothered me because the relationships were so toxic. I was glad that Audrey stood her ground when Harry tried to get her back after cheating on her. The relationship with her mother was not good also. I pretty much ended up skimming the majority of the book.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I had loved Holly Bourne's novel Pretending and her compelling characterizations and perspectives, and so I was instantly excited to read this new book and its fun premise. Here, British teen Audrey is currently dealing with the aftermath of her parents' divorce, her own breakup, and her changing friend dynamics, all of which have made her cynical about the concept of love and romance. However, she soon finds herself falling for the ever-charming Harry from her part-time job at the local cinema even though she knows she shouldn't. From the prologue alone, I was hooked. Full of compelling and relatable language and a fresh perspective, I just couldn't put it down. I had to keep reading. Then, the first chapter dives right into the action rather than pages upon pages of exposition and background, which I appreciated. So, Audrey's working on a school project about the unrealistic behaviors in romance movies and is starring in Harry's own movie as the love interest, where she's facing whether or not she still believes love is hopeless. This book is just so easy to get sucked into and I just didn't want to put it down. It's a quick, fun, and engaging YA read. The lead character of Audrey, by the ending, is so vulnerable and full of heart that reads as authentic. By the end, I just couldn't stop reading, it had me enthralled and hooked to find out the rest of her story and what she actually wants. 

Sure, the ending was cheesy and cute, but I'm glad that it didn't just end on a HEA, but rather a self-love HEA, which I find even more impactful and empowering. It made me happy to see her realizing her worth and becoming stronger because, hey, real life isn't the perfectly curated movies and I admire this book bringing that realism.
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This was a great story with so much banter that I fell for hard.  I loved all the emotion that ran throughout the story and Audrey's discovery of herself.  First love and a great journey are what await the reader in this cute romcom because what else could happen at the movies?
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It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne is marketed to be a romance, but it is not. I think that is why I didn't actively like it. It seemed like a romance and it ended up being a break-up, coming of age. I thought it was cute, but I don't prefer break up stories, more so love stories.
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Rating: 4.5 Stars

After watching the demise of her parents' marriage, and seeing her own relationship go up in flames, Audrey was just saying NO to romance. But then she starts a new job, and he's so charming, and though she was warned multiple times about him, she goes and falls for Harry. Did Audrey make the right choice, trusting her heart over her head?

This was my first Holly Bourne experience, and I have to say, it was incredible. This book really had it all. It was funny, sweet, heart wrenching, and honest. I think I experienced just about every emotion, while also thinking how valuable a story like this would have been for teen-me. 

I felt so much for Audrey. Not only did she have to deal with her own teen drama, but she was expected to be responsible for her mother. Following her parents devastating divorce, Audrey's mother sort of fell apart. Her father was gone, her brother was away at university, and Audrey was left to pick up the pieces every time her mother had an episode. As if that wasn't enough, her boyfriend broke up with her after they had sex, leaving Audrey thinking there was something wrong with her. Embarrassed, she pushed all her friends away, quit the things she loved, and retreated within herself. 

But she had her job, which was also her escape. There, she didn't have to worry about her mother or her ex, and she could banter with Harry. Though he was far from perfect, his friendship did help pull Audrey out of her funk. I was so glad she had those sweet and tender moments with him, and that she was able to enjoy a bit of levity with her other co-workers as well. 

As I mentioned, Audrey was quite cynical when it came to love. She decided to analyze the dangers of romantic films as part of her media studies class. I was treated to snippets of her project at the beginning of each chapter and loved the way the topic was worked into the story. These bit were often amusing and interesting, but also served as a way to Audrey to examine her own beliefs about love. 

Audrey's view changed from the fairytale version to a more realistic idea of love, romance, and relationships. Accepting the idea that love was a choice, it was hard work, and it could change over time. This story was also about loving yourself and not accepting less than you deserve. It was about understanding when you should put yourself and your needs first, and also, when you should maybe walk away for situations that are not healthy. 

A quick rundown of things I enjoyed: 

✅ Lots of great rom-com moments
✅ Supportive friendships
✅ Open and honest talks about sex
✅ Zombies
✅ Interesting analysis of romantic films
✅ A grand gesture
✅ Complicated family dynamics
✅ First love feels

I cried a little as I wrote this review for several different reasons, and for me, that's a sign of a great book. One that can make me feel so much days after I have finished it is a winner to me.  Overall, I found this story entertaining and wonderfully relatable. My heart soared, my heart warmed, my heart broke, and in the end, I was overjoyed for Audrey.
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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 too much for her, she picks up a part-time job at the local cinema.

There she meets Harry.

And despite herself, she finds his corny jokes, his movie obsessions and his love for life addictive.

One thing leads to another and now she's the star of his feminist zombie flick (the feminist bit was Audrey's idea)...and despite swearing off romances...she can feel a small...small part of herself feeling the romance.

This one worked really, really well.

I love Audrey's take on life and her story was really sweet...and surprisingly realistic!

It was so fun to see how the romantic tropes worked in this one. I feel like so many books focus on "finding love" and this one took that but also made things grounded.

It also poked fun at all the common tropes as part of Audrey's "Research".

I loved how this book showed that not all love was terrible (like the divorce or her first one) but to also know your worth.

The book ends on a really good note - kind of an anti-trope that really fit well.

With thanks to Netgalley. Holly Bourne and HMH Books for Young Readers
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I really wanted to like this book. the book description and the cover made me want to start it right away. 
I couldnt really connect with the characters or get into the storyline. Right now it sits on my dnf shelf, and hopefully the next time I pick it up I will enjoy it more.
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I loved this book! A sweet, fun read that deals with some really heavy and difficult topics in an approachable way. The characters felt like real teens I might work with. I thought the movie angle was a great way to tie everything together, and that thread is consistent through the different plot points in the book. Would absolutely recommend to anyone who loves movies, romance, or books about family.
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When I saw this was a republish from a large publisher, I had high hopes that potentially it wasn't seen for its greatness early on like it should have been and that having it republished would have it highlighted the way it should be. However, this book lost me relatively on for just one thing: the girl's boyfriend breaking up with her because she was a virgin and realized she didn't want to have sex right as they started. I get it. It happens. It's a semi-realistic thing that occurs. But, as a teacher, it's not the kind of book you want in your classroom or in your library. There's ways to address it without stating it for what it is. I know it wasn't the author's intent, but it can easily be interpreted as any boy would break up with a girl for that. I mean, that's the kind of vibes the narrator gives off: that she's victim shaming herself and accepting the event as a poor decision she made. I don't know. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but with friends who've been sexually harassed and mistreated, it's not something I'd like to have out in the world. 

That aside, I'm curious to what this book looked like before the republish. I anticipate they are very different, but I feel this book still has a ways to grow.
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It Only Happens in the Movies is a fun romantic comedy commenting on romance in rom-com movies and their unrealistic expectations. I had a whirlwind of emotions while reading this book, which isn't typical for me. Audrey is such a fun character. I'm glad that the author didn't go with the ending I expected. 

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I didn't like this one and it makes me so sad! I'd never read a Holly Bourne book but have always wanted to. I went in with certain expectations and was pretty let down. I didn't like the main character and the way she represented feminism. I didn't like the love story and the amount of focus it took up on the page. Overall, I was just generally let down by this book. I've not given up on Bourne's writing though, as other reviews for this one seem to be just as shocked by the quality of it, I just wish I'd chosen a different book of her's to read first.
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This book is so raw and honest about relationships. I don't live that the main romance is between a guy who has graduated and an underaged girl, but they are only a year apart I guess. The fact that there are some frank discussions of sex in here made everything feel more mature. The mother's trauma and her daughter having to deal with it killed me, but it was so good. A little preachy at the end about loving yourself, but I can't dock a while star for that.
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This was a cute and honest YA book. I loved that this story was themed around movies and that there was so much depth to the main character. Their story was realistic and understandable. This was a great read!
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Audrey truly does have kind of a rotten life, between her various family issues, and Bourne helps the reader to empathize with her, as none of her struggles seem to be her fault. The romance in the novel feels inevitable, but it's no less enjoyable as a result.
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