How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne

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“Winnie the Pooh is the answer of all happiness.”

Title: How Hard Can Love Be?
Author: Holly Bourne
Why you should read this book: Because this is a really cute book about love and finding the person who understands you and accepts you for who you are.

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

“Why would anyone get drunk? Why does anyone need anything like that to escape the world, when the world is its own antidote?”

Lovely book about family, friendship and love. Love for your family, for your friends who support you and for that particular person who makes you feel special.

Amber is really a strong character, very lively and straightforward. She is strong, that is true, she is also really funny, but she has a fragility and pain hidden inside her. That’s not good, hiding pain is bad, then one day something will trigger a memory and you’ll just explode and it’s not going to be nice.

“You know how protective I get about my snacks.”

So Amber goes all the way from England to the US to visit her mother, an alcoholic in rehab, who runs a camp for, apparently, rich kids in California. She runs it with her new husband who has a magnificent bum on his chin. That’s very important knowledge. Thanks, Amber!

“Why do Americans hate their children so much that they ship them off into the mountains all summer?”

When you say camp, what comes to mind? Loud children? Of course, but no. Beautiful boys who work there for the summer? Exactly! I’ve been to camp, a religious one though, only once and I had fun. There was a guy I fancied, nothing happened, I am really bad at flirting, even more than Amber. I didn’t score, we talked, and that’s it. Real life is so much worse than fiction. I wonder if in real life people can say what happened to Amber happened to them, too. If it happened, good for you, you earned my jealousy!

Her mum was seriously annoying, so was Kevin, but her mum is her mum for a reason. They haven’t seen each other for 2 years and she isn’t spending real bonding time with her own daughter. She got on my nerves a lot because she played the victim, always trying to blame others and finding excuses for being the way she was. Those are the worst kind of people; I don’t like them at all.

“I’m a terminal pessimist with an edge of angry realism.”

Luckily Amber, being funny and everything, easily made friends with the staff at camp. We have Winnie, a Winnie the Pooh expert, Russ, the lost twin of Jacob from Twilight, and Kyle, the typical American boy right out from a fashion magazine. Perfect guy, perfect tan, perfect hair, and perfect smile. I have to admit that even if he looked extremely American I liked him even before knowing him better. I have a little weakness for tall tanned guys with cute smiles. You can say I have a weakness for hotties, I won’t deny it. I’m all about the handsomeness. Shallow as it may sound, it is the truth. The eye wants what the eye wants.

“Basically, the more you know, the unhappier you are. That’s why Winnie the Pooh is always happy – he doesn’t get into politics.”

The whole story was fun and easy to read. I love how Holly Bourne writes; the story becomes part of you and you read read read and the book just ends when you are not paying attention. The chapters are well built, they show you important parts of Amber and what makes her the way she is. How she starts off being angry and drinking to forget, to when she starts realizing there’s more to life than just being mad and disappointed at people when you yourself don’t do anything to change the present. How can you pretend to understand why a person is acting a certain way if you don’t ask but just assume what you want? It will never be the truth, you need to act and free yourself from doubts, only then you can move on and start living your life fully.

“Failure is never getting hurt. Because that means you’ve done anything you cared about.”

Amber doesn’t know that, she will learn it the hard way. Nothing is lost forever, things change, and they take different shapes but stay with you forever. You just have to give them the proper weight. If something isn’t worth suffering, then it’s not worth a space in your heart. Archive it, it’ll still be there but will be a memory, and not a recurring thought that will weight you down.

I enjoyed this book, this Normal series is a nice surprise. Can’t wait to read Lottie’s story, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s funny and sweet, a really enjoyable book.
Rate: 4/5

firmablog

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