Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos
Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins
Pen, Cat, and Will met on their first day of college and became an inseparable trio that lasted several years before dissolving once the realities of adulthood entered their lives. It’s been six years since that fateful day that ended their friendship, and Pen and Will suddenly receive emails from Cat begging for a reconciliation at their college reunion. But when Pen and Will reunite and Cat is nowhere in sight, they realize the emails they were sent had a different motive behind them than what they thought – and with Pen’s young daughter and Cat’s angry husband along with them, Pen and Will set out on a journey to discover the truth behind why their bestfriendships dissolved all those years ago.
Falling Together has received many lukewarm reviews, but I have to say that I actually quite enjoyed it. While I didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with this novel like I did de los Santos’ first two books, I thought Falling Together had its own merits and I honestly had a difficult time putting it down.
I have to admit that the story and characters weren’t quite as strong in Falling Together as what I’ve come to expect from de los Santos, but I still liked Pen and Will a LOT. It sort of broke my heart how they obviously loved one another and clearly were meant to be together but it was almost like Cat had gotten in the way for all those years… and then when Cat was gone, they got in each other’s way. It was frustrating but also made me hopeful throughout the novel for some real connection between the two of them to develop. It was interesting to me that the reader only got to know Cat through Pen’s and Will’s eyes, in effect really not getting to know the real Cat at all. I almost think de los Santos is going to write her next book about Cat, from Cat’s point of view, and if that happens I have a feeling I might end up liking Cat and respecting some of the seemingly wrong decisions she made.
What IS as strong in Falling Together as what I was expecting is the writing. De los Santos puts together the most beautiful phrases, and imparts serious wisdom in many of her characters’ conversations. There were so many beautiful passages that rang so true to me in this book that I can’t even begin to talk about them. I would find a gem of a passage on almost every page.
I think that if this book was written by anyone other than Marisa de los Santos, I would be loving it. But since I’ve come to expect perfection from her, this one was only a like for me. It’s a beautiful novel but doesn’t quite live up to her first two books, which is rather unfortunate. I still really enjoyed it, though, so I would suggest you give it a try if you are a fan of her work. If you are going to read her books for the first time, however, I would recommend starting with Love Walked In.