Pretending - Holly Bourne
'One of those typical Holly Bourne books that will stay with you forever.'
Thank you God for bringing Holy, oops I mean; Holly (;)) Bourne to this Earth to bless us all with her wiseness. Okay, let's be serious for a moment here. 'Pretending' truly is such a phenomenal book. If you didn't know already; Holly is a feminist and uses this as a little structure for all her books. With that she combines a subject that seriously needs more attention from basically everyone that has power in this entire world. And ta-da, she writes an incredible letter to those who need to be confronted with those issues.
With 'Pretending' she tackles the subject of how in this modern society women still get raped, not believed that they did and get accused of being 'attention-seekers' and 'liars'. This book brings forth the truth about these women and how hard it is for each and every one of them to continue their lives after such a traumatic happening. I am not a survivor of rape, but I think Bourne really well brings rape to attention with April, the main character, who struggles with continueing her life after her boyfriend had raped her. The fact that Holly also chose to get April raped by her boyfriend, now ex-boyfriend, is a eye-opener for those who say 'it's women's own fault for the way they dress', which is nonsense, obviously.
April works at a charity where people can get free advise about sex and relationship and where she regularly gets confrontated with her past and her ex-boyfriend.
She keeps failing at getting past date 5 and decides to put up a fake dating profile as Gretel. Gretel is per-fect. At least April acts like she is. She pretends like she is the most perfect woman to exist. She meets a guy; Joshua and they start dating. Eventually they get serious and April can't help but wonder if she should stay and be Gretel; the perfect wife material, the woman who never complains and cares just the right amount about her man. The harder Joshua falls in love with her the harder it is for her to believe otherwise. Because why wouldn't men choose a Gretel over a April; a broken mess and someone who can be annoying and isn't perfect? Riiight.
'Pretending' starts with the hilarious and spot-on sentence; 'I hate men'. Which totally shows the humor in the book even though it shines a light on that much of a serious topic as rape, but also loving yourself. Because it can be so hard to love yourself again after a horrid experience like rape.
If it wasn't noticeable yet; I totally recommend this book to everyone out there! For every woman, because it's so important to learn that you're worth it. You're worth it, really, even in this big world full of angry and scary men who think they can rule everything. Because they can not. Men can not rule everything. They can not rule how you feel and how you feel about yourself. You should never give them the power to do that.
If I learned anything from Holly Bourne and her books is that there is always a way to feel better about yourself. And you don't have to feel 'perfect' about yourself. Because as if someone does. Yeah, no. Think again. Just feel better about yourself. You know, every day you should be able to look yourself in the eye and say 'Huh, I survived today. And guess what? I don't feel worse.' And everyone, literally everyone, has bad days. And on those bad days you should tell yourself 'I will survive. Even though I am a complete mess right now.'
So, I am going to end this review, which became more like an essay but whatever, with a final comment. READ THIS BOOK! In fact, READ ALL OF HOLLY'S BOOKS WHILE YOU'RE AT IT! Because they are bloody brilliant.
Please do tell me below if you've ever read a book by Holly Bourne, which one and if you liked that one! I'm very curious ;).