The inspiration for HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE?

POSTED ON 23/01/16


The second book in Holly Bourne’s Normal series, the follow-up to Am I Normal Yet?, launches in just over a week – get excited, people! Because Amber’s story – How Hard Can Love Be? – is a stunner. We asked the incredible Holly Bourne to explain how the mysterious workings of her mind led to Amber leaving Evie and Lottie behind and jetting off to California…

“America is a very important part of my life, so it was only a matter of time before it seeped into my books. When I was the age of a YA character, I spent two summers staying just outside Yosemite National Park with my late aunt, Connie. A lot of the people and places from these summers litter the pages of How Hard Can Love Be?

Let’s face it – the boys in Am I Normal Yet? were mostly b-to-the-ell-ends. And, as this is a feminism trilogy and feminism is NOT about hating men, I thought it was important to have a healthy romance in there with a NICE boy. Because such things do exist!

Amber is everything America isn’t – pessimistic, understated, sarcastic… So the evil writer in me thought, Brilliant, let’s shove her into The States. She’s going to HATE it! I’ve had so much fun writing her reactions to the USA, and showing how it slowly wears her down and she starts to see the merit in being…happy, I guess.

How Hard Can Love Be? is also a bit of a feminist analysis of typical romantic teen set-ups. I want my readers to think about some of the cliches we see in these stories – the evil-but-pretty bitch, the absent parents, the potential romanticisation of abuse. The book has conversations about these issues, gives them words, or tries to turn them on their head.

But what’s a teen love story without a Prom King? Readers – you’re about to meet Kyle… and you’re going to fall for him. Hard.”

How Hard Can Love Be? is out on 1st February.