PRETENDING by Holly Bourne

From the publisher:

He said he was looking for a “partner in crime,” which everyone knows is shorthand for “a woman who isn’t real.”

April is kind, pretty and relatively normal—yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry. Until she realizes that men aren’t looking for real women—they’re looking for Gretel.

Gretel is perfect—beautiful but low-maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not too easy. She’s your regular, everyday Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl-Next-Door with no problems.

When April starts pretending to be Gretel, dating becomes much more fun—especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. Finally, April is the one in control. It’s refreshing. Exhilarating, even. But as she and Joshua grow closer, and the pressure of keeping her painful past a secret begins to build, how long will she be able to keep on pretending?

“Thoughtful, smart and painfully true.” —Cosmopolitan UK

Dating sucks. April has learned this painful lesson so well that she invents the perfect date and even gives her a name, Gretel. Gretel is everything April is not. She’s confident, has great self esteem, is independent, and of course, sexy. After so many bad dates, April decides to channel her inner Gretel when she meets Joshua.

Joshua is your basic unicorn; a genuinely nice guy. And he falls pretty quickly for April/Gretel, only he doesn’t know the real April, only the Gretel she lets him see. But soon April finds it tiring to be on all the time, and as they grow closer, Joshua realizes something is up. But April is scared to be herself until Joshua proves that he wants the real April.

This is a fun, easy read, perfect for whiling away a Sunday afternoon when it is too hot to do anything else but read. Okay, it doesn’t have to be too hot, it doesn’t have to be too anything, it’s just an entertaining read and yes, I spend a good part of my weekends reading (and my house looks like it!) But what I liked best about this book was the strong female lead character and the humor – there were a lot of laughs here. While some may see it as anti-men, I see it as anti-misogynistic men, and (wo)mansplained in a language anyone can understand. Plus a great cover!

7/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

PRETENDING by Holly Bourne. MIRA; Original edition (November 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-0778331506. 416 pages.






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