Pretending

Pretending : The brilliant new adult novel from Holly Bourne. Why be yourself when you can be perfect?

4.05 (2,397 ratings by Goodreads)
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WHY BE YOURSELF WHEN YOU CAN BE PERFECT?

'Perceptive. Hilarious. Reassuring. Brilliant.' Laura Jane Williams The highly-anticipated new novel from Holly Bourne, bestselling author of HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?
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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?
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PRAISE FOR HOLLY BOURNE:'So honest about being a woman and all the things that are expected of us' Marian Keyes

'Honest and unflinching' Stylist

'Funny, touching and painfully true' Grazia

'Relatable for any woman navigating emotional time bombs' Red

'Bourne incinerates the lies we're all capable of telling ourselves' Emerald Street

'Funny, real and heartbreaking' Lucy Vine

'Funny, sad, honest, insightful, up-to-the-minute' Roisin Meaney

'Smart, witty and perceptive. Razor-sharp on friendship, self-image and self-deception' Lucy Diamond
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 152 x 234 x 38mm | 560g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 147366814X
  • 9781473668140
  • 255,282

Review Text

MAGNIFICENT. The whole sorry mess of gender and sexual politics wrapped up in a compelling story told by an ADORABLE heroine. I feel educated and empowered from reading it. Brutally honest and righteously angry but still HUGELY enjoyable and engaging. I BOW DOWN! Marian Keyes
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Review quote

An author highly attuned to the concerns of 20/30-something women, but writes so engagingly that her readership goes well beyond this demographic * The Bookseller * This book will make you laugh, cry, think and feel understood in less than 500 pages * Platinum-mag.co.uk * After Bourne's How Do You Like Me Now? became a bestseller, we predict great things * Red * I inhaled this in two greedy sittings because WOW. What a read - perceptive, unflinching, funny and raw, this story and its characters just leapt from the page. Holly's style is so clear and her pace so perfect, the Things We Don't Talk About Enough are presented in the most accessible way imaginable. That's an exceptional gift. I'm sure thousands of women will find comfort in April's story. I absolutely loved it A brilliant takedown of the rules and expectations of the dating game, with a spot-on analysis of the falseness and contradictions within. Insightful, relatable and excruciatingly honest, with a serious heart. A novel about female fragility and female power and about the endless tightrope we all walk as women in the #metoo era. Honest, courageous and fiercely funny. A surefire hit. What a brilliant book this is! I felt such lacerating anger, laughed and was incredibly moved all in the space of one book. I hope everyone reads it. Fantastic -- Lucy Diamond Devastating, funny and insightful, Holly Bourne's Pretending is a read that will resonate * Stylist * I just read this in two sittings and I need to reiterate: I love Holly Bourne. Such unbelievably dark themes and brutal cynicism yet Pretending still has a joy and a lightness of touch that makes it easy to breeze through. Smart, perceptive, funny and touching about modern life for modern women. An extraordinary book. Properly funny, effortless to read and yet it deals with real and visceral trauma in a way that is incredibly effective and true to life. It's feminist and angry and compassionate and hopeful. I would give this book to every woman in her 20s and 30s. Bourne's novels are so witty, so stingingly acute on millennial pop culture, that you only notice by stealth their serious intent * Metro * Pretending is Holly Bourne at her best. It's a funny, feminist yet challenging read that will make many readers feel validated and seen * Red * So relatable, powerful and thought-provoking. April is a rare and wonderful protagonist, I fell for her instantly, I loved her rage and vulnerability and I constantly rooted for her even when I knew she was doing the wrong thing. This is a vivid, contemporary exploration of the darkest side of relationships, anger and powerlessness, but it's filled with joy too. If we've all been suffering from Gone Girl Cool Girl syndrome, Holly has written the antidote One of Holly Bourne's greatest gifts as a writer is her ability to cut to the emotional core of her chosen subject and nowhere is that shown with more deftness than in Pretending. Searingly honest, intense, and insightful, this is a profoundly moving novel, and to my mind, Bourne's best work to date I really, really enjoyed but also really, really admired this book I adore-love-worship this book. Every page brings another eye-wateringly relatable moment and I couldn't put it down. I was constantly laughing, crying, and nodding aggressively at every page. Holly Bourne is officially my favourite writer and this book is everything. What a painful, raw, important, hilarious, whip-smart triumph of a book. As with all of Holly's books, I was totally hooked from the first page. Her unique voice immediately invites you in and you can't look away. Gritty, funny and poignant Hugely entertaining rom-com for the post #MeToo generation * Daily Mail * A brilliant, hard-hitting, tell-all-your-girlfriends-to-read-it book * Fabulous Magazine * Thoughtful, smart and painfully true * Cosmopolitan * The amazing thing about Holly's writing is how she's able to say not just what we're all thinking but what we're even too afraid to admit to ourselves. Her books should be mandatory reading for everyone. I cannot think of a more important modern love story to tell * Dolly Alderton, The High Low podcast * What looks like a lolzy rom-com is actually a punch-in-the-gut brilliant novel about consent and mental health. Don't let this one pass you by * Grazia * I love this book! It made me cry and laugh and rage and fall completely in love with the characters and you MUST READ IT! It's beautifully written and completely engrossing but also a really important, timely book. Sheer brilliance. -- Lucy Foley Pretending is the most freeing, reassuring book on dating after #MeToo I've ever read. Perceptive. Hilarious. Reassuring. Brilliant. -- Laura Jane Williams 'Unsettling and hopeful, enlightening and entertaining. A thoughtful, intelligent, urgent novel women need to read' * Dolly Alderton * MAGNIFICENT. The whole sorry mess of gender and sexual politics wrapped up in a compelling story told by an ADORABLE heroine. I feel educated and empowered from reading it. Brutally honest and righteously angry but still HUGELY enjoyable and engaging. I BOW DOWN! -- Marian Keyes
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About Holly Bourne

Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general 'agony aunt' for a youth charity - helping young people with their relationships and mental health. Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning 'Spinster Club' series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned thirty, Holly wrote her first adult novel, examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, Holly has a keen interest in women's rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She's helped create online apps that teach young people about sexual consent and is an ambassador for Women's Aid.
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Rating details

2,397 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 36% (870)
4 39% (935)
3 20% (477)
2 4% (91)
1 1% (24)
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