Review: Pretending by Holly Bourne

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Pretending

by Holly Bourne

Adult Fiction, Romance


He said he was looking for a ‘partner in crime’ which everyone knows is shorthand for ‘a woman who isn’t real’.

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry.

If only April could be more like Gretel.
Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.
The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her.

As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua.
Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?


I have just finished reading this book. And I immediately scramble to my laptop to write this review. I mean, whaaaat? That never happens. And I think maybe that is a little inkling and serves as a testament to how much I loved this book. I want to spill all my thoughts onto this page before I can forget a single one.

By now if you follow my blog I’m sure you realise that alongside Alice Oseman, Holly Bourne is one of my favourite writers and has been for quite a number of years. I would buy anything she writes, even if it’s a shopping list. Especially if it’s a shopping list. And Pretending was no different. This is her second adult novel, and I’ve not read another author that can so easily change between YA and Adult and act as if it was completely effortless. From the beginning of the novel, April’s voice so authentic and real that I felt I was living inside the pages. I knew her entire character and story just from the first few chapters and I was instantly intrigued to find out how this story would play out. There was just such an honest and raw tone to this novel.

Again, Bourne just seems to understand humans like nobody else. She is not afraid to take on complex, tough issues and it really pays off in her writing. After an incident of sexual assault, April doesn’t know if she can ever trust a man again when all they do is cause her hurt. So she starts a social experiment as Gretel – “the perfect woman”. She reels in the unknowing Joshua who starts to make her doubt her feelings towards all men. Is he actually different from the rest of the dicks she’s been with – or is this just her making the same mistake like she always does?

This book was so engrossing. It only took me two days to read this because I couldn’t get the voice of April out of my head. She was honestly hypnotic. I’m not sure at this point if I’ll ever be left anything less than amazed by a Holly Bourne novel. Everything this woman writes is absolute gold. You do not want to miss out on PRETENDING, the newest Adult book from Holly Bourne!


Rating

ARC Review: Floored

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Floored 

by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood

YA Contemporary, Mystery

Buy HERE on Book Depository!


The Breakfast Club meets One Day in Floored, a unique collaborative novel by seven bestselling and award-winning YA authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.


*Thanks so much to the publisher and Beatrice May for sending me an ARC in exchange for a review, as well as giving me the opportunity to be on the blog tour!*

If you haven’t heard about Floored yet, you seriously must be living under a rock. It is, without a doubt, one of the most highly-anticipated books of the decade and a collaborative novel between seven of the UK’s leading, bestselling YA authors. And after reading this book, the hype is damn well worth it.

I’ve only read Barnard, Bourne, Pratt and Williamson’s works but that didn’t matter. I was thoroughly able to enjoy this fantastic book without reading any of Salisbury, Wood or Byrne’s. And better yet, Floored has definitely made me want to check them out.

All of the characters in this novel are so well-polished and though they’re all bizarrely different, they complement each other so well! The mystery of the book too is built up so well from the very first page. It was such a hard book to put down! Every time I stopped reading I was just dying to know what was going to happen next. Also, I think it was such a clever idea to set it over a couple of years and give each character a chapter per year. Being an avid Holly Bourne fan going in, I thought I’d immediately be able to suss what character was hers but I just couldn’t! My guesses are on my Twitter if anyone wants to look but I cannot wait to find out.

I would 100% recommend this book to you all if you haven’t already got it on your wishlist! It comes out on the 12th of July, in just five days’ time!

floored blog tour

 

 

You can also check out my next Floored post on the 14th of July, which is part of a really special blog tour or this! There are some amazing bloggers involved so I would really keep an eye out for it!

I hope you enjoyed this review and can’t wait to see what you all thought of this fantastic book in the comments below!

 

Until next time, Ross!


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ARC Review: How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne

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How Do You Like Me Now?

by Holly Bourne

Adult Contemporary


Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey?

There’s no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. A straight-talking, bestselling author, she’s inspired millions of women around the world with her self-help memoir. And she has the perfect relationship to boot.

But Tori Bailey has been living a lie.

Her long-term boyfriend won’t even talk about marriage, but everyone around her is getting engaged and having babies. And when her best friend Dee – her plus one, the only person who understands the madness – falls in love, suddenly Tori’s in terrifying danger of being left behind.

When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.

It’s time for Tori to practice what she’s preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?

The debut adult novel by bestselling author Holly Bourne is a blisteringly funny, honest and moving exploration of love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties.


*Thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review!*

Holly Bourne is definitely up there in my top three writers, so I was absolutely chuffed when I was approved for the ARC of her upcoming adult debut!

I must admit I was a bit hesistant going into this on whether I would like it or not, seen as I don’t usually read a lot of adult. But it was completely unnecessary because How Do You Like Me Now?, like every other of her books, was FANTASTIC.

I only finished It Only Happens in the Movies recently but I was already missing Bourne’s laugh-out-loud writing style terribly. This book was everything – I was hooked from page one. The writing was of course funny and sharp and so bloody realThe great thing about Bourne as a writer – whether it be YA or Adult – is that she manages to express everything to realistically and not sugarcoat things just for the sake of it. Her characters are always so true and genuine and honest and it’s something I love about her as a writer.

At times it reminded me of Bridget Jones, which is the best thing ever because I adore Bridget Jones just like any other sane person. This book is so brilliant and I love the various types of media woven throughout. How we get a look into Tori’s personal life with her texts and Facebook updates, as well as the posts she makes to the numerous fans of her memoir.

I just wish this didn’t end so quickly. I loved this book so much, and I’m so proud of Bourne for the transition from YA to Adult. And I must admit the end did scream out for a sequel 😉

I JUST WANT MORE TORI!



Rating: 

★★★★★ (+ten times more!)

 

Review: It Only Happens in the Movies, by Holly Bourne

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It Only Happens in the Movies

by Holly Bourne

YA Contemporary, Romance


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 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… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.


So, I’m sure if anyone knew me at all, you’d know straight away that I’m one of Holly Bourne’s biggest fans. She is definitely in my top three favourite writers because her books are just amazing.

I started with the Spinster Club trilogy and fell in love instantly – quickly, might I add, moving onto Manifesto and Soulmates. So I’ve been itching for some new writing from this author that I adore and thankfully I snatched a copy of It Only Happens in the Movies when it came out. I had high hopes for this book…and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I love how bloody realistic her books are! I’m not sure about anyone else, but Audrey and Harry’s romance is probably the most legitimate teenage relationship I’ve ever read in YA. She just gets young adults. She understands them.

The book follows Audrey, who starts a job at the local independent cinema and meets Harry. She’s going through the worst shit at home with her dad leaving her family for another woman and also the recent break-up of a boy she thought she loved. She’s not ready to open up her heart so soon, but when she meets Harry, everything changes.

And of course this sounds like a cliché plot – but that is the whole point! One of the greatest things about this is that Bourne deconstructs the whole idea of romance in movies and TV shows and what it’s really like in the real world. She captures a true portrayal of love in the wittiest way possible.

Her characters are again, one of the best things about this book (I love Leroy and Alice and of course Auds!)  – as well as the feminism threaded throughout the book. Am I the only one who bloody love when Bourne’s characters go on a feminist rant? I need more please. Like maybe just an entire novel with feminist rants. Take. My. Money.

So, to conclude, I really, really enjoyed It Only Happens in the Movies. It definitely lived up to my expectations and I literally just got approved for Holly’s new adult book on netgalley so you will probably find me curled up under my duvet, savouring every last page just like this one.

See you all soon, and please, READ THIS FABULOUS, HILARIOUS, IMPORTANT book!!!!


Rating:

★★★★★

 

Review: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

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Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Release Date: 22nd September 2016
Genre: YA, Short Stories
Pages: 384


The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon , Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah. GBP1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity. 


I think it’s quite obvious from the books that I’ve read that I was really excited to get this book. I feel like I’ve been saying I’m excited for this book repeatedly in my last few blogs, but I can’t help it, I just am really excited about lots of books, lmao…
Anyways… the main authors I was looking forward to reading in this were HOLLY BOURNE (AKA MY QUEEN), LISA WILLIAMSON and my recently discovered new favourite NON PRATT!
It’s hard to talk about this book without going into too much detail about each and every individual story. If I had to pick my top three it would honestly be Lisa Williamson’s, Non Pratt’s and Juno Dawson’s!
I know, I know, Holly’s name isn’t in my top three and I feel like I’m saying the biggest sin right now but her story just didn’t do it for me. I found it (not dissimilar from a few others, might I add) to be a bit boring. I think my problem with it is that maybe I wanted more because I didn’t really feel like it told a story with a beginning, middle and end. Anyways, I’m going to STOP myself right now from slating Holly Bourne because she is a cinnamon roll and does not deserve it.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the stories because most of them I found to be too short but I think that his kind of anthology is a great way to discover never-before-read UKYA authors! Like for example, I’ve read nothing by Cat Clarke before but now I’m more than ever eager to get my hands on The Lost & the Found!!
Yeah…so, it was a small tiny bit disappointing but some of the stories hit home for me (Juno) so I’m glad that I read it.
Also, it put me in a real Christmassy mood so only 11 months to go!!!

I’m gonna give this 3 stars out of 5, although my Goodreads differs :/

Review: …And A Happy New Year?, by Holly Bourne

AAHNY.jpgLet me just start this review by saying that I fell in love with Holly Bourne as an author ever since I read Manifesto.  Since then, I’ve read all of her books and this was my most recent. It’s easy to say that Holly Bourne has quickly climbed her way  to becoming one of my favourite authors. Here’s why:

Her characters in this book, and its 3 predecessors, are utterly love-able. Without Lottie’s intelligence, Amber’s hilarity or Evie’s wisdom, I don’t know where I’d be without them. I’m pretty sure these three lovely FEMINIST girls have shaped my life in one way or another.

And as their stories came to an end in this epic novella conclusion, I’ll admit I shed a tear. This was so well-written, so funny, so fast-pacing that I gobbled it up in one night! Thank you to DeptCon 2 for allowing me to purchase an early copy! I don’t think I would’ve been able to survive until November for it.

This was marvellous and beautiful and immensely touching but now I’m SO SAD it’s over.

5 out of 5 stars, for definite!