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Love & Lies: Marisol's Story Hardcover – July 8, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416916237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416916239
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,418,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Marisol Guzman, 18, puts off enrolling at Stamford for a year so she can write a novel. She gets a job at a local coffee shop and signs up for a writing course through the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Olivia, the instructor, is strikingly beautiful, a number of years older, and appears to have the knowledge and skills to teach the class. Looks can be deceiving, however, and Marisol learns this truth the hard way when she becomes involved in her first real sexual relationship. Her former buddy, Gio, whose romantic feelings for Marisol were thwarted because she is a lesbian, coincidentally registers for the same class and their friendship is restored. Marisol's friend and apartment mate, Birdie; his new love, Damon; and Gio realize early on that Olivia is pushy, inconsiderate, and manipulative, but Marisol doesn't listen. Wittlinger's companion to Hard Love (S & S, 1999) effectively continues the story from Marisol's point of view. Characters are well drawn and believable, and the interpersonal relationships realistic. Along with her friends, readers can see early on that Marisol's relationship with "the teacher" is courting disaster. Witnessing Olivia's jealousy and mistreatment and wishing Marisol would finally open her eyes creates effective page-turning tension. Although everything falls apart and it is too late to fix things, there is a note of hope at the end that cries out for yet another installment of this compelling story.—Diane P. Tuccillo, Fort Collins Regional Library District, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this companion title, which comes nine years after Printz Honor Book Hard Love (1999), Marisol takes center stage after playing a critical and exceptionally drawn supporting character in Gio’s story. Beginning a handful of months after Hard Love ends, the story opens with Marisol’s decision to defer entry to Stanford for a year to focus on her writing and, hopefully, to find love. She rents an apartment, takes a waitressing job, and enrolls in a novel-writing class. At work, she meets Lee, a lesbian teen estranged from her midwestern family. In her writing class, she meets beautiful teacher Olivia Frost, and she also reconnects with Gio. As she navigates a new friendship, a powerful teacher-student romance, and a damaged relationship with Gio, Marisol takes a number of wrong turns and has to live with the consequences. The plot, which stretches plausibility, may not compare favorably with Hard Love’s sophisticated crafting, but this solid entry into the small but growing canon of GLBTQ fiction for teens will engage readers. Grades 10-12. --Holly Koelling

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Morrigan Alexandros VINE VOICE on August 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Love & Lies is the story of Marisol, a spunky, funny lesbian girl from Massachusetts who just graduated from high school. She defers Stanford for one year to accomplish two goals: write a novel and fall in love. She and her gay best friend Birdie, move into an apartment in Cambridge. Living with your best friend is not easy, especially when he has the tendency to pick up strays of all species, human included. Enter Damon, Birdie's crush who just moved in and Marisol has trouble accepting.

Marisol also has a job at The Mug, a historic place in Harvard Square where T.S. Eliot supposedly sat to write poetry. There she meets Lee, a young lesbian girl who moved from Indiana to Cambridge because it was too difficult for her parents to deal with her sexual orientation. She befriends Lee and tries to get her to have fun.

To accomplish one of her goals, Marisol enrolls in an adult education course about writing a novel. There she finds her friend Gio, who had previously declared his love for her (in the first book, Hard Love) and she had turned him down. Missing Gio's friendship, she tries to mend the relationship. The class is taught by Olivia Frost, a name so fitting. Marisol falls head over heels in love with her teacher and seems that goal number two is well underway. What Marisol was not expecting was that she would have to deal with more unrequited love, jealousy, Damon, Gio, love and lies.

The book was a quick and uncomplicated read. Maybe too uncomplicated. The book was a quick and superficial read. Except for the character of Marisol, none of the other characters were truly developed. Thus, I was unable to understand, or care about, Marisol's crush, Lee, or even Gio.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on August 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a "coming of age" story with a contemporary love theme filled with a few twists. It is about Marisol Guzman, an eighteen year old who has two life goals: the first to write her first novel and the second to fall in love. Next year, she plans to attend Stanford University, the main reason ishe wants to live on the West coast is because she has lived her whole life in Massachusetts and wants to experience something new and different. Marisol is exerting her independence by living in an apartment with a male friend but it is not what you may be thinking. She and Birdie, her room mate, have been friends for a long time but it is not about romance at all. It is about discovering life on their own terms. The author provides humorous conversations throughout the novel and also great insights into human behavior. She explores several themes: falling in love with the wrong people, deceiving someone you profess to love to prevent emotional pain and reconciling friendships and love after bonds of truth have been broken.

Marisol meets a nice but somewhat sad looking high school senior girl named Lee at the coffee shop where she works. She likes her and they become good friends. Marisol learns Lee came from Indiana to live with her sister, not long after announcing to her parents she was a lesbian. Significantly, Marisol had within the past two years informed her parents she was gay. Her mother, a social worker and counselor had embraced the idea. Her father had also adjusted to the facts of life but less enthusiastically. Marisol had signed up for an eight week adult education class "Writing Your First Novel" and was surprised to find Gio (given name John) was also taking the class.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jo Ana Starr VINE VOICE on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I liked this book and I was surprised to find that other reviewers thought it was so-so. It was often funny and I liked the story line, the author's use of language and her character development.

The story begins with Marisol's decision to delay going to Stanford for a year so that she could focus on writing a novel and falling in love. She's sharing an apartment in Boston with her best friend Birdie and to make ends meet, she takes a job as a waitress in a historic Cambridge student hangout, and she also enrolls in a novel-writing class.

At work, she meets Lee, a shy lesbian teen, newly arrived in Boston, where she fled after admitting to her parents that she was a lesbian. When she and Marisol met, Lee was feeling somewhat stranded in Boston but at least away from the disapproval of her midwestern family.

In her writing class, Marisol meets a beautiful teacher and she also reconnects with her estranged friend, Gio. She stumbles a bunch trying to foster the romance between herself and the teacher, and to manage a damaged relationship with her friend Gio. As Marisol maneuvers through this story, she seems very self-assured and confident on the outside, but like most of us, she's soft in the middle, and for that reason, she has to struggle as she juggles all the responsibilities, interactions and the priorities that she has on her plate.

What I really liked about this book is there was no hand-wringing or emotional excesses. The author tells it like it is. It was an upbeat, entertaining book to read. I agree with one reviewer, that it is light reading, but sometimes that's exactly what you feel like. The optimism and confidence of youth colors this book and makes it a pleasure to read. Another thing I liked is that the author didn't write up to her audience or down to her audience. As an adult, I found it really enjoyable and I bet that teens will,too !
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