The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne 

 November 30, 2022

By  BookishBearx

During self-isolation I have taken myself a little out of my norm and purchased a few ebooks on Kobo to read. The first one that I ventured into I had seen Britishbookreader on instagram post a mini review saying how much she loved it. I was curious for sure, but it isn’t the kind of book that I’d normally go for these days and not in my preferred format. I am a die hard physical copy reader, so this was quite a new reading experience for me. Todays review is of The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne.

The Places I’ve Cried in Public was published in October 2019 by Usborne Publishing as a Kindle edition. It has then gone on to have 4 further editions published since. I’ve included the Book Description from GoodReads below!

Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t suppose 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 will just put this out there now, this book could be hard to read or slightly triggering for those that have been through abusive relationships both physical and emotional alike. But basically this story follows Amelie, a talented and promising young singer/songwriter as she moves down south leaving her friends behind in Sheffield. Amelie struggles a lot with social anxiety and is dreading her first day at a new college, in a new town. The first day isn’t too bad she meets a girl, Hannah, who seems to be a promising new friend, and Amelie starts to slip into Hannah’s friendship group. Hannah and Amelie’s form tutor encourages them to sign up to a talent show at the college and this is where Amelie first meets Reese. Full of charm and charisma, Amelie notices him straight away and he her. Ignoring Hannah’s comments on his bad personality, Amelie let him walk her home, from there it all starts.

This book is so well written. It covers the topic so accurately and sensitively. It could well be a real tale of actual emotional abuse. Even at the beginning of the relationship, where Reese seems to be the perfect boyfriend, so romantic and caring, Bourne includes these veiled bits of conversation where Reese says something where subliminally it’s putting Amelie down. Slowly stripping away her confidence. I also like the way that Bourne includes then and now sections. Amelie is telling the story of then from different places where he made her cry. I think this creates such a powerful image, and a real sense of closeness to Amelie. As if you are sat with her as she is telling this story. The sections where she is talking about now are addressed to him. To Reese and honestly it’s so powerful. It displays Amelie with so much strength that after everything she is standing tall and she is addressing her abuser. “Look what you did. You were wrong. But you didn’t win” is what this book seems to say.

I honestly love this book. It is a beacon to people who have lived through abuse, to say you are not alone and you can escape this and you will be okay. It’s a giant middle finger to abusers everywhere. A note wrapped up to say that they will not prevail. Though this book can be shocking and upsetting, it is uplifting all the same, empowering, it shows that you can find you after something like this. It is a great way to teach young women about what an unhealthy relationship looks like. That it isn’t always being punched in the face. Sometimes it is a seemingly sweet compliment which might make you stop and think “wait is that actually a compliment?” It is them slowly making you relinquish ties to other people, even if they don’t do it outright. It is them making you feel like you are always in the wrong, but you never actually do anything wrong. This book is so important.

I would definitely recommend this book for any young adults, that are still to learn what love is. Who still need to learn what is and isn’t healthy. I would recommend it for survivors of abuse who may need to know it is okay to not feel okay but one day, they will. It is a beautifully created book, Bourne did amazing with this one and I cannot wait to read more of her books.

Star Rating /5


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