Love & Lies is billed as a companion to Wittlinger's Hard Love, a YA novel with zine publishers as its main characters. Sadly this installment doesn't involve zines--and weirdly none of the characters seem to be vegetarian, much less vegan--but it is still a compelling read.
Marisol, the baby dyke from the first book gets to experience sex and love this time around, but can't quite identify/distinguish between the two yet. Her gay best friend Birdie is back, as is Hard Love narrator Gio. Marisol and Gio end their post-prom estrangement (she's gay; he isn't and wishes she weren't) when they meet up in a fiction class.
Unlike so many other female YA novel heroines, Marisol is very confident. She comes from privilege, both financial and in terms of emotional support, and she makes the most of it. I wish she hadn't abandoned zines to write a novel, which I think shows a lack of understanding of zine culture on Wittlinger's part, but out of the context of Love & Lies as a sequel to Hard Love, I rate it a pretty good read, especially for queer teenagers in need of fairly well-adjusted role models. However, if middle and upper class privilege are buttons for you, you might get annoyed sometimes.