Love & Lies: Marisol's Story

by Ellen Wittlinger

This sequel to Hard Love (Simon & Schuster, 1999) opens four months after... read more

This sequel to Hard Love (Simon & Schuster, 1999) opens four months after the first novel ended. It should be the start of Marisol’s freshman year in college, but she’s made the decision to take a year off before starting at Stanford so that she can write a novel and try out independence. She and her friend Gio have signed up for the same novel-writing course in an adult education program, and Marisol falls head-over-heels in love with the instructor, Olivia Frost. Her infatuation with the older, more experienced woman soon begins to overshadow everything else in her life. She can’t see, for example, that Lee, a young woman her age, newly out and newly moved to Cambridge, is crazy about her. Fictionalized versions of Marisol’s life play out in her novel as Wittlinger draws subtle parallels between the two, and the novel, like Marisol’s love life, begins to take on a life of its own. But it also becomes a way for Marisol to figure out what’s really in her heart. The lines her characters speak often come as a revelation to her, helping her to figure out things she hadn’t consciously known about herself or others. Through it all, this Puerto Rican–Cuban teen remains the character readers came to know and love in Hard Love : unflinching, unsentimental, and wickedly funny. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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