Hodder & Stoughton has bought Holly Bourne’s first adult novel, When the Music Stops, hailed a “Bridget Jones for our time” as reported in The Bookseller.


Senior editor Emily Kitchin pre-empted British Commonwealth rights, including Canada, in two books from Madeleine Milburn. Hodder will publish in Spring 2018 in hardcover and e-book with a “significant and far-reaching” campaign.


The title is described as “laugh-out-loud funny, and blisteringly on-point” which explores how social media affects one woman’s life. It features 31-year-old Tori, author of a motivational memoir, who spends her days posting messages to fans “telling them to ‘live the life they want’”. But she fails to follow her own advice, her relationship is suffering and she spends most nights on social media.


A Hodder & Stoughton spokesperson said: “Around her, everyone seems to be getting married and having babies and telling the world how amazing it is.  Luckily, Tori has her best friend Dee: the only other person who can see the madness. But then Dee falls in love and gets pregnant, and Tori starts to question every single life choice she’s made.”


Kitchin said: “Holly’s novel is the book I’ve been longing for: an extraordinarily smart, funny, emotionally honest take on the experience of being a young(ish) woman today. This is an era-defining book, and Holly’s character Tori speaks for a generation who lives (love it or loathe it) on social media.”


Bourne said: “There’s so much pressure on people, particularly women, to have it all ‘sorted’ by a certain age. I wanted to explore how that can sometimes lead to people making unhealthy decisions, with a preoccupation with how their life looks like from the outside. I’m delighted that Hodder just seem to totally get everything this book is, and everything it’s trying to say.”


Holly Bourne is the bestselling author of multiple YA bestsellers including Am I Normal Yet (Usborne) exploring themes such as mental health and coming-of-age, and The Spinster Club series (Usborne).  A former journalist, she has won numerous prizes for her YA fiction and is a judge for the BBC Young Writers Award 2017.


As Milburn said in The Bookseller ‘there’s an adult market crying out for Holly’s work. When the Music Stops is edgy, brave and topical – it’s a Bridget Jones for our time and we feel enormously proud to represent it’.