How Hard Can Love Be? (Spinster Club #2) by Holly Bourne
Published: February 1st 2016 by Usborne Publishing Ltd
Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Rating: 5/5 stars – ★★★★★
Amber, Evie and Lottie: three girls facing down tough issues with the combined powers of friendship, feminism and cheesy snacks. Both hilarious and heart-rending, this is Amber’s story of how painful – and exhilarating – love can be, following on from Evie’s story in Am I Normal Yet?
All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber’s hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.
And then there’s prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie’s advice, there’s no escaping the fact: love is hard.
I finally picked up the second book in this series in an attempt to read the books I want to get signed at YALC. I’m so glad I did. I don’t know why I waited so long to pick this up because I absolutely adored the first book in the series, Am I Normal Yet? You can find my review of the first book here.
This book revolves around Amber, a British girl who will spend the summer in San Fransisco. Amber lives with her dad, step-mom and stepbrother in London. She has a tough time at home due to how her step-mom and -brother treat her. She misses her mom, who left the UK for California 2 years ago when she met someone else. Amber is going to the summer camp her mom now owns as a counselor to spend the summer with her mom for the first time in years. Of course, she also meets a guy there (and some wonderful friends too).
It was just such a moving book… I truly felt for Amber. Her relationship with her mom, and her mom’s behavior towards her, made me feel so sad. I’ve always been lucky to have an incredible relationship with my mom, so even if I can’t relate, I can empathize. But this book isn’t entirely sad. It’s also funny, cute and powerful.
I adored Amber. I think I fell in love with her when she went on her Harry Potter rant, on how they couldn’t get rid of Slytherin.
“What?” My outraged whisper wasn’t very whispery. “What’s wrong with Slytherin”?
I still love the friendship between Amber, Lottie and Evie. They are the friends I want to have, and Amber’s gratitude towards them was beautiful to read about. I also adored the friendship growing between Amber and Whinnie. Whinnie might be one of my favorite characters in this book, to be honest.
“Remember,” Lottie said, as we waved goodbye. “Be you. It’s all you can ever be anyway. But own being you. It’s a fab thing to own.”
I can’t leave out the romance in this review… Yes, I love Kyle. I don’t really need to say more than that. I love Kyle.
I like the way Amber finally addressed the problems between her and her mom, and how her mom’s behavior made her feel. I like the way she learned to be a bit selfish and look out for herself first. I WANT AN EPILOGUE!
The only thing I didn’t like was how Amber talked about Melody. Then again, she does address that she shouldn’t feel that way about her or talk like that about her. That it’s wrong. But she can’t seem to help herself. And I admire that. It’s not always easy to get rid of toxic thoughts you know are wrong.
We both dissolved into snorts of bitchy laughter. I knew it probably wasn’t strictly feminist, to bond with one girl by bitching about another… I’m sure Lottie would have some kind of academic term for it. But seeing Melody dance with Kyle had made me feel oddly weak. Pathetic? Of course. But feelings always are.
I adored this book. I finished it in one day and I can’t wait to read Lottie’s story. If you haven’t picked these books up, PLEASE DO. They’re a wonderful blend of funny, moving, sad, and empowering. Also: feminist club!