Holly’s seismic skill, both as a writer and contemporary thinker, needs no introduction. Her catalogue of adult and YA fiction titles are wildly popular, due to her ability to write searingly honest, relatable accounts of what it means to navigate life and love as a young woman in the modern world. Pretending sky-rocketed to the top of the charts following its UK hardback publication by Hodder back in April; it claimed the No.1 spot on Apple’s audiobook chart, and peaked at No. 7 on the Kindle chart.
At the time of its release, the title was featured as one of the ‘Best Fiction Books Coming Out in 2020 by Female Authors’ in Platinum Magazine, named ‘One to Watch’ in the Bookseller’s April Preview, and featured in Cosmopolitan‘s round-up of 6 unputdownable books to read in May. Holly also joined an Author Special of the stellar podcast, The High-Low, for a deep-dive into the book’s themes, and the title has recently been featured in Buzzfeed’s list of cozy romance reads to get you though the colder months. You will definitely want to take a look at her terrific Q&A with NerdDaily which is now live, and do be sure to keep your eye on Holly and her team’s socials for the official US blog tour, which takes place between November the 17th and December the 1st, in which over 100 bloggers will be sharing their thoughts!
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. Until she realizes that men aren’t looking for real women—they’re looking for Gretel.
Gretel is perfect—beautiful but low-maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not too easy. She’s your regular, everyday Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl-Next-Door with no problems.
When April starts pretending to be Gretel, dating becomes much more fun—especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. Finally, April is the one in control. It’s refreshing. Exhilarating, even. But as she and Joshua grow closer, and the pressure of keeping her painful past a secret begins to build, how long will she be able to keep on pretending?
The book has already received a host of superb reviews, with readers feeling both challenged and uplifted:
“What a painful, raw, important, hilarious, whip-smart triumph of a book. It’s amazing that a story can be so hard to read and yet still such a page-turner; that it can be so bleak but still send you away hopeful.” Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare
“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.” Lindsey Kelk, bestselling author of the I Heart Series
“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, bestselling author of The Hunting Party
“Another cracking read from Holly Bourne; I raced through this. Big – hearted, fun and funny whilst also tackling important issues like abuse. Takes a really human look at what life, and relationships can look like after trauma.” Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
“I don’t think it is possible to overstate how powerful this book and Holly Bourne’s writing is. It’s like having your best friend articulate every thought you’ve ever had about dating and heterosexual relationships in a way which is warm, kind, funny and sharply observed. It’s incredibly relatable and raw.” Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
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.
She is a strong advocate of independent booksellers, and also made recent headlines for uniting hundreds of fellow authors in her #SignForOurBookshops campaign, designed to aid smaller retailers during the strain of lockdown restrictions, by offering exclusive signed bookplates to readers who purchase through them.
Holly has once again written an absolute must-read. This book is sharp, poignant, and real – and we can’t wait for US readers to be taken on this amazing journey!