This is actually the first Holly Bourne book I’ve read. A few months ago there were a whole load of her books in the Kindle sale so I picked up a few. I’ve heard quite a lot this year about The Places I’ve Cried in Public so I decided to try this one first.
There is a trigger warning at the start, which I think is an important thing for authors to do so I went into the book fully warned. But even so this book did make my heart hurt, which I feel is the appropriate reaction to have. I’m lucky in that I’ve never experienced anything mentioned in this book but I know others who have.
The Places I’ve Cried in Public follows Amelie in her new life down South after her family have had to move away from Sheffield due to her father being made redundant. She has left behind her ex-boyfriend, Alfie, although they have promised each other that they’ll wait for each other for two years until they can go to university together. However, within her first week at her new college, she meets a boy, Reece, who turns her world upside down. The story is from Amelie’s point of view, looking back at all the events which have led her to where she is today and help her come to terms with the abuse she suffered.
It was clear which parts were in the past as the font changed, which is a simple point, but it did make it easy to keep track of her life. Straight away I disliked Reece even though he technically wasn’t doing anything wrong. And obviously as an outsider I could sense he was being slightly manipulative and controlling from the things he was saying but you could also see why Amelie couldn’t see it. If that makes sense.
Some chapters I struggled to read, not because of bad writing (it was all amazing writing), but because there was so much tension you could feel that something terrible was going to happen. It all felt so realistic that it did break my heart a bit. You couldn’t help but feel for Amelie as she looked back at her life as she cut herself from everyone in order to please Reece.
As hard as this was to read, I’m glad I did as I think it’s an important topic that more people need to know about. I liked how Amelie was encouraged to get professional help and it wasn’t seen as something shameful.
I’ll definitely be reading her other books now. Have you read this book? What did you think?