World Book Night 2016: Q&A with Holly Bourne

We’ve been supporters of World Book Night since before Adventures With Words properly kicked off, in 2011, and we’ve been talking to you about it most years since then. You can read all about its origins on the World Book Night website, but it came about in order to promote reading for pleasure for people who don’t read regularly, by reaching out to people in unusual places with a huge team of enthusiastic volunteers ready to give away a range of brilliant titles. This year’s set of books is no exception, and I was thrilled when the team at WBN got in touch to ask if we’d like to share some Q&As from a couple of the authors involved. This evening, Holly Bourne shares some insights into her reading habits, advice on recommendations for reluctant readers, and Shakespearean favourites (remember that anniversary?), as people all around the country prepare to share their love for her fantastically funny and feminist YA novel, Am I Normal Yet?

About Am I Normal Yet?

Evie wants to be normal. Now she’s almost off her meds and at a college where no one knows her as the-girl-who-went-nuts, there’s only one thing left on her list… But relationships can mess with anyone’s head – something Evie’s new friends know only too well. But if Evie won’t tell them her secrets, how can they stop her making a huge mistake?

Am I Normal Yet

World Book Night 2016: Author Q&A with Holly Bourne

3 favourite books of all time

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I honestly believe reading this book makes you a better human. It’s a blueprint on how to have a soul.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison – I wouldn’t be an author if it wasn’t for Louise Rennison and these books. She was the first author who shone a mirror on my life, reflecting my teen world and the ridiculous notion that teenage girls can be FUNNY.

How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran – This book, without a doubt, changed my entire life and lit my feminist flame.

3 books you would give to a reluctant reader

One Day – It’s funny, on-point, romantic and sad – with incredible dialogue. There’s a reason the entire London underground seemed to be reading it in 2009

Station Eleven – I’ve been literally shoving this into the hands of everyone. It’s an incredible literary book, but with a gripping premise that will keep anyone up until silly o’clock to get to the end.

The Fault In Our Stars – YA fiction is great for reluctant readers as it’s so plot-focused. I defy anyone not to be totally bewitched by this one, and John Green is a great gateway drug into the amazing world of teen fiction.

3 outside places you like to read

In my parents’ garden – it’s where I devoured every single Harry Potter book each summer.

Anywhere outside where people are not – As I don’t like being distracted when I’m into a book.

Brockwell Park – if I’m forced to be around other humans, this is my favourite park in London to be in.

Favourite Shakespeare work

Much Ado About Nothing. Beatrice is everything I ever aspire to be. And I have fond memories of Keanu Reeves wearing leather trousers and running around a tunnel, covered in massage oil.

Favourite Shakespeare quotation

“Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.” 


Station Eleven? What a book! I couldn’t agree more with Holly there! How do Holly’s favourites compare to yours? What’s your favourite Shakespeare work? Do you fancy trying Am I Normal Yet? Are you a World Book Night giver, and what are you giving away? I’ve love to hear your thoughts!

Am I Normal Yet? is out now, published by Usborne

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