Synopses & Reviews
Marisol Guzman has deferred college for a year to accomplish two things: She will write a novel and she will fall in love. How hard could that be? She gets her very own apartment (with her high school best friend as roommate) and a waitressing job at a classic Harvard Square coffeehouse. When she enrolls in an adult education class -- "How to Write Your First Novel" -- there are two big surprises waiting for her: John Galardi, aka "Gio," a fellow zine writer who fell head over heels for her last spring (despite the fact that she's a lesbian) and her instructor, Olivia Frost, the most exquisitely beautiful woman she's ever seen.
But as Marisol ventures into what seems to be her storybook romance with Olivia, things start to go off track. Between the ups and downs of her new relationship, her strained friendship with Lee (a newly out lesbian who is crushing big-time on Marisol), and her roommate's new boyfriend (who is equally afraid of Marisol and their cat) moving in, Marisol starts losing sight of her goals. Is she too blinded by love to see the lies?
In this long-anticipated companion novel to the Printz Honor Book Hard Love, which critics called "A bittersweet tale of self-expression and the struggle to achieve self-love," Ellen Wittlinger offers a novel just as emotionally honest and deeply felt.
"The emotional morass of Marisol's life...is complex and realistic; it will draw in both fans of the earlier novel...and realistic-fiction readers seeking a love story with depth."--andlt;Iandgt;The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Booksandlt;/Iandgt;
"A rich and solid representation of a girl on the cusp of maturity."--andlt;Iandgt;Kirkus Reviewsandlt;/Iandgt;
"This engrossing novel is beautifully structured, with just the right balance of relationships, plot, and settting. The characters are realistic and sympathetic...aspiring writers will lap it up. REcommend this book to them and to readers who like bittersweet romances with an edge."--andlt;Iandgt;VOYAandlt;/Iandgt;
"This solid entry into the small but growing canon of GLBTQ fiction for teens will engage readers."--andlt;Iandgt;Booklistandlt;/Iandgt;
"Characters are well-drawn and believable, and the interpersonal relationships realistic."--andlt;Iandgt;School Library Journalandlt;/Iandgt;
The follow-up to the Printz Honor Book "Hard Love" finds Marisol Guzman older and wiser. As she weaves her way through a complicated fabric of relationships and becomes deeply involved with her writing class teacher, she discovers the blinding power of love.
Marisol Guzman from Hard Love is older and wiser. She has graduated from high school and deferred Stanford for a year so she can pursue her newest dream, writing a novel. She has taken an apartment in Somerville with her best friend Birdie, a waitressing job at the legendary Mug in Cambridge, and signed up for "How To Write Your First Novel" at the adult learning annex. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;But on the first day, she isn't sure what is a bigger suprise, that Gio is in her class or that it is being taught by Olivia Frost, the most beautiful, intelligent woman she has ever laid eyes on. Between that; Birdie bringing home his new boyfriend (who is equally afraid of Marisol and the cat) to live with them; and Lee, a high school senior who has fallen head over heels for Marisol, she can hardly keep things straight. Especially once she herself falls into her first real relationship with the twenty-eight year old Olivia. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;As Marisol becomes more and more involved with Olivia, she begins to wonder if she is too blinded by love to see the truth.
About the Author
Ellen Wittlinger is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels andlt;iandgt;Parrotfishandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Blind Faithandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Sandpiperandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Heart on My Sleeveandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Zigzagandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Hard Loveandlt;/iandgt; (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and its sequel andlt;iandgt;Love andamp; Lies: Marisolandrsquo;s Storyandlt;/iandgt;. She has a bachelorandrsquo;s degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. A former childrenandrsquo;s librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.