Reader Reviewed How Hard Can Love be? by Holly Bourne

How Hard Can Love be?

Written by Holly Bourne
Part of the The Spinster Club Series Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

February 2016 Book of the Month Holly Bourne’s new novel demonstrates that with the right female friends, and a decent supply of cheesy snacks, a girl can get through anything. Amber is in America spending summer with the mum she hasn’t seen in two years. Outwardly Amber seems confident, brash even, but underneath she is full of insecurities, like most teens, and still deeply hurt by her mother’s decision to leave her. A romance with gorgeous Kyle – also not what he seems – helps her see herself and the world differently but her real support comes from best friends Evie and Lottie via their cheery, empowering Skype chats. Well-written and thoughtful, this has a thoroughly authentic twenty-first century teen voice and lightens serious issues with humour. ~ Andrea Reece

Readers will also enjoy Bourne’s Am I Normal Yet? in which Evie takes the central role, and Ann Brashares The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Izzy Read, age 15 - 'Holly Bourne is one of my most favourite authors out there- she writes brutally honest, funny and relatable novels that capture what being a teenager is like.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 17 - 'This books melts me. It’s so funny and sweet. Absolutely loved it! Holly Bourne truly is the Queen of YA!'
  • Megan Chambers, age 14 - 'This book was absolutely amazing! I could not put it down. I loved how it showed the story of The Spinster Club from Amber's point of view.'
  • Farah Alam - 'This book is a very easy read, filled with a great love story, and great character development. Really enjoyed this book and really interested in reading more by Holly Bourne.'
  • Destiny Maraj, age 14 - 'From the very first page I fell in love with this novel. It was funny, full of drama and at times it was an emotional rollercoaster.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I could not put this book down, I wanted to hug Amber so often as her pain practically bled off the page.'
  • Jodi Coffman, age 14 - 'This book was extremely funny, heartwarming and very relatable.'
  • Alex McCalla, age 16 - 'Love this book. Such an amazing author producing an amazing book.'


How Hard Can Love be? by Holly Bourne

From the acclaimed author of Am I Normal Yet? an hilarious and heart-rending tale - this is Amber’s story of how painful, and exhilarating, love can be. Amber, Evie and Lottie: three girls facing down tough issues with the combined powers of friendship, feminism and cheesy snacks.

All Amber wants is a bit of love from her estranged mum. And she's hoping that a summer together at Mum's Californian kids' camp will help patch up her shattered heart. But then she meets Prom King Kyle - and offers her heart up for breaking all over again. Even with BFFs Evie and Lottie's advice, Amber's finding love hard. Is it worth the fight?


“Finally, an author who GETS it.” – Emma Blackery, YouTuber

“Bourne’s books stand out in the word of young adult fiction.” – Emerald Street

“An involving look at feminism, friendship and the secrets we hide.” - The Observer on Am I Normal Yet?

About the Author

Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her first two books, SOULMATES and THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. AM I NORMAL YET? has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016, and shortlisted for The Bookseller YA Book Prize. Holly lives in Surrey.

Holly Bourne writes for young people for a living. She’s a journalist and editor for, an advice and information website for young people which receives over 100,000 unique users each month. This includes writing about topics including sex and relationships, drugs and alcohol, self-harm and mental health, university life and getting a job.

Holly gained a first class degree in Journalism at the University of Sheffield. After graduating, she spent just under two years working as a news reporter at the award-winning Surrey Mirror. During her time there, Holly uncovered many national and international stories that received huge press coverage. She was nominated for Print Journalist of the Year – but found she didn’t have the stomach for the job. Holly began writing Soulmates as a way of escaping the horrors of her day job.

In Soulmates, Holly plays with the Hollywood perception that true love has to be difficult in order to still be considered ‘true’, she says: "Every day we’re spoon-fed fairytale narratives of what love should be. That the path to true love never runs smooth, that the most romantic love is ‘forbidden’, and that we all have a The One, just waiting to complete us. I wanted to take the most romantic concept of all, soulmates, and turn it on its head. What if finding your soulmate was the worst thing ever?"

Holly did a lot of reading about love, and the science of love, to make the big reveal about Soulmates believable. She read a number of scientific and psychological studies on the effects of love and how it impacts your brain and your body. Holly remarks that “in fact, most of the science in Soulmates is true!”

Find Holly Bourne on Tumblr

Click here to read a Q&A with Holly on the TheSite

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Book Info


480 pages


Holly Bourne
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Usborne Publishing Ltd

Publication date

1st February 2016




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