*All reviews I write are spoiler free*
After introducing myself to Holly Bourne’s books in March by reading Am I Normal Yet? i knew she would become one of my favourite authors. And I immediately went and bought two more of her books.
So here we have How Hard Can Love Be? – a book title that should have made my sickly-love-story-hater side of me cringe away and never bat an eyelash. But I trusted Holly Bourne. And I went for it.
So let’s talk about How Hard Can Love Be?!
Title: How Hard Can Love Be?
Author: Holly Bourne
Series Status: The 2nd book in the Normal series
Number of Pages: 470
(Found on back cover. See different version on Goodreads)
WARNING: Since this is the synopsis for the 2nd book in a series, it may contain spoilers for the 1st book. If you haven’t read the 1st book, skip ahead to my review.
So I’m spending the summer in California, with the mum who upped and abandoned me – and I think I’m falling for a guy guaranteed to break my heart. This is a situation destined to fail.
All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to America. But Amber’s hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.
And then there’s Prom King Kyle, the serial heartbreaker. Can Amber really be falling for him? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie’s advice, there’s no escaping the fact: love is hard.
Holly Bourne has easily become a new favourite author of mine since I started this series.
Even with the unbelievably high hopes after reading the first book, How Hard Can Love Be? did NOT let me down in the slightest.
This book is basically a huge version of expectation vs reality. Emotions are toyed with as main character Amber goes through a rollercoaster of hope, disappointment, courage, nerves, anger…you name it. And I couldn’t help but join Amber on her journey. The situations she went through were so realistic and believable, I felt like I was reading a really long letter from a friend about her crazy summer.
And it was so quick to read. I mean it. I literally read this in a day, I pretty much marathoned it. I spent all my Saturday reading this book and I have absolutely no regrets. And considering this book is nearly 500 pages long, that’s quite impressive that I managed to read it in a day, since I’m a slow reader. It just shows how addictive this story is.
I’m aware that this might sound a lot like my review for Am I Normal Yet? with me going on about how addictive it is. But really, everything I loved about that first book was carried on throughout this one too. It continues to tackle feminism and stereotypes, but not quite as much, since I would say this book focuses more on the characters and their story.
When it came to characters, I think Amber has become one of my favourite characters of all time. Because like all of my all-time favourite characters (think Hermione Granger/Luna Lovegood/Delilah Bard/ Aelin Galathynius) I want to be like her, so much. She so passionate, opinionated, creative, intelligent, caring. She appreciates her friends more than anything. And I honestly admire her. I admire a fictional character. Insane, right?
But also, her appreciating her friends Evie and Lottie so much I think is one of the main reasons so many people love this series. There’s not many books that focus on strong female friendships as much as this one does. It makes it so much more relatable to people like me.
And the fandom references. Oh how my little fangirl heart soared at the amount of Harry Potter mentions in this book. Such a simple way to make things relatable, funny, and modern-day…and also comforts me about being so obsessed with Harry Potter.
“I learned a lesson about not judging people until you’ve found out whether or not they’ve read Harry Potter.”
I just love this book, and I can’t wait for the next one! Like, actually can’t wait. Bit I have to, and that will be agony. At least there’s still another two Holly Bourne books I’ve yet to read…they might tide me over until then.
Rated 4.5/5 stars!
Share your thoughts!
Have you read this book? What did you think?
Or have you read any of Holly Bourne’s other books? How were those?
If you haven’t read this book, is it on your TBR?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
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