Author: Joanna Olney

What’s the best movie kiss of all time?

What makes a really great Hollywood kiss?

I’m trying to find out. And I want you to FIGHT TO THE DEATH (well, not literally) for your favourite.

I’m currently writing a book I’m not allowed to talk about yet, and, yes, it involves kissing. For it, I need insight into what *you* like out of a kissing scene, and why. So, I asked the wonderful hive-mind of Twitter what your favourite movie kiss is.

A LOT of you had MANY OPINIONS and I’m delighted to reveal the longlist….

The Breakfast Club

Who kisses who? Claire and Bender

“Don’t YOU, forget about me… *AIR PUNCH*”


Bridget Jones’ Diary

Who kisses who? Bridget and Mark Darcy

“Nice boys don’t kiss like that.”

“Oh yes, they fucking do.”


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Who kisses who? Ron and Hermione




Who kisses who? Spiderman and Mary Jane

Upsidedown. Rain.


From Here to Eternity

Who kisses who? Sergeant Milton Warden and Karen Holmes

Top fact: This kiss inspired T-Spoon

(that fact may not be true)


The Princess Bride

Who kisses who? Westley and Buttercup

Since the invention of the kiss, there have only been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.


A Room With A View

Who kisses who? Lucy and George

A solid head-grabber, this one. “POOR CECIL”


Love Rosie

Who kisses who? Rosie and Alex

This is what happens when you let people vote for things…


My Beautiful Laundrette

Who kisses who? Omar and Johnny

Who knew a laundrette could be so sexual?


Moulin Rouge

Who kisses who? Christian and Satine

If you haven’t sang the boy-girl duet from ‘Elephant Love Melody’ during a traffic jam than you’re not living life, quite frankly.


Dirty Dancing

Who kisses who? Baby and Johnny

“Come ‘ERE LoverBoy.”



Who kisses who? Josh and Cher

No suck and blow here, thank you very much


Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Who kisses who? Holly and Paul

Rain. Cat. Hints of prostitution…


The Notebook

Who kisses who? Noah and Aliie

“It wasn’t over, IT STILL ISN’T OVER.” …and, with that, every girl dies a little inside, whenever she kisses someone who isn’t Ryan Gosling


Brokeback Mountain

Who kisses who? Jack and Ennis

Proof that head-clutching is not a heteronormative kissing phenomenon


Romeo and Juliet

Who kisses who? Romeo and Juliet. Obvs.

The Stealthy Elevator kiss beat the Sexy Swimming Pool kiss by a hair of a whisker in the prelims. Will that damage its chances of an overall win?


10 Things I Hate About You

Who kisses who? Kat and Patrick

I have a lot of Heath fans on my timeline, it appears. HERE COMES THE HAIR TUCK!

My Girl

Who kisses who? Vadar and Thomas

Before the bees came… 

Holly, how the hell did you come up with this list?

There were too many nominations to fight them all to the death. This longlist was made up of each kiss that was nominated more than once.

What’s going to happen now?

Apart from all of us feeling dissatisfied by our own romantic lives? Well.. I’m going to randomly pull two kisses out of a hat (ASDA bag) and then pip them against each other on Twitter. Check the #BestMovieKiss hashtag once a day to make sure you can vote for your favourite.  

This is sudden death. If a kiss doesn’t win a Twitter poll, it’s out. We keep going until we get a WINNER.

My ode to Georgia Nicolson


Every time I do a school visit, or go to a festival, I’m consistently asked the same question.

“What’s your favourite book?”

Without hesitation, my answer is the same.

“Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging.”

So, I was completely devastated to hear the news that Louise Rennison, author of the Georgia Nicolson books, has died. She is my biggest influence as a writer and her books are so intrinsically linked to my own teenagehood. I’m so, so sad that she’s gone.

But her books remain. And what WHAT books they are. So, to help alleviate my grief, I’ve written a celebration of why the Georgia Nicolson books are so great.

They are beyond funny

Not just funny-for-a-girl funny. Not the-occasional-discrete-tittle-on-the-train funny. No. These books make you laugh until you snort. Actual snot has flown out of my nose and landed some way across my face whilst reading them. There are so, SO, many funny moments in these books, but off the top of my head, some of the best bits are:

  • Georgia dying a blonde streak in her hair with bleach and it snapping off in the Sex God’s hand
  • Getting one of his buttons shoved up her nose when he lays her head on his lap
  • Throwing her tennis racquet into the air after winning a match and knocking the umpire off their high chair
  • “Hi Dig” (you have to be a big fan to understand that one)

Georgia isn’t pretty

And not just in that oh-I-think-I’m-really-ugly-but-everyone-fancies-me-anyway way. Rennison is careful in making sure the reader knows Georgia isn’t a supermodel – from her big nose, to her lurking-lurker outbreaks. But – shock horror – boys still like her! Even though her friend Jas famously says “boys don’t like girls for funniness’, Jas is routinely proved wrong. Boys fall for Georgia precisely because she’s funny, random, loud and brash. She wins them over with hilarity and wit, not by batting her boy entrancers. It gave teenage me, fellow possessor of a larger nose, such hope. And, also, some pretty great relationship advice – boys won’t be put off you for being funny, in fact, they really quite like it.

Teen relationships don’t always last forever

The first few books are preoccupied with Georgia trying to ensnare Robbie the Sex God. But, once she gets him, they don’t wander off into the sunset together. They have fights, they break up for reasonable reasons, like him moving away. Georgia has other relationships with other people. No-one in these books marries their first ever partner. Not that there’s anything wrong with marrying your first ever partner, but, for most teens, love comes and goes. And these books were the first romances I read that recognised that.

Female friendships are everything

The Ace Gang were #SquadGoals before Taylor Swift had even hit puberty. Georgia and her friends were everything my friends and I wanted to be. Everything we were. We did mad things, we made each other laugh til we cried, we sometimes hated each other and fell out over silly stuff. From fish parties, to the snogging scale – the Ace Gang were dedicated to being there for each other and making each other laugh. I honestly don’t think the Spinster Club would exist if I hadn’t read these books. They taught me to prize my female friendships above everything else.

The ensemble cast

Like Friends, a lot of the best comedy came from the bit-part characters. Elvis the grumpy caretaker who posed in the nuddypants. Sven, the cossack-dancing, nordic madman who only seemed to know the word ‘jah’. Nauseating Pamela Green a.k.a the best comedic name of all time. The bullying Bummer Twins. Whelk Boy and his snogging lessons. Mark and his big gob and wandering hands. Wet Lindsay and her thong. Every single teacher at her school…

The lingo

I think you know you’ve made it as an author if readers adopt actual words you’ve made up. Think about words like ‘muggle’ for example. And this was true of Rennison’s books too. Since reading them, it’s never cold but nippy noodles. I never fancy someone, I’ve got the cosmic horn for them. My boobs are nunga nungas. Italy is Pizza-a-go-go land. My entire lexicon (I only learnt that word last year!) has expanded to fit the world she created.

Dave The Laugh

Essentially the best book boyfriend the world has ever known. I will never stop trying to find him in my own real life. Any boy who puts a ‘For Sale’ banner across the roof of his school is a keeper.

I am so sad today. But just writing this has cheered me up so much. And that’s what’s so amazing about authors – they never really leave us. They leave their books behind, their characters behind, their nip-nip eruptions behind. I will always feel so grateful that these books came into my life and they will never leave me. So, thank you Louise Rennison. I hope you are laughing like a loon on loon tablets away on a fast camel.

How Hard Can Love Be? on the Underground!


on the London Underground this weekend? Look out for one of our bright pink
editions of How Hard Can Love Be? lovingly shared around London Underground
stations by the Books on the Underground team.

these wonderful book fairies at @BooksUndergrnd for clues on where the books
are being left, and let us know if you find one!

A Spinster Club (& cheesy snacks!!) Evening at Easons

Last night Holly’s How Hard Can Love Be? tour made its way
to Dublin for an amazing Spinster Club evening in Department 51 at Easons O’Connell Street, where a reading, spinster chat, arm knitting(!!) and cheesy snacks were all on the agenda!


(We love that it looks like Holly is belting out a tune down the mic!)


Look at that temple of Holly Bourne books AND cheesy snacks! 

Palentine’s Day – The Book Club


In the
true spirit of The Spinster Club, uber cool The Book Club in Shoreditch is
forgoing the traditional February the 14th Valentine’s celebrations
and hosting Palentine’s Day instead. That’s right PALENTINE’S DAY!

be friendship bracelet craft, a screening of ultimate BBF movie Romy and Michele’s Highs School
Reunion, sugary snacks, AND because the original Spinster Club was formed on
Valentine’s day – copies of the limited edition bright pink How Hard Can Love Be!

We’re so
excited we’re already dancing around like our teenage selves. JUST. LIKE. THIS.


Praise for How Hard Can Love Be?

Hello fellow Spinsters, Amy from Usborne here. I’ve stolen Holly’s blog today to do a little round-up of some of the amaazing reviews coming in for How Hard Can Love Be?, out now. Here are a few of our favourites:

“This is the second book in the new Holly Bourne Normal trilogy and is
COMPLETELY FANTASTIC. Not that I expected anything less after the
amazing after the stunning Am I Normal Yet?” – Guardian children’s book site teen reviewer

“Holly Bourne is one of the most talented YA writers of the moment and I cannot wait to read the next instalment to find out what happens to the Spinster Club. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!” – Lucy from Queen of Contemporary

“Emotive and thought provoking this searingly honest book deals with the biggest life lesson of all: nobody’s perfect.” – South Wales Evening Post, Book of the Week

“Holly Bourne has become a true feminist legend of YA!” – Emma from Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

“The second installment in [Holly’s] Normal series…and tells Amber’s story of first love, friendship and addiction.” – The Sunday Express, S Magazine

Read the first chapter of How Hard Can Love Be? at