Review: It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne + Playlist + Giveaway

It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Publication: October 1st 2017 from Usborne Publishing
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 411 pages
Format: Finished copy provided by the publisher and the blog tour host
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository

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.

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Huge thanks to Usborne Publishing and my friend Erika from The Nocturnal Fey for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour they’re hosting for this title and for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.

One thing that you, dear readers, might not know about me is that I am a self-proclaimed movie buff. I love going to the cinemas with friends to watch rom-coms, even action and/or fantasy films (just last week, I actually went to see Justice League with some of my mates, and I loved it!), and so that, together with my innate love for the romance genre, enabled me to sign up for the blog tour and read Holly Bourne’s latest novel, It Only Happens In The Movies. I expected for this novel to be quirky, conventional, charming, and funny and I’m so glad that that’s exactly what I got, and more. I loved every single page of Audrey Winters’ story, and I love how it helped me understand some of the stereotypes in chick flicks, and there are more reasons as to why I adored this, so read on for the rest of my review!

I love everything about the story’s main character, Audrey Winters. At first, she would appear to be your typical girl-next-door female lead. But as you continue reading her story, you’d find out that she’s so much more than that. Generally, she’s also a human being who has to endure the pains and hardships of living through the reality of her parents’ divorce, while having to deal with her personal problems such as teenage heartbreak, anxiety, depression, and so much more. What I love most about Audrey is her resilience towards all the unfairness life seems to throw at her every so often. Amidst all the drama, she manages to keep herself afloat, while also having to manage her job at their local cinematheque. I aspire to be someone like her, and so this made me fall in love with this novel rather quickly.

Another thing that I have to commend this novel on is the superb portrayal of a family’s situation post-divorce. This is a common plot line. Lots of other authors tried to write stories about this. It just so happens that Holly Bourne wrote a wonderfully emotional representation of a modern family coping up from the loss of a member of their family. Audrey, Dougie, and their mother lost their father to another family. And the journey to moving on for them was quite long, tiring, and very challenging, most especially for their mom. I love the emotion that the author was able to integrate into this, and I can’t help but feel for their family. By the way, actual tears were involved in drafting this specific part of the review. 

And ultimately, I love how this novel sent out the message that not all great stories need to have a main character AND a love interest. Sometimes, just an eye-opening story line and an interesting narrator can be enough to deem it worth recommending to others. All throughout the book, readers will get this notion that this is a feel good novel—a light and fluffy read which could somehow get you out of a slump. But let me tell you this: It’s so much more than that. This book also tackles feminism, self-love, close family ties, and so many other relevant topics that all contemporary authors should try to incorporate into their stories at least once. Because that, paired with Holly Bourne’s witty and charming writing technique, and a story line that I’ve been invested with from the start, gave me quite an impressionable reading experience.

“From start to finish, Holly Bourne takes her readers on a fun-filled ride that is as charmingly inspiring as it is realistically heartbreaking in It Only Happens In The Movies. It might seem like your typical light, contemporary read at first, but it’s so much more than that. It focuses on relevant themes such as mental health, depression, and teenage love, whether they be fruitful or not. And personally, I love the message that this book sends out to it’s readers. I was moved with Audrey’s story, and I hope that you could give this book the chance to move you as well.”


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The tour hosts, mainly Usborne Publishing and my friend Erika are giving away two (2) paperback copies of It Only Happens In The Movies together with a couple of Holly Bourne badges. This giveaway, however, is only open for Philippine entries. (Sorry, International reader friends!) Click on this link to be redirected to the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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Have YOU read a Holly Bourne book yet? If so, then tell me what book you’ve read and how was it for you? Also, be sure to check out her newest book, It Only Happens In The Movies.


Arctic Books general graphics JMJM is a 21 year old blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Managment mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. He enjoys reading contemporary and fantasy novels as much as he enjoys playing video games and baking pastries. You may find him on TwitterInstagram, and on Goodreads.



4 thoughts on “Review: It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne + Playlist + Giveaway

  1. Ohh… as of now this is my current reading I only use ebook because last time I go to bookstore then the hardest part of being a bookworm is that you going to choose between 2 books or more and that time, I choose TATWD by John Green over this book because I’m not sure It will be worth it and honestly I’m broke af to buy 2 so…. :((. Yeah ~ I’m on chapter 2 right now and I think I’m going to love this. Actually, this is my first Holly Bourne books I read. 🙂


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