I was excited to read "Belong to Me" because I read "Love Walked In" (also by Marisa de los Santos) last year. I was even more excited once I realized that "Belong to Me" was the continuation of "Love Walked In". I instantly bought into all the characters because I had already established a connection with them, so I was instantly involved in the book.
"Belong to Me" also interweaves the stories of other characters other that weave throughout the story of the main character. So it's fun to see how all the stories are going to tie together in the end. Everyone has secrets. Some we keep to protect ourselves, others we keep to protect those we love.
The narration style of "Belong to Me" is a bit different from most novels. I'm not quite too sure how I feel about it. It has a 1st person narrative, but it also has a 3rd person narrative (that seems to be the narration of the main character whose chapters are in 1st person). Anyway, I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on "Belong to Me".
A sequel to a book I really enjoyed - Love Walked In. This was a good read, but I didn't like this story quite as much. Mostly it's because of all the things I loved about her first book.
Everything fit together far to easily. Characters had easy to spot weaknesses and not so hidden personalities. The plot twist that, in real life, would have really twisted the characters worlds was dealt with in a few dozen pages. Like a fairy tale it could have ended with "and they all lived happily ever after. The end."
Which is what I loved about "Love Walked In." But somehow, reading a second book with the same characters it lost the feeling of "anything's possible" that the first book had and really just felt impossible and very contrived.
If you loved L.W.I. definitely do read this sequel. Just know you're in for more of the same.
I adored this book. It's even better if you've read De Los Santos's "Love Walked In," but it's not a required precursor. The alternating narrative allows readers to get to know each of the characters in greater depth. I can't wait to read more of her novels.
I really enjoyed this book. Great story about love, family, and keeping secrets. The characters in this book were so well-developed, they felt like friends. And Ms. De Los Santos' writing style is wonderful! Highly recommended!
She did it again! Marisa De Los Santos wrote a book that couldn't be put down easily. The characters are three dimensional and are portrayed well in this fictional story about a suburb that any of us could live in. It is a love story not only about couples but also of friendships and families. A great book to curl up with.
This was another out-of-the-park homerun by Marisa de los Santos. I think I may have enjoyed it more than Love Walked In. The author has a beautiful talent for putting words together in a most creative way. Her prose is pure poetry! You'll love the characters in this novel and you won't be able to put this book down.
Marisa De Los Santos write like a true to the heart Emily Giffin, but with more intensity, and more of a relationship and understanding behind her characters and their (in)decisions. Belong to Me takes a heart of the matter life pattern and explores all of its quirks and paths... right down to the least likely suspected one, and sucker-punches the reader. It transforms what you might think of behavior, derision, scorn and discrimination and boils them down into a relatable twist that we've all felt at one time or another... but never seen reflected or dissected from any other perspective.
Marisa De Los Santos' writing is rich, like a decadent dessert that you just can't resist.
This book is the sequel to "Love Walked In", but I read them in reverse because I didn't know until first reading this book and then reading "Love Walked In" and realizing in the first few pages that the characters were very familiar.
Both are great reads and pack a lot of characters and story into a book you won't want to put down!
I was enjoying this book and couldn't put it down until about 2/3 of the way through, when the plot took an unexpected and unconvincing twist. However, I fell so much in love with the characters that I am glad I read it.
De Los Santos is an excellent writer, but she has an annoying habit of using about 25 words to describe something before you actually know what in the world she is describing (page 278, for example.) This results in almost-run-on sentences that I had to read multiple times to get.
I would gladly read another book about Cornelia and Teo- but I won't have too high of expectations.
This is a joyous book with the ups and downs of life, handled graciously by the characters. Maria de los Santos is one of those authors I watch and get every book she writes...she has only written two and I've read them both. I wish her a long and prolific career!
This book is a sequel to the book Love Walked In. I would highly recommend reading them in sequence so the reader can appreciate how Clare came into Cornelia's life and how Cornelia and Teo got together. That being said, it is a nice novel. Cornelia is a very likable character, someone you wish you were friends with in real life. The way the characters evolve into friends (Cornelia and Piper; Clare, Dev and Aidan) is real and sweet. Some of the book's setup is a bit unbelievable and some of the subplots (Toby, Lyssa) are distracting and extraneous. Good, not excellent.
I liked this a lot. It isn't just another story of 3 women, the way I feared. It is a very will integrated story of several families and how they are affected by these 3 ladies. Who are they? Cornelia-fresh out of sophisticated NYC and into the burbs. Married to Teo, as yet childless and totally clueless regarding the ways of suburbia. Piper-the queen of suburbia , married to Kyle, two perfect children. Elisabeth= alas her starring role is to die of cancer fairly early on in the book, leaving her two perfect kids and husband Tom, more or less in the hands of Piper.
I loved this book - I absolutely loved it! It's beautifully written and was so highly enjoyable... I laughed, I cried... my only regret in reading it, is not re-reading _Love Walked In_ first. It took me a while to even realize that this was, in fact, a sequel. Still, it was such a lovely book! I can't wait until she writes another!
Great book! Marisa de Los Santos makes words flow together as she writes. The story was both endearing & surprising. The only thing that disappointed me was that some of the characters from the first book (Love Walked In) were barely mentioned in this one. I can't wait until de Los Santos writes another book!
Belong to Me follows the intertwined lives of Cornelia, Piper, Lake and her son Dev.
I didn't pick up on the fact that Belong to Me is a continuation of Love Walked In. One of the main characters -- Cornelia -- was also in Love Walked In. Cornelia and her husband, Teo, have moved to the suburbs. Their neighbor, Piper, is caring for her terminally ill family and Dev -- Lake's gifted child -- struggles with understanding why his mother has uprooted them while finally feeling at home at school.
Like Love Walked In, Belong to Me alternates between the characters with Piper, Cornelia and Piper narrating chapters. I typically don't like that that type of narration, but in this instance I liked the voices of each of the characters.
A few pet peeves: I still find Cornelia and the overall writing style a little too precious. The main plot twist or revelation towards the end also annoyed me. It felt too forced and stretched credulity to a certain extent. I enjoyed reading about the friendships like Piper's relationship with her sick friend, Elizabeth -- and how our connections with people can cause sadness, but also joy and comfort.
This was an absolutely beautiful book. I liked it even better than the first book (Love Walked In). The story is lovely, I could barely put it down. The characters are all likeable in their own ways and I became so emotionally invested in them that even after I finished the book, I found myself thinking about them for days, wondering what they each went on to do. This is a great read for a vacation or any time when you want to be totally engrossed in your book.
From People Magazine (May 12, 2008)
Following her 2005 debut, 'Love Walked In', de los Santos catches up with hopeless romantic Cornelia Brown, freshly married and starting a new life in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Readers may recognize the author's woven narrative style: Cornelia's chapters alternate with those of Dev, a 13-year-old academic prodigy searching for his birth father, and new neighbor Piper, a standoffish social queen coping with the cancer of her best friend Elizabeth. At times, obstacles and solutions seem too tidy, but de los Santo makes up for the predictability with prose that shines in moments of tenderness, particularly when depicting the poignancy of death and the anguish of those left behind. In Elizabeth's final days, her husband "lay down next to her and whispered the story of the births of both children.... They gave her permission to go."
A story about a woman who moves out of the city with her husband, and into suburbia where she makes a new life for herself. Surprisingly to her, she makes new friends, and shares their ups & downs, triumphs & failures. She finds friendship where she thought she never would, and finds out a secret that borders on betrayal. A complex story, very moving. I really liked this book.
Excellent book! Apparently, this is a sequel to "Love Walked In" but I haven't read that one. It stands on its own quite well...meaning I didn't have to know the characters ahead of time. Cornelia and her husband Teo moved to the suburbs where Cornelia feels like a square peg in a round hole. She meets her neighbor, Piper, who apparently dislikes Cornelia on the spot. We then meet Elizabeth, Piper's best friend who is dying of cancer and see a whole side of Piper that you wouldn't believe existed. The characters are well developed and each has a wonderful depth to them. This is the first book I have read from this author and I will definitely read her first book and the third which is now out. Good read!
While I loved, loved, loved the whimsicality and relationships of "Love Walked In", I found Marisa De Los Santos' 2nd effort to be real in a way that was burdensome and depressing, while marveling over her gift of character development. While there are moments of levity and the story and overall themes are nearly flawless from a literary perspective, this isn't a book for the faint of heart, especially those of us who have experienced losses similar to those detailed in the novel.
I am trying very hard to like this book, but find myself skimming over pages to get the main thread of the storyline. Some writing is good, but then it weaves around all over the place, and one quickly can lose interest. Not a book I would recommend; maybe I should read the first book by this author. I must be missing something as so many readers love it!
Quite a surprise for a book that I only purchased because of the dust jacket and the give away price. Really an extra special story inside. Full characters. Wonderful continuity. Kinda surprise ending which only added to the whole. A wonderful read and worth the effort to do so. I enjoyed it immensly. I only review a few books and this is one of a few done. If you request it - you will enjoy it for sure.
Settings where it took place or characters you met:
* Setting: Philadelphia suburbs, modern day
* Cornelia Brown just moved to a new neighborhood (her hottie husband Teo is a oncologist at a nearby Philadelphia hospital) and finding it challenging to make female friends. Her prickly neighbor Piper Truitt doesn't exactly help; she is the Queen Bee of the neighborhood and finds Cornelia appalling. But when Cornelia meets Lakea single mother and waitress at a local restaurantthey become instant friends ... but Lake seems to have two sides to her that Cornelia has difficulty reconciling.
* Dev Tremain is Lake's only son, and their devotion to each other knows no bounds. So when Dev's intelligence gets him in trouble at his California high school, Lake packs them up and moves to the Philadelphia suburbs so Dev can attend a school for gifted students. But Dev is suspicious of Lake's motives and begins to think the move might have something to do with his father (who his mother refuses to discuss). So Dev begins his own search for his father, which takes some unexpected turns. Along the way, he experiences the joys and confusion of first love when he meets Clare (a special friend of Cornelia and Teo) who has had her own parental problems.
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:
* I liked how de los Santos gives Piper her own full and rich story line that makes this initially unlikable character a fully realized and complex woman. Like Cornelia, I came to love Piper, and I found her story very affecting and emotional. (Tissue Alert! Piper is dealing with the loss of her best friend Elizabeth to breast cancer and the breakdown of her marriage. More than once I got a bit teary reading this story line so you've been warned.)
* I liked how Dev is this whip smart kid who thinks about Darwin in his spare time but is just another bumbling, awkward teenager when he meets Clare and begins to have feelings for her. I thought de los Santos did a wonderful job of capturing those awkward, exhilarating and painful feelings that come with first love.
* I liked de los Santos's writing. The chapters alternate between Cornelia, Dev and Piper, and I thought de los Santos captured each character's unique voice. I especially enjoyed Cornelia and would totally be friends with her.
* I liked how the cover of the book doesn't make sense until the very end of the book. I first picked this book up because of the attractive cover, but then let it sit for awhile. Throughout the book, I was bothered that the cover seemed to have NOTHING to do with the story, so I was pleased (and impressed) when the cover made perfect sense when I was done.
5 Stars or less for your rating?
I'm giving the book 4 stars. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it wholeheartedly. Marisa de los Santos is a talented writer (this is only her second book), and I appreciate how she wasn't afraid to complicate things for her characters and give them lives that were complex and troubled (just like real life). It is such a pleasure when you "discover" a new author who excites you and makes you want more. (In fact, de los Santos reminds me quite a bit of one of my other favorite writers Lolly Winston ... who hasn't written nearly enough books in my opinion. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend Winston's books Good Grief and Happiness Sold Separately.)
My only complaint is that I didn't realize Belong to Me was a follow-up to de los Santos's first book, Love Walked In (which I believe deals with how Cornelia and Clare meet). I would have preferred to read them in order (although it doesn't affect your understanding or enjoyment of this book). I will definitely be reading Love Walked In and will make a spot for Marisa de los Santos's next book when it comes out.