Lottie, Evie, and Amber are three feminist friends who face down the tough issues of life with the help of their friendship and their feminist jokes about the patriarchal society. How Hard Can Love Be? follows the story of Amber and how hard and painful – and amazing – love can actually be.
Amber just wants to be loved; by anyone. She knows she has her two amazing best friends but her Mom moved to California, got remarried and doesn’t acknowledge Amber’s existence. Whilst on the way to California to work at a summer camp with her Mom and her Mom’s new husband, Amber’s hoping that spending a whole summer with her is going to change that; that it’s going to change her and her Mom’s relationship for the better.
Then there’s a guy: Kyle who all the girls want because of his ‘prom-king’ looks. Will he notice Amber? A girl who is a die-hard feminist and definitely not a captain of the cheerleading team? Fact: love is hard.
Holly Bourne has got the type of writing style where it’s chatty like you already know the characters before you read about them yet her way of describing characters, settings and emotions are mesmerising.
I was utterly impressed with Am I Normal Yet? and as soon as I had finished it, I ordered How Hard Can Love Be?
I didn’t find it as captivating as Evie’s story; what was so good about it was that it was the truest representation of someone with OCD and it was raw and eye-opening. I know that the two books can’t be the same but because How Hard Can Love Be? wasn’t as captivating, this ended up being a stop-start-stop read.
“Failure is never getting hurt. Because that means you’ve not done anything you cared about.”― Holly Bourne, How Hard Can Love Be?
Once I had finished this book, however, I reflected on its entirety as a novel and I realised that even though it wasn’t as good as Am I Normal Yet? it was still darn brilliant.
One scene from the book will always stick with me and that’s when Amber goes on a trip to Yosemite. The description of the water cascading down the rocks and the scenery, in general, was magnificent literature by Bourne.
This book is fantastic and no, you don’t have to read Am I Normal Yet? before you read this but I recommend that you do so you get the full ‘spinster club’ experience!
Holly Bourne did answer the question though: love is definitely hard and complicated.