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Publisher's Summary

The new honest and hilarious novel from Holly Bourne, best-selling author of How Do You Like Me Now?

April hates men. Her dating life is a disaster and she carries the damage of her last relationship with her every day. She's trying so hard to put herself out there, but every time it seems like she's found something real it falls apart.  

If only April could be more like Gretel.  

Gretel knows how to behave perfectly in relationships - she's a 'Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems'. 

Gretel is exactly what all men want.  

The problem is, Gretel isn't real.  

But once April starts pretending to be Gretel, life is much more fun. Especially when she starts dating Joshua, who has no idea who she really is. 

For once, April is the one in control. But how long will she be able to keep pretending?    

©2020 Holly Bourne (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about Pretending

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  • becky16
  • 06-02-20

A little too intense for me

This is a tricky review as I don’t want to offend anyone. I really consider myself a feminist and enjoy reading literature with strong female leads and with topics that give insight to women and some of our struggles but this was just too intense for me. I found the character really depressive and I probably just wanted something a bit more upbeat in the given time. It was really hating on men and I guess that’s the point of the book and the transition she makes throughout but just too much for me. I don’t enjoy hating on me man just to elevate female points, as we are fighting for equality and I believe that means being equal. It was perhaps too repetitive for me and The ending became obvious early on.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Göran Liljeberg
  • 05-05-20

Not a feelgood story

The story is not an easy feelgood story but quite heavy subject of assaulted women who try to live with their experience.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sophie
  • 05-23-21

Excellent, and I'm not pretending!

Deeply affecting and yet somehow uplifting, I literally laughed out loud and had a proper cry at different points of this book. The narration is just perfect and I found the story of women, of resilience and of understanding your own mind to be really moving.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-20

Refreshingly raw and real

Powerful message. Insight into someone that's been raped, the trauma and how it affects how you connect with other people. Heather Long did a great job of reading it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-04-20

Thought provoking

I genuinely enjoyed this book, I heard about it during an interview with the author on the Doing It podcast and decided to give it a go. There were times of the book that I had to pause it and absorb the way April was thinking and feeling. As a survivor of sexual assault I have felt the way April does at times, so this book resonated deeply with me. It is incredibly well written and has plenty of light hearted and funny moments, without detracting from the serious nature of the themes within the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kristina
  • 06-06-20

Brilliantly written and narrated! Beware full of triggers on sexual violence!

I have found the book very enjoyable, yet intense! I believe it should be made compulsory reading at schools for teenagers, especially the boys!

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  • Miss Lewis
  • 01-11-22

A new favourite book.

I absolutely loved this story. I have been reading a print version along with listening and the narrator is brilliant. She really captures the spirit of the character and the raw emotion of some of the scenes. I look forward to discovering more from this author.

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  • Zoë Dew
  • 11-13-21

Devoured it

TW : sexual assault, rape

I really enjoyed this. It’ll found it really relatable and knew a lot of the places that were described, the feelings April/Gretel had about men were so familiar to me

It’s not light all the way through and quickly switches between comic and heartfelt however the only thing I hated was how much she spoke about sweating! I don’t know anyone who sweats so much even in a heatwave!

Quick listen if you want a quick win too.

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  • Lainey18a*
  • 10-30-21

Good but annoying narrator nosies

Great book found that I tuned into the narrator swallowing sound too much which annoying me

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  • Miss A C Thomas
  • 06-14-21

SA TRIGGER WARNING

A great book but some really quite graphic descriptions of sexual assault and PTSD flashbacks. Proceed with caution, even if these things aren't a trigger for you, some bits are difficult to listen to.

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  • JHadgal
  • 05-25-20

Not at all how it’s marketed

I was quite disappointed that the information on this book did not say it was about a rape survivor. Would not have purchased it.
It had some good aspects but I was expecting light hearted chick lit and this is definitely not that.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-15-20

Lighthearted, Entertaining Read

I appreciate the lightheartedness given to rather serious issues in this book.
The story was cute and enjoyable, although the main character was somewhat annoying & the writing a bit repetitive at times.
The production and narration was great! (One of my personal favourite audiobook productions so far)

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  • gina saunders
  • 06-02-20

a real love story for today

Holly Bourne has addressed some serious issues for today in this lovely, honest story. April is a flawed heroine with genuine hurts, and has come to a conclusion that is growing in popularity: No-one could possibly want to be with her, and that must be because she's none of the things she should be... so she pretends to be someone (she thinks is) better than who she (sees she) is. Joshua is downright puppy-dog loveable. the story is convincing and i loved its unfolding. thanks Holly

April has been raped, and this is something readers should be aware of as a trigger warning.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-20

A beautiful book

Well written, painful, sweet, touching tale of being a woman. So intimate and at times hard to listen, this book was also perfectly narrated.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-05-20

Worth listening to

This book was heavy in parts. Depressing and real, but i wanted to keep listening and learn from this persons perspective. You also get a happy ending . So finished feeling good