In this long-anticipated companion novel to the Printz Honor Book Hard Love , 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. 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?