Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Blog Tour: Pretending by Holly Bourne Review & Excerpt

 

Hiya, Booknerds! I was lucky enough to be selected for the Blog Tour of PRETENDINGAs such, I will give you some details about the interesting book as well as its lovely author. 

And you also get a BOOKISH BONUS: 

*A delightful morsel of an excerpt can be found below*


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Publisher: MIRA
Release DateNovember 17, 2020
Genre: Adult Romance
Pages: 416
Source: ARC

THE STORY:
In this hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel perfect for fans of Fleabag, a woman struggling to move on after a traumatic relationship pretends to be “the perfect girl” in an act of vengeance that goes awry when she finds herself emotionally compromised.
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 what men are really looking for is Gretel.
Gretel is perfect - beautiful but low maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not a slut. She's a 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, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?
BUY LINKS:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Apple Books
Kobo
Bookshop.org
Google Books



RATING

ONE-WORD REVIEW: RELATABLE

TAG LINE:

Why be yourself when you can be perfect?

OPENING LINE:


I hate men.


REVIEW:

I found the premise of PRETENDING interesting. Dating is hard. Like, really hard. So, it's easy to toy with the idea of pretending to be someone else, someone another person could fall for. Was April pretending to be someone she's not, to make a guy fall for her, the mature thing to do as an adult? No, not all. But, was it tempting and relatable? Absolutely.

"I hate how every single last one of them has issues with their father.

And do you know what I hate most of all?

That despite this, despite all this disdain, I still fancy men. And I still want them to fancy me, to want me, to love me. "

The pacing of PRETENDING was on point for the premise of the story. It was like reading the stream of consciousness for April. The entire book, I felt as if I was in her head. Feeling her feelings, going through the ups and downs of dating. It felt realistic.

“I got hurt and I buried the pain of it because, at that moment in time, it was all I could do. I just tried to survive. I'm trying to heal but it's taking ages and it's hard and feels impossible but I'm trying, and that's all I can do.”

As for the romance, April can't seem to make it past the 5th date. Just as soon as she thinks she may have found the one, *SCREECH*. There go the tires coming to a sudden stop. Heartbroken and frustrated she always imagines the guys crawling back to his ex-- the mythical creature, so names Gretel. Until a lightbulb goes on: Why be yourself when you can be perfect? So, she becomes every guy's dream girl, Gretel.

“He said he was looking for a ‘partner in crime’ which everyone knows is shorthand for ‘a woman who isn’t real’.

All in all, while PRETENDING is a story about learning to be comfortable with yourself, regardless if that means a guy isn't going to decide you're his Mrs. Right. This story is cynical, funny, and relatable as hell.  


CHARACTER:

APRIL: She is sarcastic, colorful, and maniac. More importantly, I think she is relatable when it comes to dating hang-ups.

“I don't want to be angry all the time, afraid all the time, I don't want to believe that every dog in the world bites, even though they all have teeth.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Holly Bourne is a bestselling UK-based YA and Adult Fiction author and is an Ambassador for Women’s Aid. In 2019, she was an Author of the Day at the London Book Fair, and was named by Elle Magazine’s weekly podcast as one of “Six Female Authors Changing the Conversation in 2019”. Pretending is her US debut.

***Check out Holly Bourne's website for more information about her and PRETENDING: https://www.hollybourne.co.uk/

Twitter: @holly_bourneYA

Instagram: @hollybourneya

Facebook: @Holly.Bourne


PRAISE FOR PRETENDING:



EXCERPT:

Chapter One

I hate men.

There, I’ve said it. I know you’re not supposed to say it. We all pretend we don’t hate them; we all tell ourselves we don’t hate them. But I’m calling it. I’m standing here on this soapbox, and I’m saying it.

I. Hate. Men.

I mean, think about it. They’re just awful. I hate how selfish they are. How they take up so much space, assuming it’s always theirs to take. How they spread out their legs on public transport, like their balls need regular airing to stop them developing damp. I hate how they basically scent mark anywhere they enter to make it work for them. Putting on the music they want to listen to the moment they arrive at any house party, and always taking the nicest chair. How they touch your stuff instead of just looking; even tweak the furniture arrangement to make it most comfortable for them. All without asking first—never asking first.

I hate how they think their interests are more important than yours—even though twice a week all most of them do is watch a bunch of strangers kick a circle around a piece of lawn and sulk if the circle doesn’t go in the right place. And how bored they look if you ever try to introduce them to a film, a band, or even a freaking YouTube clip, before you’ve even pressed Play.

I hate their endless arrogance. I hate how they interrupt you and then apologize for it but carry on talking anyway. How they ask you a question but then check your answer afterward. I hate how they can never do one piece of housework without telling you about it. I hate how they literally cannot handle being driven in a car by a woman, even if they’re terrible drivers themselves. I hate how they all think they’re fucking incredible at grilling meat on barbecues. The sun comes out and man must light fire and not let woman anywhere near the meat. Dumping blackened bits of chicken onto our plates along with the whiff of a burp from their beer breath, acting all caveman, like we’re supposed to find it cute that we may now get salmonella and that we’re going to have to do all the washing up.

I hate how I’m quite scared of them. I hate the collective noise of them when they’re in a big group. The tribal wahey-ing, like they all swap their IQs for extra testosterone when they swarm together. How, if you’re sitting alone on an empty train, they always come and deliberately sit next to you en masse, and talk extra loudly about macho nonsense, apparently to impress you. I hate the way they look at you when you walk past—automatically judging your screwability the moment they see you. Telling you to smile if you dare look anything other than delighted about living with stuff like this constantly fucking happening to you. 

I hate how hard they are to love. How many of them actually, truly, think the way to your heart is sending you a selfie of them tugging themselves, hairy ball sack very much still in shot. I hate how they have sex. How they shove their fingers into you, thinking it’s going to achieve anything. Jabbing their unwashed hands into your dry vagina, prodding about like they’re checking for prostate cancer, then wondering why you now have BV and you still haven’t come. Have none of them read a sex manual? Seriously? None of them? And I hate how they hate you a little just after they’ve finished. How even the nice ones lie there with cold eyes, pretending to cuddle, but clearly desperate to get as far away from you as possible.

I hate how it’s never equal. How they expect you to do all the emotional labor and then get upset when you’re the more stressed-out one. I hate how they never understand you, no matter how hard they try, although, let’s be honest here, they never actually try that hard. And I hate how you’re always exhausting yourself trying to explain even the most basic of your rational emotional responses to their bored face.

I hate how every single last one of them has issues with their father.

And do you know what I hate most of all?

That despite this, despite all this disdain, I still fancy men. And I still want them to fancy me, to want me, to love me. I hate myself for how much I want them. Why do I still fancy men so much? What’s wrong with me? Why are they all so broken? Am I broken for still wanting to be with one, even after everything? I should be alone. That’s the only healthy way to be. BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE. I hate men, that’s the problem. GOD I HATE THEM SO MUCH—they’re so entitled and broken and lazy and wrong and…and…

Hang on…

My phone.

HE MESSAGED BACK!!!

WITH A KISS ON THE END!

Never mind.

Forget I said anything. It’s all good.

Excerpted from Pretending by Holly Bourne, Copyright © 2020 by Holly Bourne. Published by MIRA Books. 

Happy Reading!

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