THE PLACES I’VE CRIED IN PUBLIC by Holly Bourne

Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story and untangling what happened by revisiting all the places he made her cry.

Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn to get over him


Title : The Places I’ve Cried In Public
Author : Holly Bourne
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 368
Genre : Contemporary
Publisher : Usbourne Publishing
Release Date : October 3, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


This was my first Holly Bourne read but I have come away a little unsure if her writing style is for me. I am a stalwart fan of British contemporary YA, some of my favourite YA is UK written and based, because of course I want that real connection with my culture.

It took me a good third of the book to really get settled into the story and the characters. Overall, I didn’t really connect with any character in the book and I feel that I should have connected with Amelie. She irritated me on and off. Needless to say, I hated Reese, however I did like her friends, Hannah, Archie and Jessa. I would have loved more about these friendships.

Bourne narrates some important themes in this book in the form of insidious and manipulative behaviour in a significant other. In fact the behaviour was much more than that. There was a slow reveal of what that ‘more’ is and some of the handling of how that reveal happened was a little messy in execution for me, losing some clarity of the severity and wrongness of the behaviour. I also struggled with the past and present timelines, they just didn’t flow well in and out of one another but I did get used to the framing eventually. I don’t normally struggle with this approach but there was just something about the chop and change that made it difficult to stay inside the story.

There were some strong elements that really captured me but they were small parts of the story. I thought how the counsellor and counselling was represented was realistic and positive. I thought the assault element took an less talked-about path that was good to have out there in literature without being too graphic. I also liked the music teacher and the tentative confidante that was offered and appreciated.

I am left with questions however, why was there no mention of reporting this heinous crime? This was a problematic big hole in this story that is meant to and will influence young people having some similar experiences told in this story.

I have rated this 3 stars for the important themes, but I do feel it could have been executed better both in writing dealing with such sensitive topics.

Thank you to the publisher and Amazon Vine for the finished review copy.

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