Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos

Here is a summary of Falling Together from the HarperCollins website:

What if saying hello to an old friend meant saying good-bye to life as you know it?

It’s been six years since Pen Calloway watched her best friends walk out of her life. And through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them. 

Pen, Cat, and Will met on their first day of college and formed what seemed like a magical and lifelong bond, only to see their friendship break apart amid the realities of adulthood. When, after years of silence, Cat—the bewitching, charismatic center of their group—e-mails Pen and Will with an urgent request to meet at their college reunion, they can’t refuse. But instead of a happy reconciliation, what awaits is a collision of past and present that sends Pen and Will, with Pen’s five-year-old daughter and Cat’s hostile husband in tow, on a journey across the world.

With her trademark wit, vivid prose, and gift for creating authentic, captivating characters, Marisa de los Santos returns with an emotionally resonant novel about our deepest human connections. As Pen and Will struggle to uncover the truth about Cat, they find more than they bargained for: startling truths about who they were before and who they are now. They must confront the reasons their friendship fell apart and discover how—and if—it can ever fall back together. 

My Review:
Falling Together is my first experience with Marisa de los Santos, and although I found the book enjoyable for the most part, I have to admit that reading this novel was not an overwhelmingly pleasant experience.  I love books that deal with friendships, both lost and found, but for some reason this one did not hit the mark for me.

Pen, Cat, and Will were best friends back in college, but their friendship ended suddenly, allowing them all to go their separate ways and figure out their lives on their own.  They all make their own mistakes along the way, which is probably one of the reasons that Pen and Will are so willing to put their lives on hold to search for Cat.  Maybe their lives would seem more logical if they could pick up their friendship with where it left off.

As Will and Penn make the commitment to search for Cat together, they unknowingly are allowing each other to search their own souls.  As they deal with secrets and hidden truths, Pen and Will finally accept something in each other that has been there throughout their entire lives.  If only they could have given the emotional support they each needed in the six years they were apart.

Although the summary indicates this novel was about searching for their friend Cat,  the actual search seemed to take up very little of the book.  A very small portion of the story was spent in the Philippines looking for her,  and  I think I would have enjoyed it more if the search was more extensive.  And then when they did find her, I thought the reunion could have been a bit more eventful.

So besides my reservations about this novel, I did find enjoyment from it.  This novel seemed to be more of a search for Pen and Will, but searching for the people they used to be.  The Philippines were described in a way that makes me want to hop on a plane tomorrow to walk on the beach enjoying a beautiful sunset.  With themes of friendship, forgiveness, and love, you may enjoy this book too.

My Rating:  3/5

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.


Harvee said...

I have this on my desk too for Amazon Vine. I started it but did not find her writing easy to read or as smooth as I'd like. Will do my best to keep going, however. Thanks for your thoughts.

bermudaonion said...

I've heard this isn't her best. Be sure to try another one of her books.

Marg said...

I would definitely recommend going back to read Belong to Me and the follow up book as both of those were excellent reads!

Jo-Jo said...

Harvee: I agree that it wasn't a smooth read at all and I found myself not looking forward to getting back to it.

Kathy and Marg: Thanks for letting me know the others are good. I have both of the previous books so I will be sure to pick them up! I will definitely not write her off.

Ti said...

I started Belong to Me a long time ago and loved what I read, but it was easy for me to put down (not a good sign) and I actually moved on to other books and never came back to it. For that reason, I have not picked this one up yet.

Jo-Jo said...

Ti: I probably wouldn't have finished it either, accept that it was a LibraryThing review copy.

Lisa said...

Think I just heard this one sliding back down Mt. TBR. I can never quite make up my mind on this one.

Serena said...

I've heard good and bad things about this one. Thanks for the honest review.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I haven't read this book, but enjoyed an earlier book by this author. Sorry this one was just okay.

Jo-Jo said...

Lisa: That has a tendency to happen after reading those 'so-so' reviews, doesn't it?

Serena: I guess my review included both good and bad so that kind of sums it up I guess.

Diane: I have found that even my favorite authors miss my mark sometimes!

Heather said...

I do believe that I have another of her books waiting on my shelf.

stacybuckeye said...

I really liked Love Walked In by this author, but it looks like I wouldn't really like this newest one.