It Only Happens in the Movies isn’t the typical cliche story of romance, family, and understanding yourself. With Holly Bourne giving us a beautifully weaved plot line and extraordinary main protagonist, this book will make its readers think of the reality of what the media would like to portray as perfect when in reality it is the absolute opposite. The book started with Audrey distancing herself from her friends, taking care of her Mom or staying out to avoid her Mom’s breakdown, and to deal with her own insecurities after her recent break-up. This book definitely challenges the reader’s perspective a lot of times especially topics like feminism, relationship, and philosophy that dwells in the borderline of reality and fiction.
I would like to emphasize the steady support of Jack, Audrey’s Professor, for her brilliant media study of his course and using Audrey’s research as a medium for her to seek expert opinion and help at the same time without forcing her to go to a counseling which made me really think was an amazing idea to foreshadow an intention towards someone you don’t think would get an immediate help. Also, I wanted to mention LouLou, a little kind of side character, who offered warnings and thoughts that will really make you think – grasped the precise thought of what she wanted you to reach.
Earlier in the book, it was highlighted by Holly Bourne that Audrey left the drama club because she was affected by her relationship with one of the members and she distanced herself from her friends because she doesn’t know if they are real or fake friends anymore. I would like to appraise Holly Bourne here for giving us an amazing realization that other people shouldn’t be the reason for you to quit something you love. She also let us a glimpse of how hopeful It Only Happens in the Movie by making some scenes in the book that there are friends who really care for you but you are blinded by your own problems and we, at some point, shoulder them all at once. One thing I learned here is that you need someone when you are down and you are not alone in your own battle. There will be people who will care for you, try to understand you, try to give the space you need, and try to help you in some ways. Holly Bourne gave us a magnificent display of friendship, an outstanding example that could forge a lot of readers to not just kindness but empathy too.
One of the things that I like about this book is how the side characters affecting her in a positive way when Audrey tries to deny her ability or she doesn’t see what she is capable of. This is amazing on how Holly Bourne incorporates those little details in her book that impresses me with a lot of realizations which could affect someone’s life on a positive note.
What really disappoints me about this book is some of the characters’ choices. It was their choice and they faced the consequences of their decisions. I find their situation realistic and painful but I understand those difficult decisions in the end. And how the Psychiatrist defines or explains the meaning of love; it was a mixture of happiness, battles, challenges in between heartaches and problems that concluded that love is a choice. This book made me also realized that each one of us has different coping mechanism when regards to pain and not all people have the same tolerance to pain which makes this novel beautiful in so many ways.
It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne is a heartfelt book that I really enjoyed reading. It talks so many themes that most of the female readers could relate from and the male readers could learn from. It discusses raw emotions and the painful truth behind those romantic movies that are made from lies. With the splendid ending that I didn’t see coming, I could proudly say that this book exceeded my expectations to young adult novels.
MY RATINGS: 4.5 STARS!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women’s rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves’ acting ability.
Holly’s first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the ‘Normal’ series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.
Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.