PH Blog Tour: Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes? (+ Giveaway)

Before Reading:

“Wait… Holly has a new book out? SIGN ME UP.”

That was essentially my reaction once I learned that Holly Bourne has a new book coming out this year. Basically, any opportunity for me to read her books will not pass by. So when Erika at The Nocturnal Fey once again hosted a tour for Holly’s new release, my hands went all ninja for the sign-up form. Since I started this blog, I have been a fan of Holly Bourne. But long story short: I love Holly and her writing style. I’m pretty sure I can read her new book in one sitting. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t but in a good way.)

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Cover (1)Title: Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?

Author: Holly Bourne

Genre: Contemporary, Mental Health

Date Published: 9th of August 2018

ISBN: 9781474933612

Series: None

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Buy it on: Usborne |AmazonKobo | iBooks | Book Depository | Waterstones

Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes is also available at National Bookstore branches nationwide for PH readers!

Summary:

Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?

After Reading:

My initial reaction after finishing this book goes like this, “Well, aren’t you just a peach?” (Pun intended because the copies for the tour were pink *laughs*) With that in mind,  I cannot help but compare it to her past work. Although Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes is hard-hitting as well, there’s something different about it. The overall tone and the character development is something to point out on. It was also realistically blunt.

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Speaking as a Holly Bourne fan, I’m not going to lie when I say that I had some pretty high expectations for this book. But of course I still had to read it and not just give the 5-star bomb right then and there. Then I met the main character Olive and the circumstances that went with her story. Let’a start with the premise.

Olive has been chosen to go to Camp Reset, since she has been dealing with mental health issues that she chose not to exactly know to avoid labeling herself. In Camp Reset, she goes through various sessions that help her realize thoughts and actions that would not only affect her, but everyone else. Hence the birth of the slogan ‘ #Kindness is contagious‘. What I loved about this book is that it was emotionally blunt and raw, each page bursting with emotions and thoughts that work like the human mind. It’s like the manifestation of a soliloquy in one’s head. The realness and the way the book is presented is also reflected in on Olive. She’s flawed, and she admits that going a few pages in. Not many people like her, especially girls her age. She is fully aware of what she is. As a reader, I found this complexity and honesty in her character frustrating at times. But it is also what made me (and maybe other readers as well) keep on reading. It’s her journey in camp and her interaction with the others that made this book a good read.

With that said, I love the friendship dynamic that grew into this story. It was the support and the kindness that really stuck with me. While the other campers were also great, I really loved the development of the characters of Lewis and Sophie in particular. I love the way they brought out a particular side of Olive’s character, and the way they grew in story. It made me want to cheer for them and hope for all the best.

However, what shined in this book the best is Holly Bourne’s magnetic and brutally honest writing style. The punches were real, and the book managed to encapsulate such strong feelings in almost 400 pages. It didn’t feel like it had that intimidating number of pages because quite frankly, I wanted to read more. There was this little voice in the back of head wanting to read more about Olive and Camp Reset. All of the hard-hitting notes were needed to be said. I also admire the way this book explained how a certain type of disorder was like. The way it was thoroughly expounded made me grasp the context of it and how a person going through that disorder feels. Holly Bourne made me understand the “highs” and the “lows” and for that, I am thankful that this books exists.

For me, Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes is a very important book to read. Mental health matters as much as our physical health, and Holly’s book reiterates that in all of its 400-paged glory. It’s not perfect, but the message it wants to convey is something we have to keep in mind and do our best to manifest in our daily lives.

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

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Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women’s rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves’ acting ability.

Holly’s first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the ‘Normal’ series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.

Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.

Connect with Holly!

Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

As today is the release day of Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes, I decided to participate in today’s prompt of 11 Days of Kindness Challenge. Here’s what I want to say to my 3rd year in college self, because she might have badly needed this then. Keep rendering those scenes!

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One lucky PH reader has the chance to win a copy of Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes. Click the giveaway icon or be redirected here.

Thank you so much to Erika from The Nocturnal Fey for letting me join this lovely tour. Your kindness has reached a lot of people, me included. ❤ Thank you to Usborne Publishing as well for sending review copies our way. Follow the rest of the tour here (will be linking their respective reviews soon):

August 8th
The Nocturnal Fey  – Erika (Review)
Rurouni Jenni Reads  – Jennilyn (Review)
Tesairie’s Book Reads  – Desyerie (Promo post)

August 9th
Bibliophile Soprano  – Fay (Review)
eirareads  – Eira (Promo post)

August 10th
Merv Reads  – Mervilyn (Review)
Amidst the Pages  – Imogene (Review)
The Reading Fangeek  – Avy (Promo Post)

August 11th
That Bookshelf Bitch  – Shealea (Review)
Wanderer in Neverland  – Shaine (Review)
The Royal Polar Bear Reads  – Rafael (Review)

August 12th
Wander with Jon  – Jon (Review)
Diary of an Avid Reader  – Areli (Review)
Novel Thief  – Joefel (Promo post)

Have you read Holly’s newest release? Do you also believe that kindness is contagious?

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PH Blog Tour: It Only Happens In The Movies (Review, Playlist + Giveaway)

Before Reading:

This was me when I saw this book randomly popping out of timeline on Twitter. “A Holly Bourne book? WHERE? DUDE, GIVE ME THE BOOK ALREADY! WHAT DO I DO TO GET IT?” A mistake that my past self has made is to not prioritize Holly’s book. When she released her Normal series, there was probably something wrong with me. But when this one came out, there was a rush to it. You know, like that bit from It where Georgie hesitates first but then grabs the freakin boat anyway?

There was a bit of a drought between reading It Only Happens In The Movies and The Manifesto On How to Be Interesting, the latter I read back in 2015. Got sidetracked in 2016, because there was this monster in my head that felt that I was getting too old to relate to Holly’s books. Well, ladies and gents, that is all about to change. In a good world, romance is like the movies. *snorts* HAHAHAHA SURE. Whatever you say, buddy. Like that’s true. Like I can read 3 books a day. Sure.

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OnlyInTheMovies CoverTitle: It Only Happens In The Movies

Author: Holly Bourne

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Date Published: 1st of October 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Buy it on: AmazonKobo | iBooks | Book Depository | Waterstones

Summary:

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

After Reading:

HOLD MY BEER. THIS BOOK IS LEGIT. Holly, I don’t know if you read reviews but just so you know, I love you. You broke my heart but thank you. I needed this book because it matched what I felt. Not physically, but emotionally. I may not be good at acting, involved with the drama club, or already had a love life for that matter. But Audrey speaks to my bitter soul. Girl has spunk, and she imperfectly gets me. Brb, crying like an idiot for a book that spoke to my soul.

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Great. Now I have to use coherent sentences. I will do my best. Wish me luck.

So dear reader, do you know what only happens in the movies? Actually, if I really think about it hard enough, it also happens in those super cheesy romance novels. I know you’re thinking of an example right now, and don’t worry because I am not judging you. I have my fair share of those. But back to the main point. The only thing that happens in the movies is the exaggeration of action, emotion, and impact to make it look human, when it’s actually not. So where does this book fit in the context, then? And where the heck am I going with this?

In hindsight, those qualities are also contained within the pages of It Only Happens In The Movies. You might be thinking that this will be your typical contemporary romance read. In a way, because it does give you the feels. But at the same time, it hits you right in the face with the reality. That is the reason why I love this book. It is blunt, it describes the proper emotions in the right tone, and I grew to love it as the story progressed. It suddenly clings to you, like an accidental perfume spray. (I don’t know why I went with this comparison but I hope it made sense.) And you get why things are like this and that, similar to romance movies and dramas where you just love the direction it went into. Add in a writing style that figuratively glues your eyes on each and every page, and you got yourself in for a ride. But is it the same thing as your regular contemporary romance? Of course not. And if you’re a film buff like me, all of the movie references can make you die and fly to geek heaven. A joke, but still, it’s just a delight.

It’s the same for Audrey, our main character. In every flip of the page, she grows and grows comfortable in her own train of thought. *For one, I didn’t hate Audrey when the book started and that already guarantees A++ points. She blossoms (literally) into a character that one can learn from. Personally speaking, I love how her character was handled. There were a lot of moments where I just want to scream “Girl, how am I relating to you so much? You get me! I wish you were real!” She’s imperfect. She makes the tough decisions. She loves, but she realizes what’s important. She challenged the norm of misogynistic standpoints. And she also has a thing for the media. I honestly was not expecting to find myself in the story, but I did. Honestly, you go, girl. Just… high praise for you and what you believe in. Make your voice loud because you deserve to be heard. PREACH TO THE HIGH HEAVENS.

*Bianca’s note: I have a history with reading dialogue lead by a female MC that makes me want to rip their heads off. I am only taking precautions. If I like how they talk, then I know it’s good. Sorry not sorry, but it’s true in some cases. Like I know, yeah you go girl. But sometimes, “No girl. You don’t go. Sit down because you need be lectured.” Carry on, child.

I love that the focus was on Audrey and Audrey alone, but it dabbled with situations that need to be challenged, such as consent, and literally everything that the movies have sugarcoated for us. Why can’t guys just love girls for what they are? Not the “you’re not like other girls” crap. And when picking top kisses, why are there no LGBTQIA+ kisses besides Brokeback Mountain? Plus, do why does the movie end after the kissy stuff?

So to sum it all up: Yes, I love this book. Yes, you should read it as well. Yes, of course I recommend it. It is a must-read, and the contemporary rage on this one is off the flipping charts. Just pick it up and thank me later. Oh, and Holly Bourne too because she is just the best. She also deserves a “You go, girl!” shout out more than anyone else for conjuring books that speak loud and clear, powerful to bend the constructed wall of ridiculousness that is sexism.

Oh, and zombies…

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

Surprise! I made a playlist in the spur of the moment. These songs honestly just remind me of Audrey. I hope you guys like it. It only has 10 tracks at the moment, so feel free to add more empowering songs that remind you of It Only Happens In The Movies.

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Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women’s rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves’ acting ability.

Holly’s first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the ‘Normal’ series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.

Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.

Connect with Holly!

Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

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Up for grabs! Win a copy of It Only Happens In The Movies + Holly Bourne badges. PH only giveway though so sorry international peeps.

Huge thanks to Erika from The Nocturnal Fey for letting me join this tour and for Usborne Publishing in sponsoring the tour.

My review is an honest opinion, and I reviewed this book wholeheartedly and unbiased.

Question Time: What other books by Holly Bourne have you read? What books that tackle cinematic tropes have you read? Does your love story resemble a movie? Pray, do tell. 

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