"Ellen Wittlinger's Hard Love was one of the books that inspired me to write young adult novels." —John Green, author, The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns
They are four best friends who've shared joy and secrets, love and memories, and since the beginning, Lorna was the one who held them all together. Then, the unthinkable happens. During a storm, Lorna is swept out to sea, leaving the three survivors with nothing to cling to except grief and questions. How did this happen? Why was Lorna in such danger, and was she alone? When her body is never found, the mystery deepens. Did Lorna really die? Or has she made a crazy bid for freedom? Inevitably, the dynamic of the four friends' everyday life is changed forever. But the pain and confusion go deepest for Jackie, who must face her feelings of unrequited love for Lorna's boyfriend as well as try to put to rest her own questions about Lorna's presumed death. Does one of the boys in their inner circle know more than he's letting on? Will Lorna's fate ever be discovered? And how will Jackie become her own person in the wake of a wound that may never close? In this beautifully written, intense novel, one girl has to travel through loss and disillusionment to make sense of her own future.
Ellen Wittlinger was the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels Parrotfish, Blind Faith, Sandpiper, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, and Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and its sequel Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. A former children’s librarian, she passed away in November 2022 at the age of seventy-four.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 15, 2016)
"The story is compelling and the characters nicely drawn. Wittlinger's many fans won't want to miss her latest." --Booklist
"Teenage best friends grapple with sudden loss in Wittlinger's...coming-of-age tale, [with] moments of true compassion, and lovely descriptions of the Cape." --Publishers Weekly
"Elements of tragedy, mystery, romance, and self-discovery are woven together effectively and fleshed out with memorable imagery. All of the primary characters are complex and well-developed.... An enjoyable and thought-provoking read that is sure to appeal to many teens." --School Library Journal
"The perfect...summer time beach read...a page turner. This is a great book for those looking for a light mystery for the summer. Wittlinger's fans will not be disappointed." --YA Books Central
"Author Ellen Wittlinger proves once again why she's a master of realistic fiction, creating believable dialogue, events and emotions, especially as Jackie must decide if she's still one of Lorna's pawns in the end." --Bookpage
"Local Girl Swept Away features a group of friends who are shaken when one of their members is swept out to sea. As in Broadchurch, a sense of possible hope on the horizon shines through." --Barnes & Noble Teen Blog
"Will leave readers with searching questions about what is right when dealing with a situation where there has been so much wrong. Fans of melodrama will get swept up in this." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books