Review: The Places I’ve Cried in Public, Holly Bourne

There are no spoilers in this review.

The Places I’ve Cried in Public, Holly Bourne

Published on October 3rd, 2019 by Osborne Publishing.


Amelie loved Reese. And she thought he loved her. But she’s starting to realise love isn’t supposed 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.

☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.

this entire book deals with an emotionally abusive relationship. Emotional abuse, rape, slut-shaming, PTSD, cheating, gaslighting, manipulation, social anxiety.




  • The Places I’ve Cried in Public is one intense ride you need to be ready for. Let it be known first and forehand that this book deals with an abusive relationship, like, really. From beginning to end, it’s raw and complex and hard and frustrating and painful to read and see unfold, at times, just as well. Yet, Holly Bourne manages to write this story with her words and passion and makes us connect to the characters, makes us live this relationship with her, too.
  • The Places I’ve Cried in Public isn’t a love story, but it’s a book that talks about love, for sure. What you might mistake for love, but isn’t, the all consuming feelings of getting slowly trapped into a relationship and, before it’s too late, before you can or are really managing to listen to your gut, you’re in too deep. I loved the discussions on that, I loved how it opens up an important, important conversation about abuse in relationships, sometimes one that might not seem like it, at first, either.
  • I really enjoyed following the main character’s journey. Told half in the present time and half through flashbacks, we’re taken away with Amelie on her story, figuring out what happened, from the first time they meet to the end. We’re trying to untangle this relationship step by step, all the red flags and everything that has happened, in hindsight. I loved how the story was told.
  • Something I also really appreciated in this story, was how therapy is shown in a positive light. How Amelie figures out, by herself and, as she starts therapy, with conversations with her therapist, the issues in her previous relationship and slowly goes down that recovery road.
  • If the focus really is on Amelie and Reese’s relationship in this book, I liked the place the secondary characters took in the story. From the caring music teacher to the friendship Amelie develops, destroys and mends with Hannah, I appreciated seeing this very much, as well.



  • The only reason this isn’t a whooping 5-stars is because this was still quite a difficult read at times, because of the themes of the story. Still 200% recommending this, if you can handle the trigger warnings.

“Abuse is also when your personality is attacked, not just your body. Abuse is feeling like you constantly have to walk on eggshells around the person you’re supposed to love. Abuse is being cut off from your friends, even if you could never prove it was their idea you did it. Abuse is being made to feel you’re going crazy. Abuse is being lured in with grand promises and wild declarations of love that can never be sustained. Abuse is being pushed into doing sexual things you’re not comfortable with. That is also called rape, another word that has taken me some time to feel belongs to me. Abuse is intentionally humiliating you. Abuse is constantly blaming you for everything, and never them.”



If you want to read more young adult books exploring abusive relationships, I’d recommend The Places I’ve Cried in Public. It’s a really intense read dissecting an abusive relationship, with a main character you’ll feel fond of quickly and a message that really, really hits hard.

Final rating:  4,5 drops!

“What is love?
Maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s not what we’ve been told it its. Maybe it’s boring words like security and safety, warmth and growth. Maybe it’s the comfort of knowing someone really well and them knowing you back. Maybe it’s kisses where you sometimes bump noses but you can laugh it off? Maybe it’s never getting butterflies because you always know where you stand?”

Did you read The Places I’ve Cried in Public? Do you want to?

Do you have any recommendations of stories with complex relationships? Let me know in comments!





Twitter ☂️ Bookstagram ☂️ Goodreads ☂️ Bloglovin’☂️ Support the blog

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

16 thoughts on “Review: The Places I’ve Cried in Public, Holly Bourne

    1. Oh thank you so much! I think it really depends on each person. I listed the trigger warnings in my review, for reference. The topic of a complex, toxic relationship like this one isn’t a light topic, but it’s really an important one and I think it could be fine for a 15-years old to read as long as they’re prepared for it to be a heavy read 🙂


  1. This looks like an amazing but intense book! I don’t think that I would read it, just because of the trigger warnings, but maybe in a few years! I loved reading your review Marie 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand that, it’s not an easy read. I hope you’ll give it a try when you’re in the right headspace for it, it’s such an important story. Thank you so, so much, Aria! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hoohoo! Great review! It’s actually one of my favourite books. Mostly because it discusses the themes in the story in such a raw, real and brutal way. As you said, it’s hard to read and I felt sick and sad and angry while reading, but it’s so well executed and brings to light things, that many people all over the world have to deal with in a very honest, open way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read this one but it seems like a really heavy read. Thank you so much for including the trigger warnings, it’s really important and I admire you for including those in your review. I’m glad you’ve come across such an important read. I think this will be a very honest and an impacting book for many. Adding to my TBR for later, when I feel like I can handle the themes surrounding it. Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.