So most of you know that I belong to a Book Club launched by the world famous Ginger (and if she’s not, she should be). Well this was our third book so far and my selection for the group. I had planned to plunk a review down on the Link over at her blog but decided I just had way too much to say about Marisa de los Santos (the author) and her book, Love Walked In, that it necessitated a post of its own.
There will probably be book spoilers throughout this review so if you haven’t finished it yet or plan to read it someday stop reading this now, make today that day, and come back when you’re done.
First of all I can not begin to express how much I recommend reading this book. The reason I picked it for Book Club is because my BFF had loaned me this author’s second book, Belong to Me a while back and the second I finished reading it I knew I would own every other book she’s ever written. As an aspiring novelist myself I was absolutely floored with the writing style. She’s like my model author, I wish more Chick-Lit writers approached their genre from this kind of intelligently written perspective.
She tells a story as if you are sitting and listening to your best friend tell it. Her approach to details and the setting is so easy that by page 30 you kind of feel like you’re there. I don’t mean in that way that you can imagine what’s happening, no, I mean you are actually part of the story she is so engaging.
Because I read her second book first I was already familiar with many of the characters and there were a few things that kind of became spoilers for me because I already knew they were going to happen. Though it did help to keep me confused when Teo was married to someone else, Cornelia’s sister no less, at the beginning of the book and not to Cornelia. But it also brought some clarity to a few things that happen in her second book, which I won’t spoil for the gals who I know picked it up already.
Normally I’m a huge fan of Chick-Lit, A) because I write it and B) because it’s generally a nice mindless getaway where I don’t feel any investment in the characters and, frankly, don’t really care what happens to them at the end of the story. Her books are just different. She writes in a way that you feel like you forgot to wish your friend Cornelia a Merry Christmas and should get on that immediately. I completely forgot what genre I was reading and simply enjoyed the story of these characters. I want to go and read her second book all over again now.
It was enjoyable reading from the perspective of a ten year old so far beyond her years due to the situations in her life that I had to constantly remind myself of Clare’s age. One thing that I figured out long before it was revealed was that Martin was her father. Knowing de los Santos’ writing style and more about Clare already, it was easy to pin point. But it didn’t detract from the build up of that part of the story either.
The one thing I was a little taken back by was how Clare was told that Martin died. I know their relationship was rocky and strained at best but it still seemed a little cold to me. I didn’t expect sobbing tears from Cornelia since the reader knows she’s not in love with him but that was the one part of the book that left me a little flat.
I loved how easy it was to fall in love with Clare but not take pity on her. You felt for her situation but just knew that somewhere inside she was going to be strong enough to face everything and couldn’t wait for the moment when she did. I also loved that it was so clear all along to the reader how much Teo loved Cornelia even though he would have never admitted it out loud until he was faced with the same information from the one he loved. The reader figures out good and early that he’s unhappy in his marriage but just how noble he was of a man to never say so out loud.
As a girl who spent years being best friends with a great guy who I literally just woke up one morning to realize I was in love with, that it had always been there and I just never let myself notice it before, I fully related to Cornelia’s affection for Teo. And it was brilliantly written into this story; you expected it but never saw it coming all at the same time.
Because this is my first review off the Book Club blog I don’t want anyone to be scared off from joining up with us, we don’t always read Chick-Lit-esque books. Our next pick is actually Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, a Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris who many of you have probably heard of as a humor writer and about as far from Chick-Lit as it gets!
Come on over and join in the fun! You don’t have to write a full blown review, just read along with us and toss a couple lines together after you finish giving your impressions. And everyone gets a turn to choose a book as we rotate month to month so if you’re a lover of a different genre then we all have a chance to gain some exposure to its awesomeness.