Study Guide

Hard Love Truth

By Ellen Wittlinger

Truth

John's pants might as well be on fire in Hard Love—that's how much he lies. He tells his parents different things about each other, and he never manages to get the truth about how he's feeling out. When he first meets Marisol, he's surprised by her insistence on the truth—and later, he gets to feel her judgment when he lies—yet we can't help but wonder if Marisol is holding John to a standard that she can't meet herself. After all, she's careful not to lie, but she doesn't come out with the truth at all times either. And since even a little white lie is against her policy, we get a whiff of hypocrisy.

Questions About Truth

  1. Why do you think Marisol hates lies so much? What does she classify as truth? 
  2. Does Marisol uphold her own standards about telling lies? How is she lying about herself to John? Herself? 
  3. Why isn't Marisol happy when John is finally truthful with his parents? What does she think about being honest with those you love?

Chew on This

Marisol expects everyone to always tell the truth, but she lies to herself by pretending to be something she's not.

John claims he regrets lying each time he does it, but this doesn't stop him from continuing to deceive people, so he can't regret it that much.

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