In this sequel to Hard Love, the focus has switched to Marisol and things have moved on. Marisol and Gio have learned how to just be friends. Gio has a girlfriend and Marisol is meeting people. Marisol is taking a year off before college and working on his first novel, but she has distractions. At first, she is taken by the shy Midwestern girl Lee but Lee is quickly outshone by the fantastically beautiful writing teacher Olivia and things take off. The relationship with Olivia becomes complicated and Marisol finds that she has trouble balancing it with her friendships and being true to herself.
Hard Love, while Wittlinger's most famous work, is not actually my favorite and sequels will always have an uphill battle with me proving their right to exist. The story is functional but a bit slow. Even a not-so-good Wittlinger book is a decent read, but this is basically a girl-meets-girl story with a better-than-usual conclusion. No groundbreaking work.