Review and Giveaway: Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos

imageDB-1.cgiBelong to Me by Marisa de los Santos starts out like this: 

“My fall from suburban grace, or, more accurately, my failure to achieve the merest molehill of suburban grace from which to fall, began with a dinner party and a perfectly innocent, modestly clever, and only faintly quirky remark about Armand Assante.” 

It begins as a fish out of water story about Cornelia Brown, a character from de los Santos’ debut novel, Love Walked In, which I did not read.  No matter.  I didn’t even realize this was a continuation of another book until after I’d read it.  It was great all by itself!

Cornelia and her handsome doctor hubby, Teo, move to suburbia from the city, and pretty soon they are getting to know people.  Teo, by the way, is Handsome with a capital H.  The frequent reminders of his hotness made me think of the way Stephenie Meyers described Edward in Twilight.  He’s attractive; very, very attractive, and doesn’t seem to know it.  Mr. Modest.  

We don’t get to know Teo that well, although he plays a pivotal role in the story.  Belong to Me is more about women, and their relationships with each other.  Ok, about their relationships with men, too.  But it’s more a book about women.  Piper from across the street is a snooty beyotch (did I spell that right??); a married stay at home mom who is critical of everyone.  Right off the bat, she makes comments about Cornelia’s name, hair, and yard.  Pipe’s BFF Elizabeth, sadly, is battling cancer, which is awful but really brings out the human side of Piper.  Cornelia befriends a waitress named Lake who seems smart and blissfully normal (and nicknames Piper “Viper”- ingratiating herself to Cornelia instantly).  But Lake has a secret- a big one.  She also has a son, 13 year old Dev, with a genius IQ.  And Clare is a frequent guest at Cornelia and Teo’s house, who Dev falls for, hard.  Ah, first love. 

It was interesting to see the transformation that takes place in the characters, especially Piper. All her perfectionism and controlling behaviors mask an inner self doubt and lack of confidence, and when things beyond her control threaten her carefully constructed life, it forces her to take a closer look at the things that truly matter- love, friends, family- not the manicured lawn or the perfect crease in the sleeve of her blouse.  Even Cornelia likes her by the end of the book.  

The story is told from 3 points of view in alternating chapters- Cornelia, Piper, and Dev.  De los Santos did a great job of keeping their voices unique- I could easily tell who was telling the story.  Cornelia had such an interesting vocabulary, Piper was really into appearances and denial, Dev was teenage-awkward and brilliant in the best possible way.  The characters had a depth that made them very realistic to me. 

There’s money, private schools, cancer and death, secrets and lies, inappropriate relationships, affairs, and children- legitimate and otherwise.  Does it sound a bit like a soap opera?  I guess it does, but Santos is able to intertwine these characters and their stories in such a way that the reader truly cares about them.  The book is filled with hope and friends, laughter and tears, and the warm feeling that comes from knowing we belong to the ones who love us.  My emotions were all over the map while reading Belong to Me, and the unexpected ending was a real treat.  De los Santos is a truly gifted writer.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.  

Please visit Marisa de los Santos at her website, and check out the wonderful guest post she wrote for me about balancing family life with writing and working from home.

Oh!  OH!  I almost forgot!  Harper Collins is generously offering copies of Belong to Me to 3 lucky readers!  Leave a comment by Monday, May 25th, for a chance to win!!

101 Responses

  1. I’m tossing my hat in the ring for the contest. I’ve seen this all over the blogging world. I’d love to try it out!

    Sheri

  2. Enter me! I heard the author speak at Book Group Expo, and became interested in this book. I bought Love Walked In, which has become buried in my to-read pile, I should dig it out!

    Thanks,
    laura
    i-comment@deLeons.com

  3. Thanks for the great giveaway. I’d love to be entered.

  4. this sounds like a great book for a summer read. I Hope I win. Just found your blog, interesting.
    Rebecca

  5. I loved both Love Walked In and Belong to Me. You really do get very involved with the characters, and I love de los Santos’s writing style. I’m glad you liked it.

  6. I love the character names! Please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  7. I’d love to win!

  8. Please include me in this drawing. Yes, it does sound like a soap opera – a captivating one. Thanks for the opportunity! Indigo

  9. Please enter me for this book giveaway. Thanks

  10. Please enter my name in the drawing. I’ve had this book on my wishlist for awhile and would love to win a copy. Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  11. I’ve got “Loved Walked In” in my TBR pile. I’d love to be entered to win “Belong to Me”–then I could read them back to back!

  12. Hi! Just posted this on Win A Book. No need to enter me.

  13. I have heard such wonderful things about this author and would love to be entered in the giveaway.

    Mstermind1 at gmail dot com

  14. I read Love Walked In and really enjoyed it. I’ve had this on my TBR for forever. Would love to enter.

  15. Enter me in the giveaway! Sounds like a good read.

  16. I’d like to be included!

  17. Oh, me, me, pick me!!🙂 I tweeted about this, just an FYI!

  18. This looks great! Please enter me!

    BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

  19. i have been putting off reading this until i get my paws on ‘love walked in’, but after reading your review i see that i need not read it first! yay for your review and the giveaway!

  20. I would love to be entered, the cover is so appealing!

  21. This is the first time I’ve heard of Belong to Me, and I like what I see!

    jaam121388 at yahoo dot com

  22. Please add me in to the contest. This really sounds like a great book.

    sharon54220@gmail.com

  23. I loved this book — not quite as much as “Love Walked In” but quite a bit. It was definitely interesting to read last year when I was the new person moving into a neighborhood and dealing with some of the same concerns.

  24. Sounds interesting… I would love to read it.

    gypsyrover21(at)yahoo(dot)ca

  25. Thanks for the nudge. I read “Love Walked In” last year and really enjoyed it. I bought “Return to Me” immediately after, but it’s been sitting on the shelf all this time, continually passed over. Must pull it out!

  26. I’d love to add this to my summer stack!

    mj.coward[at]gmail.com

  27. Please enter me. I love books like this!

    jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

  28. Woo hoo! Please count me in. Thanks so much!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  29. This sounds like a fun read! pls count me in!

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

  30. Please enter me, too … this sounds like just my kind of story!

  31. Please include my name in your giveaway.
    Thanks
    Carlene
    iluvreading(at)verizon.net

  32. Yeay! This one is on my wish list!

    vvperesk@gmail.com

  33. Not entering!! I’ve read both of her books, and adored both of them. I also have to add I had the pleasure of meeting the author (also twice) at the Book Group Expo. She was so nice, and it’s wonderful to see how successful and popular her books are!

  34. I’ve heard good things about this book, so I’d love to be entered. Thanks!

    –Anna
    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

  35. This sounds like a very good story. I like reading about women-friends’ relationships.

  36. I would love to play please! Thanks!

  37. I would love to win a copy of this book. I’ve heard such great things about it.

    Thank you!

  38. […] Lisa at Books on the Brain is giving away three copies of Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos – another fabulous […]

  39. I thought LOVE WALKED IN was fun. It would be great to win this title. Thanks for the chance!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  40. No need to enter me in the giveaway, Lisa, but I just wanted to let you know that based on your reaction to this book I think you’ll also enjoy Love Walked In. It’s not as much about friendships (it is about that, but less so) and more about the relationships between people, Cornelia figuring herself out, etc. I own and loved them both.

  41. […] it! Heather on Review and Giveaway: Belong t…gwendolyn b. on Review and Giveaway: Belong t…BOOKS AND MOVIES … on Review and […]

  42. I love Marisa’s writing and I’d love to win a copy of her book!

    reading_frenzy@yahoo.com

  43. I’d love a chance to win. 😀 Your review made me laugh.

  44. I really enjoyed Marisa’s guest post and would love to be entered in the draw if it is open internationally.

    I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

  45. This is a new author to me! I would love to read this second installment of Cornelia’s life and then I would probably double back and read the first book. Thanks for the chance.

  46. I really enjoyed Love Walked In so I’d love a chance at winning this one. Thanks!

  47. I’d love to read this book – please count me in!

    Thanks,
    megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

  48. This sounds like such a good read! Please enter me.

    sarahbcrawford(at)gmail(dot)com

  49. I would love a chance to win this book. Thanks!

    kherbrand at comcast dot net

  50. […] author of the New York Times Bestseller Love Walked In and Belong to Me (review and giveaway HERE), is guest posting today about balancing work and family. Thanks, Marisa, for this wonderful […]

  51. […] author of the New York Times Bestseller Love Walked In and Belong to Me (review and giveaway HERE), is guest posting today about balancing work and family.  Thanks, Marisa, for this wonderful […]

  52. […] On The Brain ~ "Belong To Me" By Marisa De Los Santos Book Giveaway/May25 Review and Giveaway: Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos Books on the Brain […]

  53. Please enter me in your giveaway

    “Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:
    CoolCanucks.ca”

  54. Looks wonderful. Please include me in your draw. Thanks.

  55. would love to win this

  56. I’d love a chance to win this – it looks interesting!

  57. I would love to read this, it looks great!

  58. Oh, please enter me!! Thanks for the chance!!

  59. I’d love to win!

  60. Sounds like a good book, one I would love to read. Please enter me. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  61. I’d love to win, I feel like part of a community with the online book clubs, they’re great…

  62. Just read a great review of this book in the Costco magazine of all places. I was thinking I would need to read the first book since this is a sort of sequel so nice to hear you liked it for itself. Definitely interested in reading this one!

  63. I’ve had this on my TBR list for quite some time. I’d love a chance to win it!

    Thanks so much,

    mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

  64. I really want to read this book. I’m planning on getting it anyway, but may as well try to win it!

    Thanks!

  65. What an interesting book! Please enter me in the giveaway.

  66. looks wonderful thanks for the giveaway

  67. I have heard great things about this book Thank you for the contest

  68. Sounds like a great book! Please enter me in the contest.

  69. Thanks for the contest! Please enter me!

  70. This book looks like it is right up my alley!

  71. Looks great. enter me please.

    Thanks

  72. Put my name in too. I like well written books with great plots. And, I need to read some fiction for a change.

  73. I would love to read this book!!!

  74. This is the first I’ve heard of this book, but it sounds fantastic. I’d love to win a copy!

  75. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance

  76. I’m not familar with the author, however it sounds like an interesting book.

  77. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

  78. I love finding new authors!
    Thanks

  79. Sounds interesting. Thanks!

  80. Oh how I would love to win this book! Thanks for hosting this contest.

  81. would love to add this to my summer reading pile.

    madamerkf at aol dot com

  82. I’d love to win this! Sign me up.

  83. This sounds VERY interesting and a fun read – please enter me and thank you kindly!

  84. I have had this on my tbr list since I first found out about it. I’d love a chance to read it. Thanks!

  85. Just found your blog from a link at Jo Jo Loves To Read. I’d love to win this book!!

  86. WOnderful giveaway. WOuld love to read this story.

  87. I’d love to read this book!

  88. Please count me in for the drawing, thanks!

  89. I just finished finished Love Walked In and would really like to win this one so I can read it too! Thanks!

    heaven-help-us(at)live(dot)com

  90. I read Love Walked In about a year ago and I really loved the author’s storytelling abilities, and her characters are unforgettable. Would love to win a copy of this new novel by Marisa de los Santos!

  91. I would love to read this.

    thanks so much!

    darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

  92. Sounds like a good read!🙂

  93. Please count me in, too.
    Thanks for the giveaway

  94. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  95. I would love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway. Please add me.

  96. I would like to participate. Thanks!

  97. Sounds good! Please add me too.

  98. BELONG TO ME should belong to me. I am an avid reader and giver of books for friends and students. Go ahead and surprise me with a copy of your latest.

  99. Same as above. Just notify me or send it on!

  100. I would love to read this book.Thank you!

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