Pretending, the hotly-anticipated new novel from bestselling author Holly Bourne, is published today in the UK (Hodder).

This incisive and painfully relatable book explores what it means to be a perfect woman in our modern era of online dating and the #MeToo movement. Pretending was one of the “Best Fiction Books Coming Out in 2020 by Female Authors” in Platinum Magazine, and it was “One to Watch” in the Bookseller’s April Preview. It was the last book to make Marian Keyes laugh in the Guardian, Stylist listed it as one of “30 little pick-me-ups to brighten up self-isolation“, calling it “devastating, funny and insightful“, and it was listed as #1 out of 14 “best new good books to read” by Cosmopolitan. 

Pretending will be published in the US by Mira / HarperCollins in June 2021.

Have you ever felt the pressure to be perfect? Our protagonist April certainly has, and we can definitely relate…

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?

Anticipation has been bubbling for this novel, with some excellent early reviews:

MAGNIFICENT. Brutally honest and righteously angry but still HUGELY enjoyable and engaging. I bow down!” Marian Keyes

“A thoughtful, intelligent, urgent novel women need to read.” Dolly Alderton 

“Funny, real and heartbreaking” Lucy Vine

“Honest and unflinching” Stylist

“Smart, witty and perceptive. Razor-sharp on friendship, self-image and self-deception” Lucy Diamond

Pretending will be launched in an exciting Instagram Live event with Waterstones, where Holly will be in conversation with Daisy Buchanan on Wednesday 8th April at 7.30pm.

Holly Bourne is a bestselling author of adult and YA fiction. 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. Holly was the bestselling female UK Young Adult author of 2018, and was recently shortlisted for the Young Adult Book Prize.