Authors: Ellen Wittlinger
Read more about Marisol and Gio in
an ala michael l. printz honor book
a lambda literary award winner
“The awkwardness of awakening sexuality,
a growing preoccupation with identity, and crossing
the line from friendship to more are all themes here
with which teens will readily identify.”
“Teenagers should be prepared to laugh,
wince, rage, weep, and heave at least one deep sigh
when they read this meaningful story.”
“A smart, edgy story . . . Wittlinger’s brave,
original characterizations and quick-paced
narrative make this a reader’s choice.”
Marisol Guzman has deferred
college for a year to accomplish two things: She will write a novel and she will fall in love. How hard could that be? She gets her very own apartment (with her high school best friend as roommate) and a waitressing job at a classic Harvard Square coffeehouse. When she enrolls in an adult education class—“How to Write Your First Novel”—there are two big surprises waiting for her: John Galardi, aka “Gio,” a fellow zine writer who fell head over heels for her last spring (despite the fact that she’s a lesbian) and her instructor, Olivia Frost, the most exquisitely beautiful woman she’s ever seen.
But as Marisol ventures into what seems to be her storybook romance with Olivia, things start to go off track. Between the ups and downs of her new relationship, her strained friendship with Lee (a newly out lesbian who is crushing big-time on Marisol), and her roommate’s new boyfriend (who is equally afraid of Marisol and their cat) moving in, Marisol starts losing sight of her goals. Is she too blinded by love to see the lies?
In this long-anticipated companion novel to the Printz Honor Book
, which critics called “A bittersweet tale of self-expression and the struggle to achieve self-love,” Ellen Wittlinger offers a novel just as emotionally honest and deeply felt.
is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels
Blind Faith, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, The Long Night of Leo and Bree, Razzle, What’s in a Name
(an ALA Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and the middle-grade novel
. She has a bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. A former children’s librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.
Jacket design by Lucy Ruth Cummins and Jeremy Wortsman
Jacket illustration and photography
copyright © 2008 by Jeremy Wortsman
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Simon & Schuster • New York
ALSO BY ELLEN WITTLINGER
Heart on My Sleeve
The Long Night of Leo and Bree
What’s in a Name
SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS • An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division • 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
• This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. • Copyright © 2008 by Ellen Wittlinger • All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. • S
is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc. • Book design by Alicia Mikles • The text for this book is set in AGaramond. • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data • Wittlinger, Ellen. • Love & lies : Marisol’s story / Ellen Wittlinger. —1st ed. • p. cm. • Sequel to: Hard love. • Summary: When Marisol, a self-confident eighteen-year-old lesbian, moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to work and try to write a novel, she falls under the spell of her beautiful but deceitful writing teacher, while also befriending a shy, vulnerable girl from Indiana. • ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-1623-9 • ISBN-10: 1-4169-1623-7 • [1. Lesbians—Fiction. 2. Authorship—Fiction. 3. Honesty—Fiction. • 4. Interpersonal relations—Fiction. 5. Homosexuality—Fiction. • 6. Cambridge (Mass.)—Fiction.] I. Title. II. Title: Love and lies. • PZ7.W78436Lu 2008 • [Fic]—dc22 • 2007018330 • ISBN13: 978-1-4169-6492-6 (eBook)
For my nieces:
Sarah, Emily, Meg, Lydia, and Louisa
“The truth will set you free.
But first it will piss you off.”
Grateful thanks to my editor, David Gale; his assistant, Alexandra Cooper; my agent, Ginger Knowlton; and Pat Lowery Collins, Anita Riggio, and Nancy Werlin for their help and advice on the manuscript.
Special thanks also to Patrice Kindl and to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts
WOULD NEVER HAVE AGREED
to room with Birdie for the year if I’d known he intended to pick up every stray that wandered across his path. The cat (which had shown up on the fire escape) had already shredded my favorite sweater, the puppy (from a box at the farmers’ market) was a crotch sniffer, and I had put my foot down at the first glimpse of that smelly ferret crossing the threshold. But I was too dumbfounded to come up with an appropriate response when he showed up with a lost human being.
I’d taken Noodles, the pug-poodle mutt, out to pee, so I was already late for my shift at the Mug when Birdie appeared in the doorway with a gorilla looming over his shoulder.
“Oh, great, you’re still here!” Birdie said. “I wanted you to meet my new friend, Damon. Damon, Marisol.” He flipped his hand between us. “Damon is in the theater department at Emerson too!” Birdie exclaimed, as if it were miraculous that he’d met someone from his own program. “Don’t let Marisol fool you,” he continued. “She’s small, but she bites.”