Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

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With keen insight into teenage life, Ellen Wittlinger delivers a story of adolescence that is fierce and funny -- and ultimately transforming -- even as it explores the pain of growing up.

Since his parents' divorce, John's mother hasn't touched him, her new fiancé wants them to move away, and his father would rather be anywhere than at Friday night dinner with his son. It's no wonder John writes articles like "Interview with the Stepfather" and "Memoirs from Hell." The only release he finds is in homemade zines like the amazing Escape Velocity by Marisol, a self-proclaimed "Puerto Rican Cuban Yankee Lesbian." Haning around the Boston Tower Records for the new issue of Escape Velocity, John meets Marisol and a hard love is born.
    While at first their friendship is based on zines, dysfuntional families, and dreams of escape, soon both John and Marisol begin to shed their protective shells. Unfortunately, John mistakes this growing intimacy for love, and a disastrous date to his junior prom leaves that friendship in ruins. Desperately hoping to fix things, John convinces Marisol to come with him to a zine conference on Cape Cod. On the sandy beaches by the Bluefish Wharf Inn, John realizes just how hard love can be.

About Ellen Wittlinger

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Ellen Wittlinger is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels Love & Lies: Marisol's Story, Parrotfish, Blind Faith, Sandpiper, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, and Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and the middle-grade novel Gracie's Girl. She has a bachelor's degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. A former children's librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.
Published June 19, 2012 by Simon Pulse. 224 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Romance, Young Adult, Children's Books, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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John's feelings for Marisol are clouded by his uncertainty about his own sexuality (""I'm not even sure if I'm gay or not,"" he admits to Marisol) and his anger toward both of his parents--his mother, who has not touched him since her divorce five years ago, and his father, who ""always manages t...

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Teen Reads

The kind of book that makes you actually wish you were a teen again so that you could read these cool books and know that they were meant for you.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Hard Love

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