It Only Happens In The Movies

This was not what I expected at all.

Name: It Only Happens In The Movies

Author: Holly Bourne

Published: 2017

It Only Happens in the Movies

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… 

‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ was brilliant – I’m worried I won’t be able to do it justice. It follows Audrey, a feminist teenager whose family life is falling apart. She recently broke up with/was dumped by her first proper boyfriend, so surely it’s fate when she meets Harry at the local cinema – a budding director who just happens to needs a lead actress in his new zombie movie…

I promise you it’s better than it sounds! I bought this expecting some chic-lit rubbish I could roast on here, but I was surprised by how great ‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ was. It’s so refreshing to have a female MC in a romance novel who has genuinely decent opinions, and acts in a way that doesn’t have you throwing the book at a wall or cringing out of your skin. And maybe there was a bit of cringing, but I loved Audrey’s narration. She had some brilliant social commentary which is, from what I’ve heard, something Holly Bourne is good at. The pacing was excellent; between every chapter or so would be a short section from Audrey’s media studies essay on romance films. Let me tell you, I wanted to print out some of those sections and stick them around my school.

“Common dates in romance movies:

Seats in a box at the opera or ballet

Walking around a beautiful foreign city

Night-time picnics in empty parks

Finding some gorgeous abandoned house that the boy fills with candles

Common dates in real life:
Nando’s…” 

It Only Happens In The Movies

There were so many quotes I could have included and I wanted to watch every movie that was mentioned. If you have any underrated romance movies that would make Audrey proud, let me know in the comments (I need more film recommendation for this new lockdown…)! I read ‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ with my friend over at Wacky Words, and one of the things we both agreed on was that we were just waiting for the romance to sour. Previously, I’d predicted that the story would be the true-love-turned-abusive type and whilst I was wrong, there is a *special word* often used to describe boys like Harry. A word I am not repeating on a blog followed by my grandparents but I think you get the idea.

Audrey did seem a little hypocritical of her anti-romance mindset around Harry… but that was the main idea of ‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ (this is just me trying to poke holes in one of the best books I’ve read this year). Bourne sugar coated nothing, which was a great perspective on love and sex without the usual rose-tinted glass. However, it did lead to quite a dark scene so don’t be fooled by the bright cover and funky font. This is a book for older readers.

‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ was my second Holly Bourne book – find my review of All the Places I’ve Cried in Public here – and I’m excited to try another one. Which ones would you recommend?

Audrey was a refreshing take on the modern feminist and I thoroughly enjoyed her viewpoint. Also she had a great relationship with her friends which we always like to see. Bella Swan needs to take notes. I wanted to live through the funny, slightly heartbreaking series of events that she did.

But, sadly, it only happens in books.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager (and Hufflepuff) from Manchester. I like oversized jumpers, music that isn't on the radio anymore, and books. Honestly, any books I can get my hands on but my personal favourites are fantasy, mystery or your classic teen romance (it’s ironic I know but you can’t really go wrong with 'Eleanor and Park'). And one day, I decided to try and share some of my opinions on some great – and not so great – books to people around the world. And here it is! I really enjoy it; I hope you do too. The aim is hundreds and thousands of books (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite up to that. Yet.

6 thoughts on “It Only Happens In The Movies

  1. Lovely review! I’m so happy you enjoyed that one so much. I love Holly Bourne’s work and she writes some of the best characters, too 🙂 I’d definitely recommend trying out Am I Normal Yet next! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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