Until Something Better Comes Along

Broken Sign
Originally uploaded by Hungarian Snow

We all know I think too much, but after procrastinating this post all day (through writing, reading, quilting, shopping, etc), I don’t know what to think anymore.

I just finished Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger. I don’t know what it is about the ebb and flow of the universe right now, but my recent choices in books have left me emotionally drained, with plenty to think about. Hard Love greatly resembled A Bad Boy Can Be Good For a Girl, but it was the guy’s story, and he gets hurt. It is full of teen angst, emotional masks, family issues, prom, love, resentment, poetry, underground magazines and – most of all – wanting something you can’t have. It is very typical Young Adult Novel, but it has a personal touch that you don’t see too often anymore. No matter who the character was, I was able to see myself in them. (I credit this to the fact that I’ve changed my definition of “me” so many times.)

“I like people who aren’t afraid of themselves”, says Marisol, the lesbian love interest. This is a huge idea, even in the adult world. So many are unsure of who they are, and compensate by showing people who they think everyone else wants to see. It ends up being one big mess of assumptions and liars. Those who got hurt in the process now have to act as if nothing matters. “Its a lie, you know, to pretend that nothing is important to you. It’s hiding. Believe me, I know, because I hid for a long time. ” Why is it so hard for people to be honest with eachother? Are we so afraid of being without something to hide that we hoard everything possible – including our true feelings? Those who don’t play emotional hide-and-seek eventually become outcasts. Life has a way of disappointing those with high expectations, I suppose.

My favorite part of this book is the fact that the title of the book itself is meaningless until you get to the end, when you learn that it was taken from an old song, that you may listen to HERE. It is a beautiful song. It’s a I adore it right now, because it speaks to me on a level in which few things can get to me (especially at this hour, in this melancholy mood).

Ellen Wittlinger has managed to put into words something I have never been able to, and she has done it beautifully, and so I leave you with that:

“I’ve always tried to find my own magic words ever since I was young. That’s really what writing is, isn’t it? Searching for the magic words. So I guess I’d have to say, this is what keeps me going, figuring out what I have to say and putting it down on paper, word by word.”

Published in: on February 3, 2008 at 11:24 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Spectacular. Thank you for sharing the review, the song, and your thoughts. And, I’m so glad the quilting let you go long enough to write.

  2. Ah, I just finished listing to the song “Hard Love” as I read your post. The song was simple but profound; your post was more complex but also profound.

    I have not read the book Hard Love but will have to now as you have piqued my curiosity. Interesting that the title is meaningless until the end of the book. I was struck by what you wrote:
    So many are unsure of who they are, and compensate
    by showing people who they think everyone else
    wants to see. It ends up being one big mess of assumptions and liars.

    Ah, you have nailed a truth about life. As always, Novel Dame, you have raised interesting topics, made your readers think, and made them want to read the book you have reviewed.Your words are magic, my dear, and so are you. Don’t ever think otherwise.

  3. […] whole decision process was brought on by the frequent references to Nine Stories in an old read,  Hard Love. Here’s what it breaks down to: I wasn’t impressed with “A Perfect Day for […]

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