It Only Happens In The Movies Book Review

Synopsis

Audrey Winters is in the midst of a crisis, leading to her total disdain towards romance movies. With her father moving on, her mother in a catatonic state, and her ex-boyfriend dumping her for another woman, it’s little wonder Audrey feels that way. However, when she starts her job at Flicker (their local cinema), she meets Harry, and her feelings begin to change towards love.

First Impressions

I was addicted to this book from the first moment I picked it up. I was curious about the beginning scene since it happens much later in the book and I wanted to know what led to that moment and what the resolution would be. I’ll admit, I’m much more likely to stick with a book if it gives me a reason to, like showing a much later scene first. Or even just hinting towards something ominous in the future.

Writing Element Thoughts

The characterisation is very realistic. Audrey changes through the course of the story, from letting her guard down and being vulnerable again with a guy, to letting her friends back into her life who she’d been neglecting, to finally expressing her true feelings towards her dad and her brother. It was refreshing to see her try to juggle multiple problems in her life while trying to keep a hold on everything, such as A levels and friendships and a home life. At some point, most people will experience this difficult juggling act, which could end in a very bad way (like a mental breakdown or physical injury).

The story arc is very well written. It has a clear key narrative structure with a good beginning, middle and end. The chapters are interspersed with her criticism of romance films that correlate with the stage of her relationship with Harry, which is a nice touch. I personally like the writing style too. It’s friendly and conversational without trying too hard to relate to a younger audience. There’s ways of speaking that young people use nowadays, but it’s not included in a cringey way.

What I Like

  • I like that Audrey didn’t just take Harry back after the Big Gesture because he hurt her and she couldn’t trust him anymore. I would’ve liked if they’d gotten back together, but it shows a realism to the story by forcing Harry to deal with the consequences of his actions, rather than just sweeping it aside and moving on.
  • I like when Audrey finally talked to her brother about her feelings and shouted at her father for what he did. It showed a maturity and a willingness to handle her problems instead of letting them spiral out of control.
  • I like how Audrey takes back control of her life after realising she’s been living in a zombie state, in part thanks to her shitty ex-boyfriend. She actively fixes her friendships and applies to study media at university.

What I Didn’t Like

  • I didn’t like how, when Audrey did repair her friendship with her best friends, we didn’t have a scene with the girls just hanging (although, since they weren’t the main focus, it does make sense).

Last Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story from start to finish. I honestly couldn’t put it down because it was just so well written. The characterisation and overall story arc was brilliant and the themes were handled wonderfully.

I’d definitely recommend you to read it.

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