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The Spinster Club #2

How Hard Can Love Be?

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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.

480 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 2016

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About the author

Holly Bourne

24 books5,548 followers
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 ‘Spinster Club’ series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned thirty, Holly wrote her first adult novel, 'How Do You Like Me Now?', examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, Holly has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She’s helped create online apps that teach young people about sexual consent, works with Women’s Aid to spread awareness of abusive relationships, and runs Rethink’s mental health book club.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,031 reviews
Profile Image for Warda.
1,210 reviews19.7k followers
June 24, 2017

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 away from the story. She creates a sense of familiarity and a safe place for her readers. Her books are exactly the kind of books young girls should be reading. And everyone else for that matter.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
905 reviews1,818 followers
June 26, 2022

Second book in "Spinster Club" takes us to US with Amber, second of the three members of Spinster Club. This time was focus on alcoholism. Amber's mom was an alcoholic and a lot of plot was woven around this. I found the plot to be okayish. Once again star of the story for me was spinster club meetings and their talk about feminism.
Profile Image for Jiana.
296 reviews824 followers
June 10, 2017
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 family is, so I was curious to delve deeper into that and that's exactly what I got. It dealt with pretty deep subjects: alcoholism and abandonment. Also, just like in Am I Normal Yet?, the book discussed feminism, but in my opinion, it was more discussed in Am I Normal Yet? and I honestly love Holly Bourne's take on feminism.

“Failure is never getting hurt. Because that means you've not done anything you cared about.”

I actually really liked the book, although at times it really dragged (it's almost 500 pages - for a contemporary, that's too much for me!!). Amber was fairly good MC, yet she felt younger than she really is. She's 17 years old but at times I felt she acted like a 14 or 15 year old. I was sometimes able to connect and relate to their thoughts and sometimes I couldn't. However, that's what I like about Holly's characters: they're flawed. They're real. They're not cardboard cutouts. They make mistakes, they feel jealousy, they make bad decisions, they're not 100% good or 100% evil. You could see the effects Amber's mum's abandonment on Amber. Her internal struggle of what she should do/say and what she actually wanted to do/say and what she actually did/said. It was very well done. ALSO, she's a huge Harry Potter fan, and the book was loaded with Harry Potter references!!! I was LIVING.

Amber's relationship with Kyle is absolutely adorable! Kyle is a great male MC, and I'm glad because he's GOOD. He's not a bad guy turned good, he's not a jerk. He's genuinely nice. He's a walking cliche though, but he's aware of that. Kyle has depth. He does things he's expected to do and he doesn't know who he really is. I liked how he and Amber had discussed that over the course of the book. In addition to that, they discussed feminism. They discussed deep issues. It wasn't a shallow relationship.

“Maybe there in a set amount of crying your body needs to deal with any trauma. There’s a certain water-level of tears you need to shed until you can find acceptance or move on or whatever. And, if you don’t cry them out, they just catch up with you.”

Amber's relationship with her mum was one of the big points of this book. It's strained throughout the entirety of the book and is kinda resolved by the end of the book. However, I like how things were left off. A relationship like that isn't solved in one heart-to-heart. I liked how deep the talk on alcoholism and selfishness was and it made me think of things a little differently.

Of course, Lottie and Evie make an appearance, but it was all via emails or video chats, because Amber was in the USA and they were in the UK. I love how supportive they are of each other and how caring they are for each other. I loved the feminist issues they brought up and I quite found myself learning more and it opened my eyes to new things.

I originally gave this book a 3.5 star rating, but after writing the review, I realized it should be a full solid 4 stars, so here we are! I definitely enjoyed Am I Normal Yet? more, but this was really good too! Can't wait to get to Lottie's book.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,110 reviews6,575 followers
July 3, 2019
1.) Am I Normal Yet ★★★★★
2.) How Hard Can Love Be? ★★★★★
3.) What's A Girl Gotta Do? ★★★★★
*.) ...And A Happy New Year? ★★★★.5


Profile Image for Mara.
166 reviews219 followers
March 6, 2016
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!
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
September 4, 2019
4.5 stars
When I want to read a book and be guaranteed zero disappointment, I go for Holly Bourne’s books. That’s how much I trust her and I’m 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 California all the way from her UK hometown in the hopes of reconciling with her mother who has left her for two years without a word. But things don’t go according to her plan as she meets this perfect All-American Golden Boy named Kyle and she starts questioning her loyalty to her feminist club because she might be falling in love. Soon she realizes how hard can love really be.

This book like the first covers a lot of issues involving alcoholism resulting to abandonment issues, of course, feminism, and essentially gender equality. And let us not forget the endless references to Harry Potter and the endless humor. That’s what I really love about the author’s writing. How she could write serious issues in such a light, funny manner.

“ I learned a lesson about not judging people until you’ve found out whether or not they’ve read Harry Potter.” Lol!

I wish I could join the Spinster Club even though I am happily married because I wholeheartedly agree with a lot of the three girls’ logic. I think this is the true meaning of feminism-everything that is printed in this book because I think a lot of people mistake feminism as anything that shuns men’s vital role in women’s lives.

Like when a book ends up with a girl being happy with a guy (as is the case with this book) these people would rant and hate and say it’s patriarchy all over again. I don’t mean to offend but I just find it quite unfair. I mean I turned out happy with a guy but that does not mean I’m a lesser person for it. That doesn’t mean I am no longer a feminist because to tell you the cliche-ish truth, my husband brings out the best in me and I in him. We just truly complement each other. We share equal responsibilities at home. We take turns with the laundry and the dishes. He cooks most of the time because he’s the better cook. I’m in charge of folding the clothes because I’m more precise. With the baby, I was not sleep deprived because we took shifts during the first two months when our baby still didn’t have the normal sleep pattern. I could go on and on but you get what I mean.

“I think there’s like a gender stereotype, The Nice Guy , you know? Girls are so judgmental about it. If you’re a nice guy, you’re basically bland and boring and they don’t want to be with you. They say, ‘I love bad boys’, and then look really proud of themselves for falling for people they know are douches.”

“I’ve always thought there’s a reverse sexism thing going on with films like that. Essentially, you can get away with doing ‘romantic’ but totally-freaky-stalkery gestures for a girl if you’re considered conventionally good-looking. It’s like girls only let you be abusive and strange if you have a six-pack and really good bone structure.”

“As long as you have green eyes and a ‘crooked grin’ you can be as creepy as you like. Girls are totally double standardy. You get all het up if we dare to judge you on appearances. But then you do exactly the same to us.”

This book really gets it and I hope readers would give this a chance and understand what it really means to be a feminist by relating it to the concept of gender equality. Because why does it have to be wrong for a girl to be happy because of a guy when he is also happy because of her?

At the end of the day, feminism, gender equality, and all these other concepts exist because we aim for usually these three important things in life: happiness, love and doing the right thing even if achieving them would mean getting hurt and risking ourselves in the process .

“Failure is never getting hurt. Because that means you’ve not done anything you cared about.”

“Why do something you know will end up hurting you?” Because it’s the right thing to do! Because it’s living . Because it’s the only way you grow and change!”

Okay, okay, I’ll stop now before I end up quoting the entire book. But again, hats off for the brilliance that is Ms. Bourne. I am so looking forward to the third book of this series.
Profile Image for kate.
1,227 reviews949 followers
October 1, 2017
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 against everything the spinster club stands for...) he was utterly adorable and perfectly imperfect, which was so annoying, that it wasn't even annoying (this sentence makes sense to me, okay?...) I adored Amber's character, she was feisty, vulnerable, insecure and confident all at the same time. She was a well rounded, imperfect human being and although she was a little irritating at times, I almost liked her even more for it.
The topics discussed (alcoholism, family break ups, first love etc) were really great to read about and I thought Holly approached them in a very accessible way. I loved the relationships portrayed, not just between Kyle and Amber but also Amber's friendships both old and new (although I'm really hoping that Whinnie isn't totally forgotten by Amber, I loved her and her wonderful philosophies!)

My only issue with this book was the occasional comment from characters or descriptions I wasn't the biggest fan of. For example, there were a few occasions of ableist language and discussion of race but from what I can remember, it wasn't an overwhelming amount but I was so caught up on the story I'm 100% aware I may have not picked up on everything.

Am I Normal Yet? was one of my favourites when I first read it, for so many reasons and I'd been putting this off because I was worried that it would disappoint me in comparison but it didn't, at all. In fact, I loved it for so many totally different reasons. It wasn't so difficult or heavy for me to read and it combined so many things I love in a book (give me all the US road trip and summer camp narratives please!)

If you're looking for a highly adorable, funny, contemporary with depth and discussion, How Hard Can Love Be? is definitely one I'd recommend!
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,235 reviews445 followers
February 15, 2016
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 summer with her mam, whom she hasn't seen in over two years. All she wants is to reconnect with her mam, and get some sort of an apology for being abandoned to live with her dad, and evil step-mother and -brother. Instead, her mam has organised for her to spend her summer as a camp counselor in the camp she and her new partner own, and basically spends as much time as she can apart. As Amber struggles to come to terms with her mam avoiding her, she gets close to fellow counselor, Kyle, who embodies all the old American cliches, and he was Prom King to boot. Amber never thought a lad would ever fancy her, but she finds herself falling hard, even though she'll be flying back to England in a few short weeks, and will never see him again.

I really liked Amber, but not on the same scale as I had loved Evie. She was a bit more brash, but that made it all the more realistic. The book was dark at times, and dealt with the real issue of having an alcoholic parent who isn't there for you. We got to see flashbacks to what Amber's life had been like when her mam was living with them, and how much the alcoholism effected the whole family. No matter how well Amber had coped over the years, she still felt the loss of her mam fiercely, and just wanted a relationship with her - is that so much to ask for?

The answer is, simply, yes. I'm probably going to annoy someone here, but I hated Amber's mam. I understand how hard alcoholism can be, for the person suffering, and their loved ones, but I felt like Amber's mam always had an excuse, or would blame someone else. The main reason she didn't want to see Amber for so long was because it could push her over the edge, and she treated Amber like crap when she was in California. She knew how much Amber hated her step-family, but she was content to let her suffer as long as it didn't effect her. Not the best example of parenting. The only time I really liked her was at the very end, and even then it wasn't much.

I adore the whole feminist aspect in this series. It's completely retaking the word, and the word 'spinster' for that, and that's what this generation of teenagers need. Feminism is such a 'dirty' word, which is ridiculous when it means 'equality'. I can't recommend these books enough for today's teenagers, with the hope that, someday, being a feminist will not be something so controversial.

I enjoyed the romance aspect, and did like Kyle. I felt like he and Amber clicked well, and suited each other. She needed someone who wouldn't push her, and understood her insecurities, and her beliefs - like the feminism. Their whole relationship, from the very beginning, made me swoon, and I only wish the book hadn't ended so abruptly. Maybe we'll hear more about them in Lottie's book, out in August.

Speaking of Lottie's book, I'm dying to get my hands on that. I feel like she is my favourite of the Spinsters, even though I haven't read her PoV yet. Out of them all, Amber has been my least favourite so far, but I still adored her. Bourne just can't help writing amazing characters!

All in all, How Hard Can Love Be? was a wonderful companion/sequel to Am I Normal Yet? If you enjoyed that one, I think you'd like this, maybe even more than I did. Even so,
this is a series I think should be read by everyone, and should even be on school curriculum's, in order to try and get rid of the prejudice against feminism and all it entails. Holly Bourne is quickly becoming a new favourite of mine, and I think you'll feel the same.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.7k followers
November 26, 2018
3.5 stars

Like the first book in this series, this installment wasn’t exactly what I’d 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” I’d just recently read.
Profile Image for Abbie (boneseasonofglass).
293 reviews351 followers
November 14, 2017
I just finished this on the tram to uni and it was wonderful!
Holly has done it again
I’m just mad that it wasn’t longer haha
I want more of Amber and Kyle ❤️

More people need to read Holly’s books! Such amazing ya contemporaries 😍
Profile Image for K..
3,802 reviews1,022 followers
February 9, 2019
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 anger and despite being great at using her words when she's with her friends, she's terrrrrrrrrrrrrible at using her words where her parents are concerned.

The friendships between the core trio are still wonderful, even from half a world away. And the relationship that crops up in the course of the story is cute. Despite it being nearly 500 pages long, I sped through it.

So on the whole, it was super cute and I really loved the way the story resolved itself.
Profile Image for Inge.
348 reviews894 followers
May 4, 2017
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 feminist glory, which made for some really fun chapters.

Plus, there were so many Harry Potter references, I couldn't not love it:
"And I was just about to judge her, when she said: "I'm so mad they got rid of Slytherin, I mean, Snape was, like, the best one," as she walked over, and I learned a lesson about not judging people until you've found out whether or not they've read Harry Potter."

Important lessons to be learned here, ladies and gentlemen.

If this series keeps up its momentum, it could very well become one of my favourites, and I've already bought the next book.
Profile Image for steph.
114 reviews4 followers
August 15, 2020
Upon reflection I’m rating both this book two star as it’s feminism is absolutely terrible. This is a rant review.

1. Amber and Lottie both CONSTANTLY hate on other women throughout this book, but especially amber. There’s this big thing in this book with Amber hating this girl Melody for legitimately no other reason other than the fact that Melody likes a boy that amber likes, a boy amber has known for a day. Great feminism.

Amber keeps trying to justify her hate for Melody, but it comes down to this. : she hates her because she happens to like a boy that amber has a bit of a crush on and so she takes it upon herself to slut shame Melody for pretty much everything that she does.

It’s a common theme in this book. Any time a cheerleader is mentioned it’s in a negative light. Amber is literally “white feminism” in one character who uses the idea of feminism only when it’s convenient for her. This is shown blatantly whenever she asks herself why she’s not bothered by her own friend (Lottie) acting sexually but hates when Melody does it (hint hint Amber, it’s because Lottie is your friend and Melody likes the boy you like who you have none for A DAY.)

What does this have to do with Lottie you may ask? Whenever Amber FaceTimed her friends so that they could reassure her that hating Melody was perfectly ok, Lottie did this whole monologue essentially saying that Melody is sexual to appease the patriarchy..... huh?? So women can’t be sexual towards men now for their own enjoyment??? Jesus.

2. The ableism and fat shaming in this book was astonishing. There’s one scene in which a man in this book was listing off reasons on why having a crush on Erik from The Phantom Of The Opera was weird and wrong and his NUMBER ONE reason was that Erik is disfigured, do I need to say anymore? As for the fat shaming, there’s a kid in this book who’s fat and his fatness is literally mentioned almost everytime he’s in a scene in ambers mind and it’s not in a positive way. So Amber, why’s it okay for you to think these things about this child? Because you befriended him out of pity and somehow that makes it ok for YOU to fat shame him? Yikes.

3. This book did a very piss poor attempt at Native American representation. The character is literally introduced as having “Olive reddy skin”... when did Holly Bourne miss the memo that it’s not ok to refer to native Americans skin color as “reddy”?

4. This is a complaint with the book series as a whole btw, There’s absolutely no intersectionality. The book series is about a group of three friends and each book follows a different girl as they navigate feminism and what it means to them, but all of the feminism for each girl is basically the same since all of the girls are straight, cisgender, and white.

5. The main love interest did, like, at least 2 speeches on how rough it is to be a “nice guy” and my butthole clenched each and every time without fail. Fitting that his name is , I kid you not, “Kyle”.

6. The main character Amber is 17 going on 18 and yet she reads more like a 13 year old girl.

7. I gave this 3 stars when I read it less than 10 days ago, which just goes to show that I’m unreliable in ratings lol.

If you read this far, thank you for reading my rant review lol
Profile Image for Maddie.
557 reviews1,150 followers
July 24, 2016
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!
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews805 followers
July 4, 2017
5 Words: Friendship, family, first-love, America, responsibility.

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

Review to come.
Profile Image for mylibraryofdreams.
557 reviews131 followers
August 4, 2019
Persönliche Meinung
Der dritte Band der Spinster Girls war eine Mischung aus Band eins „Was ist schon normal?“ und dem zweiten Band „Was ist schon typisch Mädchen“. Es war nicht ganz so emotional wie bei Evie, aber auch nicht so laut und feministisch wie bei Lottie. Das passt auch ganz gut so, denn das Buch spielt eigentlich zwischen Band 1 und 2. Amber war mir eigentlich sympathisch und man konnte sich gut in sie hineinversetzen. Ich mochte ihre Gedankengänge und ihre Unsicherheit, aber auch die verrückte Seite. Sie war einfach authentisch und das mag ich sehr. Mir gefiel die Stimmung auf dem Camp und wie die verschiedenen Charaktere dargestellt wurden. Leider haben mir Evie und Lottie schon sehr gefehlt hier. Es kam einfach nicht wirklich das Spinster Girls Feeling auf.

Die Thematik mit der Mutter hat mich stellenweise richtig wütend gemacht und ich hätte mir hier vor allem gegen Ende ein bisschen mehr gewünscht. Allgemein kam das Ende für mich etwas überstürzt. Auch in Sache Liebesgeschichte. Sie wurde zwar aus Ambers Sicht wirklich gut portraitiert, aber ich wusste lange nicht, ob das jetzt echt ist oder nicht! (ich konnte mich aus Lotties Buch nämlich nicht mehr daran erinnern.)

Mir gefiel besonders gut, dass es so spritzig geschrieben war. Es gab ganz viele lustige stellen in denen ich lachen oder schmunzeln musste. Den Feminismus Anteil fand ich leider etwas wenig, aber gut eingebaut und überhaupt nicht aufdringlich oder belehrend. Das gefällt mir so an dieser Reihe!

Mein Lieblingscharakter war Kyle und ich bin unendlich traurig, dass wir seinen Charakter nicht detaillierter kennenlernen durften, weil er so komplex und extrem interessant ist. Das fand ich echt mega schade! Ich hoffe sehr, das Holly auf so einen Charakter in einem anderen Buch nochmals näher eingeht.

Fazit: Mir gefiel es gut

Profile Image for Matti Karjalainen.
2,852 reviews55 followers
May 29, 2018
Seitsemäntoistavuotias Amber matkustaa Kaliforniaan työskennelläkseen ohjaajana pikkulasten kesäleirillä, ja ennen kaikkea tavatakseen pitkästä aikaa äitinsä. Äiti on toipuva alkoholisti, joka on perustanut Yhdysvalloissa uuden perheen, eikä ole pitänyt mitään yhteyttä tyttäreensä. Melko nopeasti käy ilmi, ettei kertaalleen rikkoutuneita välejä ole mahdollista korjata ihan tuosta vaan, ja minkäänlaista anteeksipyyntöä on ihan turha odottaa.

Leirikesää mutkistaa myös yltiösöpö Kyle, joka huhujen mukaan saa kaikki tytöt rakastumaan itseensä, joten miksipä Amber olisi yhtään erityinen tapaus... Vai voisiko olla sittenkin? Mutta voiko romanssi toimia, jos pariskunnan välissä on kokonainen valtameri? Onneksi Amber saa kuitenkin taustatukea ystäviltään, feministisen Vanhapiika-keskustelukerhon jäseniltä, jotka ovat häneen yhteydessä Skypen kautta.

Holly Bournen "Mikä kaikki voi mennä pieleen?" (Gummerus, 2017) on toinen Spinster Club -sarjaan kuuluva nuortenkirja. En ole ensimmäistä osaa lukenut, mutta eipä tuolla väliä, kyse kun on (virkistävästi) itsenäisistä romaaneista koostuvasta sarjasta. Lukukokemus oli iloinen yllätys. Äidin ja tyttären välisen suhteen ja alkoholismin kaltaiset vakavammat teemat, feministiset puheenvuorot, melko söpö leiriromanssi ja naseva huumori oli saatu suuremmitta ongelmitta mahdutettua samojen kansien väliin.

Hieman olisin ehkä kirjaa tiivistänyt, ja miinusta voisi antaa myös muutamista käännöstekstiin jääneistä anglismeista.

Kolme vai neljä tähteä? Pyöristetään nyt ylöspäin ja annetaan vahva lukusuositus muillekin. Syksyllä mukaan kasiluokkalaisten vinkkauksiin.
Profile Image for Mariana.
721 reviews111 followers
July 5, 2023
É o seguinte..ou o estilo YA cada vez me diz menos...ou a autora não é para mim...ou então a autora a escrever YA não é para mim 👀 uma destas coisas deve explicar o porquê de não conseguir estabelecer empatia ou qualquer outro género de ligação com as histórias criadas pela autora. Eu gosto do que leio dela, mas não são livros que me marquem, são apenas mais um..."pronto li isto" - e não gosto muito quando tenho essa reacção a ler.

As histórias apresentadas pela autora são muito importantes, claro que consigo entender e compreender a relevância destas, mas não encontro nelas nada que me puxe verdadeiramente e me encante...

Isto não sou eu a querer denegrir as obras da autora, isto sou eu a dar a minha experiência pessoal tendo lido 3 dos seus livros. E honestamente não vou ler mais YA dela, contudo ainda irei experimentar a vertente Adult pois acredito que esses poderão ter mais impacto em mim ✨️

Falando deste livro em específico...é o segundo livro da saga e eu não li o primeiro - isto não é problema nenhum porque é daqueles que pode ser lido como standalone, então perfeito. Contudo a concretização da história é para mim bastante fraca e as emoções por vezes roçam um pouco o "infantil" - não gostei disso, não criei ligação com nada, só queria acabar o livro para me esquecer disto. Será que o amor é isto? - Não, não é! Mas quem tem falta de amor na sua vida talvez sinta por vezes o que a Amber sente...
Claramente esta história não funciona comigo 🤷🏻‍♀️ mas pode resultar com outras pessoas.
Profile Image for Zara Shepherd.
81 reviews4 followers
April 25, 2017
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, why don't they know what 'bonkers' means?
I still prefer Evie, but I did thoroughly love this book.
Profile Image for Lia.
340 reviews94 followers
September 26, 2017
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)
Profile Image for John Gilbert.
931 reviews102 followers
March 5, 2021
There is a lot to like in Holly Bourne's book. This is the second in a three part series of three friends living in England; Amber, Evie and Lottie. This book is about Amber's journey to America for a summer to be with her mother, whom she has not seen for a few years and is now married to Bumface Kevin who runs a private kids camp.

Amber's time in America is classic, looking at differences in the cultures, especially through the eyes of a 17 year old. Her mother is a recovering alcoholic and Amber is desperate to reconnect with her mum, but it is not happening. She meets Americans, one special one named Kyle who is the Prom King.

I loved the first book in this series about Evie and her OCD, I loved this one and look forward to reading the third one about Lottie, if I can find it as it as it is hard to find.

Profile Image for Becky.
201 reviews40 followers
May 28, 2019
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 can’t wait to read the next one and dive into some of her other books out of the Spinster Club 😊
Profile Image for Odette Brethouwer.
1,454 reviews237 followers
May 5, 2018
Oh wat is dit een heerlijk boek! Dit krijg je als je Allesbehalve oké kruist met de boeken van Becky Albertalli en dat is toch geweldig?

Ieder deel uit deze serie gaat over een andere van de vriendinnen uit de club, en dat vind ik superleuk. De club waar ze feminisme bespreken vind ik erg cool, zeker omdat het ook gecombineerd wordt met het hebben van crushes.

Het geeft die tweestrijd goed aan die je soms voelt: niet als lustobject behandeld willen worden, maar over die knappe man toch ook even zo denken ;) Dat is erg goed gedaan, hoe moeilijk het is om in onze huidige maatschappij je standpunt te vinden over dit soort situaties. Want aan alle situaties zitten meerdere kanten en verhalen en hoe kies je nou waar je staat?

Daarnaast, waar het eerste boek erg ging over OCD, gaat dit boek over identiteit. Wie ben je, waarom, wat maakt je wie je bent, wat vormt je op welke manier. Geweldig goed uitgewerkt. En het probleem van de gescheiden ouders en een alcoholische ouder is ook erg sterk neergezet.

Ik leefde enorm met het hoofdpersonage mee. ik voelde haar ellende, ik voelde haar uitgelatenheid, ik maakte me dermate zorgen om haar dat ik het in mijn buik voelde..

Kortom: geweldige schrijfster! Ik raad deze serie aan vrijwel iedereen aan want het is leuk en goed!

Haar volwassen roman die gaat verschijnen wordt vertaald naar het Nederlands, ik hoop dat het zo goed aanslaat dat HarperCollins deze serie ook nog gaat uitgeven!
Profile Image for Julia Sapphire.
546 reviews1,045 followers
November 29, 2016
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 day and stayed up late to finish it because I couldn't put it down!!

I liked the romance, I thought it was really cute. Amber's Mother bothered me a lot and I felt the ending wrapped up in a perfect little bow which I disliked a bit.

I do prefer the first book in this series and I did prefer Evies story of Amber's but I still quite enjoyed this book. It was funny and interesting and it picked fun at stereotypes and gender roles.
Profile Image for Saphire.
269 reviews28 followers
June 20, 2017
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!
Profile Image for Sabine.
165 reviews
September 10, 2020
LOVED this whole book, however the ending felt a bit rushed and I need to know more about the relationship between Amber and her mother!
Profile Image for Atlas.
716 reviews29 followers
May 27, 2018
* * *
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 can guess from the title, How Hard Can Love Be? is about love. It's about family love - mostly the relationship Amber has with her mother - but it's also about romantic love. At camp Amber meets the gorgeously handsome All-American guy Kyle and sparks begin to fly. Personally, the plotline didn't interest me as much as Evie's story in Am I Normal Yet? and I was always expecting more from Amber's other family - her father and stepmother - and more appearances from Evie and Lottie.

Read more reviews on my book review blog: http://atlasrisingbooks.wordpress.com
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