Published by St. Martin's Press on June 5th 2018
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How Hard Can It Be? is a sequel to “I don’t know how she does it”. I did not read the first book and I did not feel that I was missing anything but not having read that book first. This book worked very well as a standalone novel for me.
Kate Ready is almost 50, she is returning to the workforce and finds herself having to lie about her age to be considered for employment. Her husband is distant and appears to be more into his self-help books and bike riding than he is in her or their marriage. Her daughter has taken an inappropriate picture of herself and it was posted on the internet, she has aging parents and is dealing with the onset of menopause. Kate has a lot going on in this book.
There are some zany moments of Kate getting caught, as in she is stuck and can’t get out of it, in her spanx-like underwear and trying to host her daughter’s Christmas party but overall the book this book failed to really blow me away. The main character is dealing with just about everything but the kitchen sink in this book, and although some of it feels cliched, the character is in the age range where she would be dealing with aging parents, teenager angst, pre-menopause, juggling a career with raising a family, etc. So, I can’t really fault the Author for throwing all of those into this book. A lot of readers will also be able to relate to a lot of the issues brought up in this book. To add to Kate’s woes, a man from her past comes into the picture and she feels those long-ago longing stirred up.
This book deals with a lot of issues: how social media can be used in bullying/sharing of inappropriate pictures, infidelity, the aging process, teenage angst, friendship, return to the workforce, and coping with change. This book does deal with some heavy issues but does so in a light manner. That does not mean that this book takes those issues lightly, it just chooses to deal with them in keeping with the characters personalities.
I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I would not go out of my way to recommend it to someone, but at the same time, if I saw someone reading the book, I would most likely say “Oh yeah, I read that. Good book”. Good not great. There were parts that I felt went on a little too long. I know there will be readers who will pick up this book and love it, but when there are sections which I just want to skim so I get through them and back to the part of the book which I enjoyed. There were some things I found to be unrealistic in this book such as Kate not telling her husband about their daughter’s issues with her picture being distributed on social media. Perhaps this was done to show the distance between them in the relationship, but I found it unrealistic that she would not have told her daughter’s father about the incident and how this was impacting their child.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.