Review: Pretending by Holly Bourne

This book did not fit any of my challenge prompts.


He said he was looking for a ‘partner in crime’ which everyone knows is shorthand for ‘a woman who isn’t real’.

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry.

If only April could be more like Gretel.

Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.

The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her.

As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua.

Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

What I liked:

This book deals with abusive relationships, which are of course difficult to read. But they are written incredibly well. Holly’s time working for a crisis hotline is evident in this book.

April is an incredibly complex character, and while I didn’t love her all the time she’s such an interesting character to read.

One of my favourite things about this book was the support group/exercise class April takes. I love seeing women support each other, and also seeing people get help and talk about their traumas.

What I didn’t like:

Some aspects of this book will be incredibly triggering to a lot of people. The messages April’s helpline gets, for example, are for sure triggers for rape.

There were a few things here I found a bit cliché, for example Megan (April’s flatmate)’s actions when she’s dating.

Out of five:

Four. This is a stomach-clenching book, but a phenomenal read.

One thought on “Review: Pretending by Holly Bourne

  1. I’ve not been sure whether to pick this one up. I love Holly’s YA but didn’t get on with her first adult book at all. I’m quite intrigued after reading your review though. Might have to give it a go.

Leave a comment and make me smile

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s