Crying in Public with Holly Bourne

Guest Post by Chang Shih Yen

The Places I’ve Cried in Public is a young adult novel by British author Holly Bourne. This is not your typical young adult story about crushes and teenage angst. Teenage novels don’t usually come with a warning on the back cover, like this book does, that it contains material that some readers may find distressing.

In this book, Amelie fell in love with Reese, but now she can’t seem to get over him. So she’s going back to all the places where she cried in public to try and re-trace her steps, and see where her life went wrong. In the process, she’s learning about what love is not. This book is written in very British English and is set in places like London and Sheffield, but it deals with universal themes, like recognizing what is a healthy relationship, what is controlling behavior and abuse.

This book is powerful and intense. It is a work of fiction, but it deals with real issues. It is a tough read, in the sense that you need to mentally prepare to read until the end. You feel like you have been punched in the stomach after reading this book. But it is a good book; it deals with important issues. This book should be required reading for all young women.


The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne. Usborne Publishing Ltd., 2019.

Reviewer bio: Chang Shih Yen is a writer from Malaysia, seeing through the pandemic in New Zealand. She writes a blog at https://shihyenshoes.wordpress.com/.

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