Best Books for Children

Kate L'argent, Independent Usborne Organiser


Book Review - How Hard Can Love Be?

17th May 2018

The second title in the Spinster Club Series, How Hard Can Love Be? sees Amber travel to California to spend the summer with her mum and stepdad Kevin. But it isn't just a family visit, Kevin and her mum run a summer camp, and Amber gets the pleasure of spending her summer in the company of lots of sugar-hyped, screaming children.

Amber has high expectations for her summer, and can't wait to be reunited with her estranged mother who she hasn't seen for two years. But her dreams of an idyllic reunion are short-lived and her mum seems more like a stranger than a mother. Amber is full of questions about why her mum left, and why she hasn't wanted to see her before now, but her mum is completely on the defensive, and her stepdad 'Bumface' Kevin clearly doesn't want her around.

But there are some benefits to Bumface Kevin's summer camp. Amber quickly makes friends with Winnie the Pooh obsessive Whinnie, Prom King Kyle and Jacob-from-Twilight lookalike Russ. And in spite of missing her fellow spinster club members Lottie and Evie, Whinnie seems to make a solid replacement, and is definitely preferable to cheerleader Melody and her lack of clothing. And Kyle, is well, Kyle, the perfect American gentleman, as well as being ridiculously good looking. 

When the children arrive, all chaos breaks loose, and any hope Amber had of spending time with her mum is rapidly dwindling. And the more time she spends with her new friends, the less time she wants to spend with her mum and Bumface Kevin, who seem to come as a package deal.

And then there's Kyle. Amber's mum warns her that everyone forms strong bonds with Kyle, and Amber is desperate not to become another statistic, but there's something different about Kyle. He gets her when her mum doesn't. Knows what she needs when her mum doesn't. And he's always there for her when her mum definitely isn't. But what's the point of starting something when she's only in America for the summer? And why lay her heart on the line for Kyle when he'd never be interested in a girl like her anyway? 

How Hard Can Love Be? is the perfect second instalment to the Spinster Club series. It has the welcome familiarity of the much-loved characters from Am I Normal Yet? and the fun of being introduced to a new cast too. Amber is a fantastic narrator and any fans of her from the first novel will relish spending more time with her in this one. How Hard Can Love Be? is the perfect mix of romance, friendship and adventure and any YA reader will be sure to devour it.

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