Review

Review of How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne

Published: 1st February 2016
Publisher:
Usborne
Pages:
464

Blurb:

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.

Review:

Please note that this is the second book in the series. Click here to read the review of Am I Normal Yet? the first in the series.

Amber is spending the summer in an American camp with her recovering alcoholic Mum and bum-faced stepfather Kevin. Despite all the ups and downs she has had with her Mum, which we read about multiple times during flashbacks, Amber seems quite excited to be reunited but not everything is as it seems. There are untold secrets and home truths along the very long road…

“And then my stupid heart hurt, and all the good-feeling went again. Like it always does. When you mistakenly let people in.”

Amber quickly makes friends with the other camp leaders; Whinnie, Kyle and Russ. The four of them were a force to be reckoned with and despite Amber not knowing them for a great length of time, they all clicked and were an utter joy to read about. When times got tough for Amber during the middle of the plot, they were there for her when her own Mum wasn’t. As heart breaking as those scenes were, it was rather comforting that she had new, supportive friends that didn’t judge her need to down a bottle of whiskey…

“I was in a strange stupid country, in a strange stupid camp, with no real friends…”

When sparks fly between Amber and Kyle, I didn’t know what to thinkΒ as I didn’t want the plot to turn into a typical romance YA. I wanted Amber to remain a strong, individual without the need to go running out with the Prom King, yet despite my resistance, as the plot continued, their relationship really grew on me and I found myself addicted to their scenes. It allΒ escalates rather quickly between the pair, which was bound to happen at some point, yet when it did occur, I was proud of Amber for finally saying what was on her mind.

“Maybe there is 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.”

Just like the first book, I completely devoured the narrative and enjoyed every single chapter. Amber truly is a fantastic character who Holly has shaped brilliantly; she’s not perfect and she makes mistakes but whether you’re fourteen or twenty-five like myself, you can learn from her. I’m forever going to cheer Holly on when it comes to her books because they really are as addictive as people say. From her interesting chapters to her unique storylines, there’s everything for everyone in her books. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

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