Suzanne Z. (Highland Park, Illinois)
To Be or Not To Be?
Can old friends every return to their level of friendship that was developed so intimately in those college years? Can hidden feelings that were developed still say hidden when old friends meet again? Marisa De Los Santos in her new novel, Falling Together, explores these questions in the characters of Pen, Will and Cat. Somewhat developing a mystery of Pen and Will trying to find Cat deep emotions of all characters feelings are revealed. Ms. De Los Santos always does an engaging prose of relationships. I have always found that to be her great strength as an author. As her other books have shown, the reader really cares about these characters, not only their past lives but what has happened to them in the present. The book wont disappoint.
Bill B. (Irvine, CA)
Falling Together misses expectations
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a big fan of Marissa de los Santos. Loved her first two books. Think she is right up there with Sue Monk Kidd in the use of the English language par excellance. That is why it really pains me to say that I didn't think Falling Together was as good as her first two books.
I guess I could be more positive and say that this book is in de los Santos' top three but I also think there is a big fall off in the quality of Falling Together.
It is a slow starter. I opened the book expecting to find the author's excellent descriptions and prose that I remembered and it wasn't there. In all aspects it was a step below her earlier efforts. The first few chapters seemed superficial, choppy, and disjointed. It took a few chapters and some great dialog before I felt any kind of rapport or empathy with the characters, primarily Pen and Will. I didn't care about any of them at first and thought if they had been apart for 6 years with no contact, they might as well stay that way. But that would have made for a very short story and perseverance paid off. I eventually liked the main characters and their story.
Even with my negativity, I still recommend this book. Most people are going to like it. I liked it. I just had exceedingly high expectations that were not met. And the good news is if this is your first book by this author and you enjoyed reading it, you are really going to like her first two.
Gail G. (Northbrook, Illinois)
Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos
This was a fast read. However I didn't find the characters as endearing as the ones in her first two books. The use of the third friend "Cat" and making her so important in the story by word not action seemed unnecessary to me even a little bit of a waste. The only time she was important was when Jason entered the picture and she became part of the action. I found Will and Jaime and their mothers to be warm and engaging characters. Pen was not , to me, a real sympathetic person; she was too needy and lacking in personality--too weak. What I did find exceptional was the author's explanation of feelings and situations in the story beautifully narrated. For example, Will's mother's description of her new love. The outcome of the story seems to negate the title of the book which should not be so negative. It should be more uplifting in keeping with what happened in the story. In my opinion, because the outcome of the story is positive, the title should be, too. The theme of the story is that love conquers all. I found the book to be a good read and well written.
Melanie H. (Beaver, WV)
I think most people will be able to relate to this book. I like it because we all have people in the past whom we have had relationships with that impact our lives. The story also provides unexpected twists that keeps the reader intrigued.
Vicki O. (Boston, MA)
I was looking forward to reading this book, but I was disappointed. The story revolves around a somewhat unconventional reunion of three characters, all of whom left me cold. I found the plot hard to follow as bounced back and forth between the present and the past. The writing, particularly the dialogue, flowed easily and was quite polished. That was what kept me reading.
Kristine L. (The Woodlands, TX)
I had a difficult time competing this book once I hit the mid-point of the book. I felt as though the author was keeping a secret that did not need to be kept so tightly. I rarely read this genre but the author's bio intrigued me. It was a good reflection on college friends and bonding but lost me a little in the end.
Marjorie H. (Bedford, TX)
"Listen to you, thought Pen, you are straight out of the clucking sandbox." Actually, this whole book is out of a sandbox - unappealing child-adults that are as unrealistic as they get. The only sympathetic character is Cat - who manages to extract herself from this childish triangle. And when she tries to STAY away - she's hunted down by the idiot trio consisting of her husband (is he in 8th grade?) and two friends that I'd run away from. Adults who use words like "suck" and "freaky" give me the impression that these characters weren't well thought out - torn between adolescence and well...... adolescence.
Lola Lita summed it up when she says, "You must understand that this trip was very important to Cat. She wanted to be --- undisturbed." We all should have been undisturbed by this book.