WHY BE YOURSELF WHEN YOU CAN BE PERFECT?
**As featured on The High Low podcast**
'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
The highly-anticipated new novel from Holly Bourne, bestselling author of HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?
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?
PRAISE FOR HOLLY BOURNE:
'Honest and unflinching' Stylist
'Funny, touching and painfully true' Grazia
'Relatable for any woman navigating emotional time bombs' Red
'Bourne incinerates the lies we're all capable of telling ourselves' Emerald Street
'Funny, real and heartbreaking' Lucy Vine
'Funny, sad, honest, insightful, up-to-the-minute' Roisin Meaney
'Smart, witty and perceptive. Razor-sharp on friendship, self-image and self-deception' Lucy Diamond
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Teen fiction writer Holly Bourne’s second adult novel is a touching, at times visceral read that’s so searingly relatable you sometimes have to pause for breath. Here, we meet April, a single woman in her 30s, as she experiences yet another bad encounter with yet another substandard man. For her next attempt, she tries something different: embodying ‘Gretel’, the perfect woman that April believes all men want. Gretel is carefree, uncomplicated and sexy. But Gretel is also a figment of April’s imagination and things don’t quite go to plan when she meets Joshua, a computer programmer who might just be one of the good guys. Pretending opens as a seemingly easy read about modern love, but as we learn of April’s trauma as a survivor of sexual assault, it rapidly becomes something much more profound. This is a powerful, moving account of a woman rebuilding her strength, sense of self and faith in love after they were all unjustly taken away from her. You’ll likely race through Pretending then be unable to stop thinking about it long after you put it down.
Everything. All of it. This book will resonate with so many.
Don’t let the lighthearted tone and witty MC fool this, this book us about so much more, and it so much deeper than it first appears.
Really good read
Perfect balance of a serious subject matter and lighthearted interactions. Very much enjoyed this book
Needs a trigger warning
I’m enjoying the book, but have had to skip some parts. Word of warning, this book should have a prominent trigger warning as it goes in to detail and describes situations which could be particularly disturbing to some readers.