Grew up… in a prominent Newport Beach family. Marissa is an Orange County princess of sorts: she’s rich, beautiful and popular. She’s growing up to be just like her mother, Julie, whose sole purpose in life is to be at the top of Newport’s social scene.
Living… life in the fast lane. Marissa is often causing some sort of trouble. She seems innocent and almost perfect on the surface, but she likes to drink, do drugs and have a wild time. Newport Beach can be a dangerous place for a young, beautiful and reckless girl.
Profession… high school student. Marissa is in danger of following in her mother’s line of work: marrying rich. She dates a wealthy, popular and arrogant boy, Luke, who’s destined to end up as a successful businessman, much like her father. Or like her father was until the embezzlement charges, anyway.
Interests… gossip, boys, and partying. All the superficial fun, however, may be hiding a deep anxiety. It’s only when Marissa meets the troubled Ryan Atwood that she begins to realize that she may have issues of her own. Ryan’s a reformed juvenile delinquent who’s living down the street with the Cohen family, and they have an instant and undeniable attraction.
Relationship Status… dating Luke Ward. Luke fits in nicely with Marissa’s lifestyle: he’s tall, fit, handsome and privileged. On the outside, they’re the perfect couple. But if they’re so happy, then why is Marissa passing out drunk and partying like never before?
Challenge… fixing her family and herself. Marissa’s father is in deep trouble with the authorities, and she can tell that her mother is drifting apart from him. As she put it, “My dad lost all his money, the pony lost all its hair, my mom kind of lost her mind.” With her fantasy life falling apart, Marissa is forced to confront some inconvenient realities.
Personality… preppy, privileged, and troubled. Although Marissa appears superficial, she is much smarter and sweeter than she lets on. Marissa, though, describes herself as “lost.” She needs someone to help her find herself. (Paging Ryan!)
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