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The Places I've Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

I haven't done as much reading as I'd have liked to do this year so far. I've dipped in and out of books; I've got bored a quarter way through a book and abandoned all reading for weeks on end. However, when I got an instagram ad for Holly Bourne's latest YA novel I knew it was one I'd enjoy. Sad books are my not so guilty pleasure (along with sad movies, sad shows, sad songs...) so when I saw the title I knew I just had to buy it, especially as I recently read another one of her novels and really enjoyed it.

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.

The Places I've Cried in Public is about college student Amelie, who has just had to up and move her whole life down south from Sheffield, leaving behind her boyfriend and best friend Alfie, as well as her friends and a gig scene she's become familiar with. She's just getting used to her new life, performing her first gig and making new friends, when Reese comes along and a whirlwind romance begins that changes just about everything in her life. 

This book is so incredibly important for teens, twenty somethings and even beyond. I'm only 22, but I wish I'd have had the chance to read it slightly earlier in my life because it's such a real and raw representation of toxic and/or abusive relationships. Amelie's first person narrative is allows the reader to really live as her and see the highs and lows, the pain and the struggles firsthand. Being in her head is so frustrating at times, but that's what makes it work so well. The thing that stood out to me the most was that even though Amelie is completely loved up in all the flashbacks, the toxicity of the relationship isn't romanticised in the slightest. Her present day self as well as multiple supporting characters make it clear what's truly going on between her and Reese, even if her past self can't see it yet. That being said, it's worth noting that Amelie goes through some very dark times in the story, and it includes sexual content (both assault and consensual) and emotional abuse, so read with caution if this could be triggering. 

I read the book on the Kindle app on my phone, and every chance I could I was sneaking a page or two, I just couldn't help myself. I laughed with Amelie, but my god did I cry with her too.  I went through so many emotions!! The story pulled me in from the get-go and I'm so glad it was advertised to me. It's beautifully written and an all-round Good Book; I'd recommend The Places I've Cried in Public to absolutely anyone, it's a must-read. Thank you Holly!!!

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