Hard Love

Title: Hard Love
Author: Ellen Wittlinger
Pub Date:1999
Pages: 224
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, GLBT

She was counting out dollar bills now, so I reached in my pocket for a few of my own. "Do you know what 'coming out' really means?" she asked, looking me square in the face again. "it means you stop lying. You tell the truth even if it's painful, especially if it's painful. To everybody, your parents included."

"I'm not gay," I told her, though I really had no strong evidence for saying so. "At least I don't think I am."

"There are other closets."
John Galardi is pretty miserable. His parents split up and he lives with his mom - who for the first couple of years did nothing but cry and now has begun dating. He visits his dad every weekend in the city, but it's really a ritual that looks good on paper. Every Friday night John and Dad go out to dinner in a very loud restaurant where they don't have to talk, and the rest of the weekend he's pretty much on his own as Dad is hooking up with multiple women.

The time period is the late 90's and the zine scene is pretty big. John decides he's going to write his first edition, Bananafish. Upon 'publication' he goes to a music shop and checks out the competition. John finds "Escape Velocity" written by the self-proclaimed "rich spoiled lesbian private-school gifted-and-talented writer virgin" Marisol Guzman. Of course he has to meet her.

What begins is an interesting friendship. Every weekend Marisol and John meet and chat about writing, life, and love over coffee. Marisol is everything that John isn't - confident, loud, defiant, and on the move. John quickly falls for Marisol, perhaps convincing himself that Marisol's attraction to women will end.

There's a lot of depth to this book. The title Hard Love not only describes what is going on between John and Marisol, but equally with John's parents who he finally confronts.

I enjoyed this book while reading it. My only "eh" is that it's quite forgettable. I'm writing this review weeks after reading it and couldn't really remember why I liked it until I began skimming the book. Then I was able to say, "oh yeah this really was pretty good".

1 comment:

  1. I just mooched this on bookmooch, hopefully I"ll like it!


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