I’ve done it. I’ve managed to post 20 (yes, twenty!) Blogtober posts. I’m as surprised as you are, honestly! I can’t thank you enough for reading this (and my other Blogtober posts).
I’m a huge fan of YA novels. Three years of reading the set texts at uni hasn’t lessened my love for this genre. I love the trashy, mushy chick-lit novels and I’m so glad- now I’m free from education- I can fully indulge in this kind of novel.
On the face of it, Holly Bourne’s “The Places I’ve Cried in Public” is this kind of novel. It’s only when I read on I realised this is a very different love story indeed.
Here’s what I thought.
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.
I’ve cried over boys a few times in my life, and no doubt I’ll cry over them more.
Not like this.
On the face of it, “The Places I’ve Cried in Public” screams typical romance novel. Likeable but naive main character? Check. New town, new school, the dilemma of ‘will I fit in or won’t I?’. Check. Choosing between one boy and another? Check.
At first I thought Amelie was predictable. Worried about fitting in, worried about boys and, of course, she has to be painfully shy. Except exactly what I deemed “predictable” made me like her character more. I liked that she was vulnerable, likeable and strong. I liked that we saw her at her worst, her best, those real emotions that most of the books I read don’t delve into.
I also liked the friendships she moulded and fixed in the book, not just away from home but back in her hometown.
I disliked Reece from the outset. I mean, first off, who wears a hat all the time including indoors? I disliked him because I was supposed to. I fell for all the moments when he loved her, or he said he did, because Bourne made it easy to. She presented a character with all the love interest traits, but also with a dark side.
I liked the technique of going back and forth, revisiting places and resurrecting memories (good and bad). It hurt to read, it broke my heart but it was necessary so we finally saw Amelie moving on from Reece, moving past her tears and moving forward to the further.
I can’t say anything against this book. At first I thought I’d give it a less than satisfactory review. It was raw, upsetting and it hurt me to read it. Yet, it needed to be like that. To address that there are more types of people than those “perfect” ones in books, there are relationships that seem and feel perfect yet they are far from it, love can heal, love can hurt and – most importantly- you can move on from the bad times towards the good.