Hard Love

Paperback | April 1, 2001

byEllen Wittlinger

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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.
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.

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From the Publisher

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...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:April 1, 2001Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:068984154x

ISBN - 13:9780689841545

Appropriate for ages: 12

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Customer Reviews of Hard Love

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hard to love, Mkay. So maybe I'm just annoyed that I can't find a book featuring a gay relationship with the same nuance, fun times and great characters as in a straight relationship. To tell the truth, its starting to get me down. I couldn't finish this book. This is one of the only times I actually put the book down and haven't finished it. Usually I'll go back to it a week or two later.. The ideas introduced were fantastic and original. Unfortunatly, the follow-through was not quite so amazing and the characters were not so original. And they were annoying. I couldn't bring myself to care for either Marisol or John. Sure, I felt bad that John's mother wouldn't touch him. Sure, I felt bad that John fell for a girl who will never love him in the same way... There were a lot of parts where I felt pity for the character, but that was it. The dramatic scenes were overplayed, the zines were cool, but the only thing that tied John and Marisol together. If you got rid of them, there was NO way they would be friends. For some reason, that turned me off the idea entirely. However, Ellen Wittlinger's writing is very good. That much I could see. I'm sure she's written better, so you may want to look to another of her books, or a different author altogether. I'd only recommend this book to those... no, I really wouldn't recommend this book :(
Date published: 2009-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another masterpiece by Wittlinger This is a great book! At the end i just fell like crying because it was so sad. It also makes me want to write my own zines.
Date published: 2005-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from go zines! I cried at the end too! I would like to read it through Marisol's perspective as well, I loved her. I had no idea Ani DiFranco was a part of the story and that just made it all better!
Date published: 2003-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Display of Character This book is my favourite. After having read it 4 times straight, I still cry at the very end. A deeply emotional novel, centred around the age of uncertainty. The characters are wonderfully portrayed, very dimensional, and colourful. A must read for all teens!
Date published: 2002-03-21

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Editorial Reviews

"Ellen Wittlinger's Hard Love was one of the books that inspired me to write young adult novels."