Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger, was not hard for me to love at all. It takes place in the Boston area and Cape Cod. John (aka Gio) and Marisol are so real and likeable and unlikeable at the same time. Their characters define what is so beautiful about being human: we are all so complex and changeable and multi-layered and darn it all, we want to be loved. John and Marisol become friends through their hobby of writing zines. John totally falls for Marisol despite the fact that she is a lesbian. And like the title says, love is hard.