It Only Happens in the Movies

HMH. Dec. 2020. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780358172062.
Gr 9 Up–Audrey took the job working in the cinema to escape her mother who is going through a divorce and, to put it mildly, not taking it well. Her father has abandoned the family and created a new one with his new wife and their two children. Her older brother is at university and leaves caring for their mother up to Audrey. To make matters worse, Audrey is trying to get over a break-up with her boyfriend, who dumped her right after they slept together for the first time. Needless to say, she is not in the best state of mind. Her coworker Harry, an aspiring filmmaker, provides a much-needed distraction. Audrey, a lover of acting, jumps at the chance to be the leading lady in Harry’s zombie movie. It doesn’t hurt that this dark-haired bad boy takes an interest in her. This British novel pokes fun at traditional rom-coms by illustrating the differences between a movie and real life. Bourne describes the love between the characters but also the bickering and nagging that occurs in any relationship. She shows that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, but work. Audrey’s appearance and ethnicity isn’t described, and Harry is white.
VERDICT YA readers will relate to the struggles Audrey faces and be pleased by the refreshing conclusion to this love story.

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