Review: The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

Blurb: It looked like love. It felt like love. But this isn’t a love story. Amelie fell hard for Reese. And she thought he loved her too. But she’s starting to realise that real love isn’t supposed to hurt like this. So now she’s retracing their story, revisiting all the places he made her cry. Because if she works out what went wrong, perhaps she can finally learn how to get over him.

Title: The Places I’ve Cried in Public

Author: Holly Bourne

Publisher: Usborne

Genre: Fiction, YA


**TRIGGER WARNING – discussion of emotional abuse and rape**

This book follows Amelie’s journey to self discovery as she retraces her steps by visiting all of the places that she’s cried in public that led her to her present situation.

This was my first Holly Bourne read and after being recommended it by a colleague, I just had to give it a go. It’s different to the things that I usually read and took me a while to get into but in the end, I must say that it’s definitely a worthwhile read! I thought that the concept of this story was really interesting. Following a past timeline by connecting it to the present through places worked seamlessly and helped the plot to flow at a consistent pace when you understand what’s happening. I also appreciated that this book was so upfront in the way that it talks about abuse as it’s a brilliant way to spark conversation amongst readers, even if it’s just to chat about what kind of behaviour shouldn’t be tolerated.

[TW] When we find out that as well as the emotional abuse that Amelie has suffered, and that she’s also been raped, it made my heart sink. Although certainly not pleasant to read about, I do feel that it’s important for this kind of thing to be talked about in YA books. Whether it’s to show that this sort of behaviour from Reese should raise a lot of red flags, or that help is available for those who have gone through similar things, it’s helping to spark conversation amongst readers which I definitely think is positive.

As for what I disliked, my only gripe would be that it took me a while to get into. I even put this book down part way through for a few months but later picked it back up, determined to reach the end – and don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad I did! My main problem was that, initially, we know that something’s happened to Amelie and that it has something to do with Reese, but other than him being nasty there’s little to go on. Her reactions annoyed me because it seemed like she was making a big deal over not very much. But (and it’s a big but) when we do find out why she’s so distraught, it makes a lot more sense.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book if you don’t mind a slow start and you’re ok to read through talk of rape and emotional abuse.

Rating: 4/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read anything else by this author? I’d love to know!

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

6 thoughts on “Review: The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

  1. This book has been on my radar for a long time and it’s one I’ve been wanting to pick up. I totally agree that we need to discuss these topics in YA books – it happens and that is reason enough that we shouldn’t shield teenagers and young adults from this kind of content. Fab review, Hannah!

    Liked by 1 person

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