Pretending by Holly Bourne | Book Review


Pretending by Holly Bourne
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 2021 (first published: April 2nd, 2020)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women Fiction, Feminism
Add to Goodreads
Source: Thank you Pansing for the review copy in return for an honest review
Rating: 3.75


'Perceptive. Hilarious. Reassuring. Brilliant.' Laura Jane Williams
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?


I have read a few books written by Holly Bourne. I was excited to read this one.

This book has carried out important themes such as toxic relationships, mental health, and sexual assault that make me stick to read to the end. Before I begin, a trigger warning for you to prepare yourself - rape & sexual assault. Honestly, this is a quite heavy subject for me to carry on reading the whole book. I mean I did had to put the book down for few times which took more than a month to finally finish my reading. 

The story follows with April who has gone through a lot in her life. She was so skeptical about men although she wants to be in a relationship. She has to deal with her own coping mechanism in her daily life which is a huge struggle for her. And then, one day she discover a dating app which she signed up to and pretend to be someone she was not like a whole lot of a new her when she is not.

I wasn't really fond of April. I find her annoying quite a few times like I do understand what she has experienced and what she needs to face and how she coping with it but the thing is I find out that I just couldn't stand her. I'm not sure what's bothering me when I read this book. I'm not sure what I feel when I finish reading the book like I sit and stare at the book like I have no idea what I actually feel. The ending is good but throughout my reading...I'm not sure about that one. Not the themes, of course, because I'm on board with that maybe the way it was written. Could be that.

This is an emotional, thought-provoking read that makes me keep on reading the book despite I stop a few times. But I did like it in some parts which is one of the reasons that push me to read and the fact I want to know what happened next gives a great reason to stay with the book. I do like it but I feel the MC is quite annoying and weary on one side.