I love Holly Bourne, and this novel was no exception!
This book raises some very important topics and whilst I was reading, I related to it so much and why is this not in schools?! They really need to get it into schools it would educate so many people! So one of the topics that are brought up in this novel is about virginity and in chapter 25 it is brought up and how both Audrey and her friend felt pressured to lose their virginity, and for both of them they had really bad experiences. I thought it was such a good thing to be in books especially as people have an idea about what it’s going to be like and the idea doesn’t match up. If you do lose your virginity or not, either way, you shouldn’t be shamed for either choice, and there is no right time to do it. It’s based on that person not everyone will be the same. We are all different people.
I loved the media stuff in this novel as a media student it was great to read along and actually know what they were talking about and understanding it. I loved the media side. It was definitely a good part of this novel!
The family situation in this story Audrey’s parents were getting a divorce and her mother just kept putting her in the middle trying to make her bargain and her dad was just as bad. In YA we have this thing where authors in stories are afraid of parents or approaching the subject of parents. Which is strange because parents are around us, good, bad and okay parents so I’m not sure why YA steers away from it so much. I feel like we need to have that representation of parents in YA the bad and the good, not just the fact that parents are non-existent in them. The amount of parents that are just non-existent in YA it’s shocking. Like Why? Are parents devils? Like as a teen I didn’t ignore my parents or act like they didn’t exist. So having the detail of Audrey’s home life was really informative especially as the divorce has literally torn her family apart and put her in a really awkward situation.
Holly Bourne has a very amazing way in her writing where she can talk about various issues, like consent, or self-harm or parents etc. without it being preachy. She doesn’t lecture the audience on it, she has this way of turning it into a joke and using metaphors in some circumstances, but they weren’t offensive. The humour doesn’t take away from what is being discussed and how serious some of these topics are in fact you take them in. These topics can be very heavy so the fact it can be done in a slight light humorous way that we can still talk to them is so good!
Audrey had great interactions with her female friends, it was fantastic, it explored the highs and lows of female friendships in an honest and funny fashion. It’s nice to see considering in most YA female friendships are very rare!
This book brings in rape culture and it was bloody fantastic how it is done! It talks about how the predominance of rape culture undermines our romantic relationships.
“Men in films regularly kiss women who don’t want to be kissed. And those are supposed to be the good kind of kisses. Either the woman is taken by surprise, or storming off in a mood, or having a huge go with them, or is engaged to somebody else, or claims she is just plain not interested. And, how do men in movies respond to this clear instruction of “no”? They grab the woman’s face, and kissed her anyway. Roughly. Using their masculine force. And rather than being slapped or even arrested, these movie men are rewarded for their… well… sexual violence. The women “give into” the kiss after a brief moment of fighting it. You see, according to Hollywood, these women wanted to be kissed all along. It was just the male lead’s job to break through the barriers. Barriers like wilful consent.
Outside Hollywood movies, there is a term for being kissed against your will. This term isn’t “spontaneous” or “romantic” or “passionate”. No, it’s called sexual assault. It’s a crime punishable in the UK by up to 10 years in prison.”
Like it’s just such a fantastic quote and if you like that one then you must read this book because this is some of the stuff you get from it. It’s fantastic. I fell in love with this book as well as Holly Bourne all over again! If you are going to pick up a book please make it this one!