When I want to read a book and be guaranteed zero disappointment, I go for Holly Bourne’s books. That’s how much I trust her and I’m glad my trust is in the right place. How Hard Can Love Be is the second installment of the Spinster Club Series following I Am Normal Yet (which I really loved). This time, the story focuses on Amber( the tallest and angriest of the three friends, the girl who relegates herself as the cast-aside sidekick to her more beautiful friends) as she visits California all the way from her UK hometown in the hopes of reconciling with her mother who has left her for two years without a word. But things don’t go according to her plan as she meets this perfect All-American Golden Boy named Kyle and she starts questioning her loyalty to her feminist club because she might be falling in love. Soon she realizes how hard can love really be.
This book like the first covers a lot of issues involving alcoholism resulting to abandonment issues, of course, feminism, and essentially gender equality. And let us not forget the endless references to Harry Potter and the endless humor. That’s what I really love about the author’s writing. How she could write serious issues in such a light, funny manner.
“ I learned a lesson about not judging people until you’ve found out whether or not they’ve read Harry Potter.” Lol!
I wish I could join the Spinster Club even though I am happily married because I wholeheartedly agree with a lot of the three girls’ logic. I think this is the true meaning of feminism-everything that is printed in this book because I think a lot of people mistake feminism as anything that shuns men’s vital role in women’s lives.
Like when a book ends up with a girl being happy with a guy (as is the case with this book) these people would rant and hate and say it’s patriarchy all over again. I don’t mean to offend but I just find it quite unfair. I mean I turned out happy with a guy but that does not mean I’m a lesser person for it. That doesn’t mean I am no longer a feminist because to tell you the cliche-ish truth, my husband brings out the best in me and I in him. We just truly complement each other. We share equal responsibilities at home. We take turns with the laundry and the dishes. He cooks most of the time because he’s the better cook. I’m in charge of folding the clothes because I’m more precise. With the baby, I was not sleep deprived because we took shifts during the first two months when our baby still didn’t have the normal sleep pattern. I could go on and on but you get what I mean.
“I think there’s like a gender stereotype, The Nice Guy , you know? Girls are so judgmental about it. If you’re a nice guy, you’re basically bland and boring and they don’t want to be with you. They say, ‘I love bad boys’, and then look really proud of themselves for falling for people they know are douches.”
“I’ve always thought there’s a reverse sexism thing going on with films like that. Essentially, you can get away with doing ‘romantic’ but totally-freaky-stalkery gestures for a girl if you’re considered conventionally good-looking. It’s like girls only let you be abusive and strange if you have a six-pack and really good bone structure.”
“As long as you have green eyes and a ‘crooked grin’ you can be as creepy as you like. Girls are totally double standardy. You get all het up if we dare to judge you on appearances. But then you do exactly the same to us.”
This book really gets it and I hope readers would give this a chance and understand what it really means to be a feminist by relating it to the concept of gender equality. Because why does it have to be wrong for a girl to be happy because of a guy when he is also happy because of her?
At the end of the day, feminism, gender equality, and all these other concepts exist because we aim for usually these three important things in life: happiness, love and doing the right thing even if achieving them would mean getting hurt and risking ourselves in the process .
“Failure is never getting hurt. Because that means you’ve not done anything you cared about.”
“Why do something you know will end up hurting you?” Because it’s the right thing to do! Because it’s living . Because it’s the only way you grow and change!”
Okay, okay, I’ll stop now before I end up quoting the entire book. But again, hats off for the brilliance that is Ms. Bourne. I am so looking forward to the third book of this series.