Friday, October 7, 2011

Falling Together - Marisa de los Santos

Thanks to Carrie at Books and Movies, I was introduced to the Wonderful World of Marisa.  Both "Love Walked In" and its sequel "Belong To Me" (on audio of course) just grabbed my heart and squeeeeeeezed.  This is not your ordinary women's fiction, people.  It is characterization of precious (but maybe a little flawed) people.  It is witty banter that is charged with chemistry, cleverness, cuteness.  It is seeing an imperfect world through the glasses of someone who believes in love and joy and hope.  After these two books, I was smitten.  I friended Marisa on Facebook and everything.

Then I heard Marisa was laboring on a new book.  YES!  But alas, I did not go to BEA and get a copy of the ARC.  So I pleaded, begged, whimpered to Marisa to send me one, and she did, God bless her.  I forced myself to wait to read it until it was close to the official launch (which is today), and to make things more exciting, I read it with the Jill.  So, what has Marisa bestowed upon us this time?

Synopsis:  It has been six years since Pen, Cat and Will parted ways.  In college, they were inseparable.  They loved each other without reservation...Pen's goody-two-shoes primness, Will's practicality, and Cat's outlandish princess joie de vivre.  But the real world's harsh realities broke their bond, perhaps forever.  Until Pen and Will get a note from Cat, begging them to meet her at a college reunion, begging them for their help.

Many things have changed over the past six years.  Pen is unmarried and has a five year old child.  Will is a famous author.  Parents have died, grievances have festered.  And what should have been a memorable reconciliation instead turns into a journey to the other side of the world, to find Cat and rediscover the friendship they should have never abandoned.

My thoughts:  In many ways, this book reflects everything I love about Marisa.  The characters are so very special...unique, fully-developed individuals that you have to love.  You have no option in the matter.  Even the most obnoxious characters worm their way into your heart.  And back again is the dialogue that can't be matched.  You know when you get together with your best friend, have a glass of wine, and your words just bubble over each other, and you end up finishing each other's sentences?  And you think "this is what it is all about"?  That is what you get here.  Marisa gets dialogue in the best way possible.

However, the book's plot did start out slow for me.  It was gentle, and meandering.  And rest assured, by the end, it did blossom into something beautiful and memorable, but it did not quite have the multiple layers of awesomeness that "Belong To Me" had.  In other words, if "Belong To Me" was a trifle of fruit, whipped cream, cookies, nuts and chocolate, then "Falling Together" was pumpkin pie.  Delicious, but simple.  A tad disappointing because my expectations were so high.

I do believe the book is worth reading, however.  And, if I may be so bold, I'd like to suggest that the ending of this book, while satisfying, it a perfect set-up for a sequel.  Just like the last two books.  I will be waiting with bated breath.

With regards to Jill, we are back in sync with each other again (versus the near knock-down-drag-out we had with The Taker).  For Jill's sage opinion, head on over and see what she has to say. 

4 out of 5 stars
   
     

22 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I love your enthusiasm for this author! I love the sound of a book "charged with chemistry, cleverness, cuteness." I will get around to reading one of her books one day. :-)

Jenny said...

Sounds like it was still good but still disappointing when you love the previous books!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I have yet to read a book by this author but after seeing how much you love her first two books, I need to read one or two. I like how you described her books as desserts. I totally understood what you were saying. Great review!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I have looked at Belong to Me several times in the store and on Amazon, never realizing it was a sequel. Thank goodness you told me. I couldn't decide whether or not to read this author...the title of the first book is the kind of title that makes me doubt. I might have to give this author a try though after this glowing review :)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Gaaah! How is it you made a (perfect) desert analogy and I missed doing that?!!! You would think it would have been the other way around. And that you would have called Belong to Me risotto with a pinot, whereas Falling Together would be non-mother-in-law perogies...

JoAnn said...

My daughter loved her first two books, and this sounds like one she would enjoy, too. I'll start with the earlier books though...

bermudaonion said...

You crack me up! I think everyone has enormous expectations for this book, so we're probably going in it with expectations that are impossible to meet. I'm glad to see it's good!

Kay said...

Looking forward to this one and I'm setting my expectations on "hold" for right now. I suspect this one will appeal to just the right people. I do love this author's writing so much.

Darlene said...

It's always hard when you have high expectations for a book and I always find that it's so much worse when it's an author you love. Still,you enjoyed it and that's what matters. I can't wait to read this one.

softdrink said...

You've been hanging out with OJ too much if dessert analogies start popping up in your reviews. :-D

I adored her first two books, but I'm not quite sold on this one. Yet. I'll probably cave at some point, though.

Anita said...

I have this book on my shelf, I picked up an ARC at work. I haven't read her fist two, so this will be my first from de los Santos.
I'm happy to hear you liked it.

Zibilee said...

I think that I really need to read her first two, and then possibly this one as well, in order to be both immersed in such wonderful prose, and also to be able to compare them. Although it sounds like there was a lot to love in this book, there seemed to be a little bit of a letdown with this one, which is what a lot of others have been saying. I am excited though, because I still have yet to discover the beauty of her writing! Very candid and thoughtful review today!

Julie P. said...

I felt the exact same way. I don't think I was fair to Ms. de los Santos!

Trisha said...

I wonder if Belong to Me should be the last of her books I read. :)

Carrie K. said...

It's sad that it wasn't as good as the other two, but she did set the bar so very, very high! I'm still planning to read it (or listen to it) very soon.

Jenners said...

I agree with you … it is more like pie and less like trifle, and that can be a letdown when you want more trifle. Part of me hopes she doesn't revisit these characters again, but you're right … the set-up is there.

Beth F said...

I own both the first two books on audio. Haven't listened . . . yet. I'll start with them.

caite said...

this one is in my pile, waiting for me. I need to get to reading...

Ti said...

I guess a lot of readers find this new one a bit lacking compared to her other books, but I just love her in general. She does have a way with words.

Marg said...

I loved her first two books. I am going to try to reduce my expectations going into this one but it will be difficult.

Care said...

Heart squeezings and witty banter? I'm sold! I've always wanted to read this author but have yet to get to her. Not sure what's stopping me but this review is helping me move her up the try-soon list.

Melissa said...

Since I STILL haven't read her first couple of books I'm going to start there. I have heard some mixed reviews on this one, or at least people didn't love it as much as the earlier books.