Book Review

It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne

Author: Holly Bourne
Released Date: October 2017
Pages: 410
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance
Format: Paperback Book

Every-time I would go out to buy a new book, I would always pick this up and put it back down before I went to the checkout. I don’t know why but something was stopping me from buying it. After I read Bookishbearsx’s review, I had to go out straight away and buy it. I really wish it didn’t take so many months for me to read it because it is such an amazing book!


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 as 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.

Why I Love This Book

“Love isn’t just a feeling. Love is a choice too. And you may not be able to help your feelings, but you are responsible for the choices you make about what to do with them.”

Firstly, this book has everything in it that I love in the world. Films/production of film, Zombies and most importantly romance (that isn’t too cringe). Secondly, I wish I could forget everything that happened in this and read it all over again!

The message this book spreads for young girls about realistic romance in society is amazing and nothing like I’ve read before in a young adult book. The whole purpose of Audrey’s character is to destroy cliché romance by analysing and critiquing the romance films that everybody loves for her media coursework.


The Story

“No one ever tells you how much a heartbreak physically hurts. How it literally feels like you’ve been kicked down the stairs. How you can’t swallow. How every muscle aches. How your heart lurches inside you like it’s been poisoned. Nobody tells you that.”

I’m never one to say no to a romance book, but sometimes I sit there and think, will that ever really happen? No, it probably won’t. And that is the way Audrey thinks. She’s seen first hand, two people, very much in love grow apart. One eventually leaving and the other left heartbroken. In this case, it happens to be her mum and dad, leaving her to pick up the pieces of her mum’s broken heart, while her dad starts a new family and her brother is away at college.

Therefore, her only escape from her home-life is her job at the movie theatre, which is where she meets Harry. The handsome cliché bad boy that tries to woo Audrey with his charm but she knows exactly what he is trying to do. She wants to be immune to his amazing smile and charming attitude, but she finds herself liking him after she protests against his flirtatious advances towards her.

The Characters

“All I’m saying is love changes over time. No person is ever perfect for another person”

Audrey is such a strong female character that you instantly fall in love with. Even after a traumatic break up with her ex, feeling isolated from her friends, failing classes and her home issues, she still stays strong for her family.

Her feministic approach to Harry’s flirting proves to Audrey that Harry can respect her. He doesn’t have to be the cliché bad-boy everyone knows him to be. Even though we’re left in the dark about Harry’s feelings and his past, we start to see why Audrey begins to fall for him.

Harry’s guarded defences start to fade and we begin to see him open, to Audrey’s delight. Can he restore any faith she has left of true love? or will it end in heartbreak?

Overall Thoughts

“What was the point? What is the point in love, and promises of it, when it can just jump from one person to another like that?”

I’m so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book! There were times when I thought a bit more detail could have been introduced relating to Audrey’s home-life as things seemed a bit dramatic at times. But that was it really. I loved all other aspects of the book, especially the zombies! I haven’t even spoken about the zombies! I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can go and read it for yourself to see how there could possibly be zombies in this book.

I’ve not read any other books written by Holly Bourne…YET, but I loved her style of writing and sense of humour throughout the book and I’m hoping her others are similar and as incredible as this one turned out to be.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Buy the book here ^^
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Do you enjoy a more realistic ending or the perfect happy ending?

Manchester blogger with a passion for reading, writing and travelling. I always have a book or a cup of tea in my hand.


29 July 2020 at 6:45 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’d definitely recommend her other books, she’s such a great author and she tackles some really good and difficult topics!

4 August 2020 at 10:07 am

Sounds like a great author. Will read this authors stuff as soon as I can

4 August 2020 at 12:43 pm

This story sounds so interesting and relatable. Knowing how heartbreak hurts how do you avoid it and stay true to your feelings. I guess you can never be 100% sure but you should most definitely live in the moment. Audrey sounds like a brilliant young lady. Thank you for reviewing the book.

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