book reviews

Book Review: Pretending

Book Details:

  • Published Date: November 17, 2020
  • Author: Holly Bourne
  • Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Adult, Feminism,Mental Health
  • Format: Kindle/Audible
  • Narrator: Heather Long
  • Length: 366 pages/9hrs 50mins
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?

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⚠️Trigger Warning: Rape, abusive relationship

So, for the most part, I enjoyed this book. In the beginning I really was into it and was excited to see April grow. However, once I got deeper into the book it started to get repetitive for me and kind of boring for me. That’s really the biggest thing that disappointed me about this book.

This book is about April. April has been a victim of rape by her ex boyfriend. It has taken years for April to truly process and deal with the situation with her ex boyfriend. April is so traumatized by what happened that she even begins to blame herself for it happening because she didn’t react to it the way she felt she was supposed to.

This book was well written and I definitely think April is portrayed amazingly. I think my biggest thing was that it felt very similar to The Places I’ve Cried in Public. Almost as if I was reading the same book with a different character and slightly different trauma. I also hated how this book almost felt like it was consistently bashing men. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, she dealt with a traumatizing situation and it has changed her view on men. But the feminism was a little bit too much for me.

I wish that the supporting characters were developed a little more as well. I honestly think it would have added something to this story to make it more enjoyable. I noticed this same thing in The Places I’ve Cried in Public as well.

If you do decide to pick up this book, I really want to emphasize the triggers in this book. If you are not in the right mental space for the triggers listed above, then I would suggest skipping this. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s a bad book and it is a quick read.

My Rating:

3 star

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?


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