Hardback edition released 02/04/2020

by Holly Bourne

Relationship Stories Modern and Contemporary Fiction Humorous fiction Literary Fiction Health & Fitness

Pretending Synopsis

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?

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781473668133
Publication date: 2nd April 2020
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 448 pages
Primary Genre Relationship Stories
Other Genres:

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Holly Bourne Press Reviews

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

'Unsettling and hopeful, enlightening and entertaining. A thoughtful, intelligent, urgent novel women need to read' - Dolly Alderton

Pretending is the most freeing, reassuring book on dating after #MeToo I've ever read. Perceptive. Hilarious. Reassuring. Brilliant. -- Laura Jane Williams

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 looks at what it is to be a woman and makes the reader look inwards (or backwards), reflecting on past encounters with more awareness, forgiveness and understanding than ever before. Empowering, thought-provoking, honest, observant, heart-wrenching and uncomfortable - an exposing and healing read - Giovanna Fletcher

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

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. Thoughtful, smart and painfully true - Cosmopolitan

A brilliant, hard-hitting, tell-all-your-girlfriends-to-read-it book - Fabulous Magazine

Hugely entertaining rom-com for the post #MeToo generation - Daily Mail

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 What a painful, raw, important, hilarious, whip-smart triumph of a 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. I really, really enjoyed but also really, really admired this book 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 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 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

Bourne's novels are so witty, so stingingly acute on millennial pop culture, that you only notice by stealth their serious intent - Metro

A funny, feminist and challenging story, which will make readers feel validated and seen. What an accomplishment for a novel - Red Magazine

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. Smart, perceptive, funny and touching about modern life for modern women. 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. Devastating, funny and insightful, Holly Bourne's Pretending is a read that will resonate - Stylist

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

This book will make you laugh, cry, think and feel understood in less than 500 pages -

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

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781473668171
Publication date: 19/08/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781473668133
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781473668140
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Format: Paperback

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About Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne is the author of Am I Normal Yet?, How Hard Can Love Be?, What’s a Girl Gotta Do?, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting and Soulmates. She graduated with a first class degree in Journalism Studies at University of Sheffield and spent two years working as a local news reporter on the Surrey Mirror, garnering a nomination for Print Journalist of the Year in 2010. During her time there, Holly uncovered many national and international stories that received huge press coverage. She was nominated for Print Journalist of the Year – but found she ...

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