We are so thrilled that Holly Bourne‘s fantastic writing is continuing to make its mark across the pond – It Only Happens in the Movies, her first YA title to launch in the US, is published today by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
What an incredible few weeks it’s been for Holly! Just last month, Pretending, which is her US adult fiction debut, was published by HarperCollins / MIRA. And now, US readers will get to experience her gift for YA storytelling that British readers know all too well.
Holly is a Carnegie Medal-nominated bestseller, whose offerings mix hard-hitting, funny and heart-warming themes to create wonderfully captivating stories. During the UK publication of It Only Happens in the Movies, released in 2017 by Usborne, the book attracted a host of fantastic reviews and attention, with Publisher’s Weekly calling it “a smart, funny, and emotionally satisfying rom-com.” To date, it has has sold over 70,000 copies across all formats and was shortlisted for the 2018 YA Book Prize. Holly has had continued success over the years, and collectively, her YA titles have sold in excess of 400,000 copies, and been translated into 16 languages. Combined with her adult fiction catalogue, Holly’s UK lifetime sales are worth over £1 million. Her American following is growing every day, and just this week she had a super-fun feature in Hasty Book List, where she gave the lowdown on all her favourite things.
This book is a winning teen romance about a couple’s messy-but-wonderful experiences of young love:
Audrey is over romance. While dealing with her parents’ contentious divorce, a breakup of her own, and shifting friendship dynamics, she has every reason to feel cynical. But then she meets Harry, her fellow coworker at the local cinema. He’s brash, impulsive, and a major flirt. And even though Audrey tries to resist, she finds herself falling for his charms. But in this funny, insightful, and ultimately empowering novel, love—and life—isn’t what it’s like in the movies.
Reviewers continue to commend Holly’s charm and grounding realism:
“Audrey and Harry’s relationship sings with witty banter, electric heat, and feverish emotion, but Audrey’s journey to self-discovery reaps even more rewards, leaving readers with a fresh, realistic look at first love.” Kirkus Reviews
“It’s enough that this well-cast British import cleverly elevates and deconstructs genre tropes without ever belittling them, but it goes beyond even that, candidly addressing the weight of expectation behind a first sexual experience and the misconceptions that women especially often have about theirs. A substantial romance for even the most skeptical teens.” Booklist, starred review
“I loved this book and I wish I’d read something similar when I was a teenager (I’m in my early 30s now)! A coming-of-age novel that includes plenty of ‘first love’ romance but never without being completely rooted in reality.” Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
“Another amazing Holly Bourne book, constantly challenging my outlook on life!” Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
Alongside her writing, Holly is passionate about gender equality and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She is also an ambassador for Women’s Aid, working with the charity to spread awareness of abusive relationships.
She is a strong advocate of independent booksellers, and also made headlines last month for uniting hundreds of fellow authors in her #SignForOurBookshops campaign, designed to aid smaller retailers during the strain of lockdown restrictions, by offering exclusive signed bookplates to readers who purchase through them.
Holly is an expert at capturing the soaring highs, devastating lows and unique quirks of adolescence. We’re certain American readers will love this book, and predict it flying off the shelves!