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How Hard Can Love Be?

(The Spinster Club #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  4,852 ratings  ·  675 reviews
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 Ambers story of how painful and exhilarating love can be, following on from Evies 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
Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 1st 2016 by Usborne Publishing Ltd
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Holly Bourne Hello - no need to read Am I Normal Yet? first. They're all standalone books that compliment each other rather than have to be read in order. :)…moreHello - no need to read Am I Normal Yet? first. They're all standalone books that compliment each other rather than have to be read in order. :) (less)
Leigh Kennedy It's not entirely brushed off, but as this book takes place far away from Evie it is not mentioned often. However, Amber does mention her friend Evie…moreIt's not entirely brushed off, but as this book takes place far away from Evie it is not mentioned often. However, Amber does mention her friend Evie with OCD a few times, and about Evie's recovery.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,852 ratings  ·  675 reviews

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Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reads

Initial review:
I loved this book so much, my heart wants to burst. This book had the perfect balance of humour and addressing some serious topics! I love how Holly Bourne infuses feminism and self-discovery into her work. Her characters are flawed and real and I can't help but empathise with them strongly!

I can't recommend her books enough. Though bare in mind that her books are aimed for teen years, so the language does reflect that. But by no means does it take
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been in a slump since last week basically, and I decided to start my only owned contemporary book as an attempt to get out of this slump. I think it worked??? However, the book was just what I needed at the time.

Like book 1 (Am I Normal Yet?), How Hard Can Love Be? had the good balance between cute and serious. This is Amber's book, and when I read Am I Normal Yet?, I was wondering what her story would be about because we were barely given any clue about Amber's life, except how shaky her
April (Aprilius Maximus)
1.) Am I Normal Yet ★★★★★
2.) How Hard Can Love Be? ★★★★★
3.) What's A Girl Gotta Do? ★★★★★
*.) ...And A Happy New Year? ★★★★.5


Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Holly Bourne writes incredibly realistic, cute, funny and educating YA, all at the same time. Highly recommend her books to anyone. Is there anything better than feminist YA? I don't think so!
Emer (A Little Haze)
My third Holly Bourne novel in two-ish weeks and I still love her. I do. Her writing style is brilliant. It's incredibly accessible and she writes the most fantastic female lead characters. But I'm beginning to see a formula to the writing style, too many patterns are emerging for my liking.

So this is the second book in The Spinster Club series following on from Am I Normal Yet? That book focused on Evie as the leading character whereas in this one one of Evie's best friends Amber takes the
Aj the Ravenous Reader
4.5 stars
When I want to read a book and be guaranteed zero disappointment, I go for Holly Bournes books. Thats how much I trust her and Im glad my trust is in the right place. How Hard Can Love Be is the second installment of the Spinster Club Series following I Am Normal Yet (which I really loved). This time, the story focuses on Amber( the tallest and angriest of the three friends, the girl who relegates herself as the cast-aside sidekick to her more beautiful friends) as she visits
Kate (GirlReading)
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ooh this was so lovely. It was adorable, funny, heartwarming & breaking, had a wonderful cast of character and delved into topics not always discussed in YA AND it was set in a US summer camp. What more could you want?

I absolutely love the way Holly Bourne writes. Her writing style is so easy and comfortable to read. I always find myself flying through her books and How Hard Can Love Be? was no exception to that. I loved all of the characters (I kinda hate myself for essentially going
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

After reading Am I Normal Yet?, I was so happy to have a copy of book 2 to read asap. Unfortunately life and exams got in my way, and I couldn't read as much as I wanted to. It was a nice way to reward myself once I got some of my exam results back (2:1's! Get in!!) and I'm simply in awe of Bourne's books.

In How Hard Can Love Be?, we follow Amber's story this time, as she jets off to California to spend the
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, romancelandia, 2018
3.5 stars

Like the first book in this series, this installment wasnt exactly what Id expected. Again, I wanted British humor and dating disasters. What I got is was a cute romance with a sensitive Prom King, a road trip across America, and a heartbreaking relationship between a teen girl and her recovering addict mom.

I keep enjoying conversations about feminism among the girls in this Spinster Club as well. So much more entertaining and deeper reaching than in Moxie Id just recently read.
Trigger warnings: alcohol abuse, alcoholic parent, shitty parenting, vomit.

Boy howdy, Amber is an angry character. I mean, a lot of her anger is very justified. But it's not the easiest reading experience, being inside her head for almost 500 pages. That said, the feminism and the female friendships that flow through the story are fantastic.

I didn't love this quiiiiiiiiiiiiiite as much as I loved Am I Normal Yet. I found Amber more difficult to relate to - she's so full of
Abbie (boneseasonofglass)
I just finished this on the tram to uni and it was wonderful!
Holly has done it again
Im just mad that it wasnt longer haha
I want more of Amber and Kyle ❤

More people need to read Hollys books! Such amazing ya contemporaries 😍
4.5 stars

It was always going to be very hard to top Am I Normal Yet?, because I loved that book so much. It had such a great main character, and pretty damn accurate portrayal of anxiety and OCD, that I couldn't help but enjoy it.

Thankfully, though, its sequel didn't disappoint. Amber was just as likeable as Evie, old characters shine as brightly as they did before, and the setting was a month-long summer camp, which I always kind of love. On top of that, the Spinster Club comes back in all its
Melody (theliteraryowl)
More like a 4.75/5 stars. Changed my rating to 5/5 stars because I loved this book too much *.*
Review will -hopefully-come later
Cora Tea Party Princess
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 Words: Friendship, family, first-love, America, responsibility.

When you read it in one sitting because it's THAT GOOD.

Review to come.
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
THIS BOOK. I didn't think it was possible for a sequel to be just as good as the first book, but IT WAS. This was definitely more about love, expectations and coming to terms with your feelings. It was extremely easy to love Amber and Kyle. Plus, the American setting was a hoot. Now I NEED to get my hands on the next one, asap!
Zara Shepherd
Oh my nuts

I didn't think I'd like this book as much as the first one because I related to Evie so much and I didn't really think much of Amber in the first book. However, I really loved this book and I love Amber. As someone British, I can completely understand her attitudes towards being in America (even though I've never actually been, I can imagine what it would be like). I also didn't realise how different Americans are to the Brits with some of the things that they didn't understand, like,
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Another brilliant contemporary by Holly Bourne. Her books are a combination of addictive, relatable, funny, feminist and overall just amazing.
The only thing I missed was Evie and Lottie I NEED EVEN MORE OF THEM
4.5 stars.

ALSO LAS VEGAS HATE YESS (seriously, Las Vegas is the worst)
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book was funny, heartbreaking and just perfect! Loved every moment reading it!
This one was much more cute than the first in the series - which is understandable due to the different focus, but there was still such amazing representation in this!
Holly Bourne is so good at writing about mental health & making her work so relatable- honestly cant wait to read the next one and dive into some of her other books out of the Spinster Club 😊
Paloma Villasenor
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I really liked this, but I still didn't like Amber that much, she was like ''oh you know I have worse problems than you, you can't feel bad or angry about your life problems or feelings''. And I was like nope, just because you THINK your problems are worse, doesn't mean that you get to tell how they may feel, or the problems they may be facing.
3 stars because I think it was okay, and I really liked Kylie.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading three of her books, I realized that Holly Bourne cannot disappoint. She writes great complex characters, fast paced plots and at the same time she talks about important issues without forcing her ideas on the reader. This book was no exception. I loved the way Amber, our main character, handled her relationship with her mother and I definitely saw her grow in this book. I think this my favorite book yet in the Spinster Club series. I'm looking forward to reading the next one!
Kate (infinitelynovel)
I adored this sooo much. The thing I love most about this book and Am I Normal Yet? is the fact both the story and characters are so relatableespecially Amber, she really struck a chord with me. This trilogy is quickly becoming one of those 'I'll-shove-it-in-your-face-and-insist-you-read-it' trilogies for me. ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
* * *
3 / 5

~mini review~

The second book in The Spinster Club series focuses on Amber, the long-legged ginger who has never kissed a boy. Year ago her father left her mum for another woman and her mother got with her counsellor from the rehab centre, not exactly a picture perfect family. Clearly, Amber has some issues. This summer is the first time in two years that she will see her mum, who has moved to America with "bumface Kevin" to run a kids summer camp, where Amber will be working.

As you
Kayleigh {K-Books}
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How Hard Can Love Be? Review on K-Books

"Failure is never getting hurt. Because that means you've not done anything you care about."

I've been a major fan of Holly Bourne ever since I read her debut Soulmates, which totally blew me away. The first book in The Spinster Club series, Am I Normal Yet? was one of my favourite books of 2015. I am really kicking myself now for not continuing this series sooner. Amber's story was amazing. I loved every single moment of it and I can't wait to read
Sanne (papierplanet)
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary-ya
I found my fictional self. It's Amber. Being sarcastic and constantly pissed at the world? Yep, that sounds like my life. Also, I hope Holly Bourne never stops writing books. Ever.

I loved "Am I Normal Yet?" in which Bourne created a heartfelt story with feminist messages to it, which I absolutely adored. For many it could be a little too direct or "too much" but that's why I liked it. She wasn't afraid showing the feminism, explaining how it works and why it's a good thing. But also a hard
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Omg I've missed Holly Bourne's writing. Why did I wait so long to pick up this book?

This is the second book in the spinster triology. A YA contemporary series that follows three best friends , Evie, Amber and Lottie in their feminism missions.

So even though this is a sequel I think it stands on its own just fine. I read the first book years and years ago and didn't reread it before starting the second book and if I'm honest it never felt like I left.

That's the beauty of Hollys writing, it's the
Holly Sparks
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful book by Holly Bourne! I'm seriously such a big fan of her books...not just because they are some of the most entertaining and funniest stories imaginable...BUT because they are so deep and meaningful that I end up wanting to go fight the feminist war!

Holly Bourne sets the perfect scene and the perfect characters.

I fell in love with Evie in the first book 'Am I Normal Yet' and now I'm in love with Amber. I just hope the third book will be about my ALL TIME FAV CHARACTER
Julia Sapphire
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, romance, series
3.75 stars out of 5 stars

This was lovely. It took me a bit to get into this and to get used to Amber as a narrative compared to Evie. It was more about romance than mental illness. Though it does deal with addiction and a dysfunctional family. Though thag part was really real and raw to me. Amber was interesting and i liked following her as a character .

I love Holly Bourne as a writer , her characters are great. Her books discuss feminism and feel very real. Not to mention i read this within a
Reina Tan
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-fav
⚠ subjective opinion
° ° °

What do you think when you read the title? A love sobbed love story about a girl who stuck with a prom king? Or about a girl who met a beautiful boy and falling hard for him?

Well, actually, the second choice partly true.

How Hard Can Love Be? is a book about a girl who seeking love from everyone in her life. The girl named Amber. Yes, she was seeking happiness by finding some love, because truthfully she was feeling ignored by everyone, include her mother.

So, the words
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Review originally posted on my book blog: https://afrolicthroughfiction.wordpre...

Rated 4.5/5 stars!

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,
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I liked the summer camp setting which took me back to a nostalgic time when read books about pony camp and dreamed about being sent to America for the summer. Yet this summer camp is hard work, with most of Ambers time spent trying to look after the kids and desperately trying to get her mums attention. She feels Bumface Kevin is always getting in the way.

Ambers mum is a recovering alcoholic and the book explores what that means to a child who has often had an absent mother. She remembers times
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Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general agony aunt for a youth charity helping young people with their relationships and mental health.

Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning

Other books in the series

The Spinster Club (3 books)
  • Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club, #1)
  • What's a Girl Gotta Do? (The Spinster Club, #3)

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