Release Date: 1st February 2016
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Soulmates, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, Am I Normal Yet?
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.
If you ask me why I left this sitting on my shelf for three months after the release date, I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you. I completely loved ‘How Hard Can Love Be?’.
I started reading this on a complete whim and ended up devouring 200 pages before I'd even realised it. ‘How Hard Can Love Be?’ is just ridiculously easy to read. When I wasn’t reading it, I was eager to get back to it and when I was? The world (and screaming children on a train) just melted away. It’s been a while since I've felt like that when reading so it was really lovely.
It feels like I read the first book in the ‘Normal’ trilogy a really long time ago so I almost went into this with a blank slate for Amber. And I really loved her. Her comments on America cracked me up: the terror of the airport security; the perennial cheery, cheesiness; the fact that you can't walk ANYWHERE; the fact that there’s sugar in everything and the constant comparisons between the US and the UK were so spot on.
Alongside the humour there are some really serious threads running through the plots and discussions. Feminism was, of course, a major part and I loved the passionate, enthusiastic dialogues, especially when Amber’s instinctual thoughts went in what she thought was an anti-feminist direction.
But the big push of the book is the non-relationship between Amber and her mum. It was heartbreaking to read. Amber’s feelings of abandonment, her confusion and the overwhelming sadness she felt over her mum’s new life winning over her was emotional and intense and I just really, really ached for her.
I loved ‘How Hard Can Love Be?’ and I can’t wait for Lottie’s story in ‘What’s a Girl Gotta Do?’ in August.
Thanks to Usborne for the review copy.