This phenomenal novel is by Holly Bourne and my God what an amazing experience it was to read this. Without exaggeration, this is a master piece of Holly. She wrote a very near to reality story about teenage love. She mentioned a particular notion, which is so common everywhere, by putting forth real life situations. I really loved the way she describes what happens in real life love with humor and sensitivity and the title is completely justified with the whole message she tried to give readers. So author wrote an incredible book breaking all the stereotypes and mentioned problems that are avoided in reality in a humorous way. Being a lover of romance movie, I could actually see that how incomplete picture of romance is shown in movies and actually how difficult love is. It really isn’t the matter of one kiss in the rain or snow but there’s a whole other story which we need to see and experience in love and it is not so easy as well.
This story portrayed life of an teenager Audrey who happened to give up on romance at a very young age since she has seen things like breakup, parent’s divorce, betrayal, her father cheating and moving out of the house for a pregnant girlfriend and her elder brother imposing responsibility of their crashing mother on her. She was into acting and she used to like romance genre when everything in her life was normal, when she used to think her parents’ love story is the best in the world. But then reality hit her hard. She has to see her ex in school everyday and pretend everything is normal. She gave up on drama because he and his new girlfriend were taking part in it. Tired of it all, she started a job in cinema where she found Henry. Now Henry wanted to be a film maker passionately and he was already making short films on zombies. At first Audrey shut his flirt off when everyone, including her brother and one of the colleagues, told her to keep him at a distance because he was famous to be a playboy. They became friends, Audrey started helping him in his movie and Henry was falling for her hard and still pretended to be intact.
There came a time when Henry confessed his feelings and asked her out and convinced her to give him a chance and Audrey agreed. The beginning of their relationship is cute and all and you see that’s where most of the movies end when she says YES. But with all the problems in her house she was more disturbed. Her brother kept on telling her to take more care of their mother and she was not doing enough for her. And as for Henry, it seemed like whenever she needed him the most he was not available. She even tried to clear things with his ex who was part of the zombie movie they were shooting but she became mean to her. Then her father broke her heart by demanding to sale the house they were living in and not cared for a second about Audrey and her mother. This led to the biggest drama that her mother created in the house and almost killed herself. She went to her father to talk him out of this but he clearly made a choice to take care of his new family and her stepmother, well she was a typical stepmother after all. In all these problems, Henry was of no help instead he was drunk enough to ruin the concept of love for her once and for all.
The ending of this book gives us the message that not everything ends the way we want it to be. You put yourself in Audrey’s shoes and think what would you do if something like this happens to you. Would you be able to give second chance to someone who betrayed or cheated on you or you will let them go no matter how much you love them? Holly compared beautifully and with hilarity how real life romance, relationships, friendship, betrayal, heartbreak and pain are different from what it has been shown in movies since always. Once in a while, touching the ground of reality is eye-opening and wise. So this novel is having all feminist vibes and true-to-life message with exactly the bits we don’t see in the movies. This YA book is very good for young adults because life is a whole lot different from what we see in movies and what we expect from love. It really only happens in the movies 😉
My favorite quote from this book was “That was the moment a piece of my heart broke off and got thrown into his, where it would lodge forever. Because you always leave a little piece of your heart in whoever you fall in love with.” ❤
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