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.
What’s not to like about this book?
A broken and yet badass heroine? Yes.
Fake zombies? Yes.
An amazingly real book? YES.
It Only Happens In Movies is a rare take on the problematic impact of romantic movies. The author takes everything wrong about romantic movies and deconstructs them through the awesome main protagonist Audrey.
Audrey – who funnily enough was named after Audrey Hepburn – has had enough of romance. Her father’s betrayal and her so-called first love dumping her has left her broken and cynical. I could totally relate to her disdain for romantic films. But more than that, I relate to her struggles. We see her grow from this broken and humiliated girl to a confident and self-respecting person who knows what she deserves. I absolutely adored her.
The prologue gives us a sense of what’s coming with the central romance right away. But the thing is, the romance isn’t central at all. It’s Audrey’s journey that’s central. And for once, I just wanted Audrey to be happy, regardless of the outcome of her romance. I liked Harry a lot too. He’s my favorite kind of jerk with a soft heart. But he’s also an idiot. I liked Audrey’s group of friends, especially Leroy. I loved the parts with the zombie movie filming, the theater shenanigans and of course the conversations about movies. My only complaint with the book was that the problems with Audrey’s mother got too conveniently resolved.
I’m so happy that I read this book. It points out a lot of problematic things that we take for granted in movies and in real life. The feminist outlook wasn’t in-your-face but it was spot-on. I could connect to Audrey on a very personal level. Also, I have now a list of movies I want to watch, thanks to the references in the book.