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November Book Club Review - It Only Happens in the Movies

17th November 2017

Laugh-out-loud hilarious at moments, and heartbreakingly real at others, Holly Bourne's It Only Happens in the Movies is an absolute triumph of a novel.

Seventeen year old Audrey is in crisis mode. Her Dad has left her for another family, her brother has gone off to uni, and her mum is heavy drinking on a school night. Oh, and her boyfriend dumped her after THAT horrendous incident.

Curtains up to a new job at an independent cinema, where guacamole, pulled pork hot dogs and cinnamon dust come as standard. Enter Harry, your stereotypical bad boy with dark floppy hair and a terrible reputation. Audrey knows that she should avoid him, but bad boys always have a way of placing themselves on centre stage...

Audrey is a girl that we can all relate to. From the excrutiating moment that she headbutted a boy rather than kissing him, to her mortifying experiences with her first boyfriend, to the general monthly drama of the period. Bourne's use of humour sensitively deals with all of the above and shows us that Audrey's series of blunders just make her more human. She's far from perfect, but neither are all the rest of us.

A running thread throughout the novel is Audrey's Media coursework that critiques the stereotypes of romance films and calls them out for their unrealistic portrayal of love. Her frequent rants, voice all of our unsaid thoughts, and she is a great spokesperson for showing the reality of life, and dispelling the unrealistic versions of love that are shown in the media. It is really refreshing to read a YA novel that isn't just boy meets girl and together they can solve all their problems. Throughout the novel, Audrey grows in self-confidence and strength, able to solve her own problems independently. 

If you are looking for a YA novel with a central character that you can really relate to, It Only Happens in the Movies is perfect. We fell in love with Audrey and all her flaws, and devoured the pages like a gourmet hot dog. A sure-fire blockbuster that is a must read for all teenagers.

Here's what our Organisers thought about it:

'I loved this book, I bought it to sample the YA range and was hooked from the start! Even with a toddler and a new born I finished it in a few days! Have recommended it to my sisters too.' - Laura Smith

'I polished it off in a couple of days. Was a bit worried about how I’d feel about it, but I enjoyed reading it and then the ending made it for me. Can’t say any more!' - Clare Johnson


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