Review: Pretending by Holly Bourne

Title: Pretending

Author: Holly Bourne

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

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?

The Review

Holly Bourne is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects. That is what I learned after reading her latest release – Pretending.

Pretending is the story of April. April is sick of the dating scene. She hates that she can’t live up to the expectations and standards that have been set for girls. More than that, she hates that men cannot live up to the exacting standards that she has set. There is a reason she has these standards and April is not willing to settle. So as a social experiment she invents Gretel. The perfect girl. She wants to see if Gretel is more successful than April. All of this goes well until she starts to fall for Joshua – the unwitting victim of her experiment. But who does he love – Gretel or April?

Pretending is a power house of a story. Bourne was asking questions that plagued my late twenties when it came to dating and men. Her questions and her characters anger are not unfounded. There are a lot of triggering moments in this story though so be prepared to wade through some topics that aren’t easy to read but it is with Bourne’s fearless style that as a reader you feel in safe hands.

Pretending by Holly Bourne is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Bourne (@holly_bourneYA) please visit

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit

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