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The Precious One

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From the bestselling author of Belong to Me, Love Walked In, and Falling Together comes a captivating novel about friendship, family, second chances, and the redemptive power of love

In all her life, Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary — professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk: her father.

Seventeen years ago, Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. In all that time, Taisy’s family has seen Wilson, Caroline, and their daughter Willow only once.

Why then, is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit, encouraging her to meet her pretty sister — a teenager who views her with jealousy, mistrust, and grudging admiration? Why, now, does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir?

Told in alternating voices — Taisy’s strong, unsparing observations and Willow’s naive, heartbreakingly earnest yearnings — The Precious One is an unforgettable novel of family secrets, lost love, and dangerous obsession, a captivating tale with the deep characterization, piercing emotional resonance, and heartfelt insight that are the hallmarks of Marisa de los Santos’s beloved works.

360 pages, Paperback

First published March 24, 2015

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About the author

Marisa de los Santos

21 books2,947 followers
Marisa de los Santos is the New York Times bestselling author of LOVE WALKED IN, BELONG TO ME, FALLING TOGETHER, THE PRECIOUS ONE, and her newest novel, which continues with characters from the first two, I'LL BE YOUR BLUE SKY.

Marisa has also co-authored, with her husband David Teague, two novels for middle grade readers: SAVING LUCAS BIGGS and CONNECT THE STARS.

Marisa and David live in Wilmington, Delaware with their two children, Charles and Annabel, and their Yorkies, Finny and Huxley. Marisa is currently at work on her sixth novel for adults, I'D GIVE ANYTHING.

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5 stars
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155 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,421 reviews
Profile Image for Melinda.
1,020 reviews
March 23, 2015
I thought this book was good, I know the general audience diagrees and feels it is outstanding, obviously I am the minority.

Several sensitive subject matters are addressed. The cast is lively and diverse. The writing is liquid gold, just flows from each page. Weaving several plots is accomplished seamlessly.

The areas I found problematic - the heavy topics introduced didn't have the weighty closure called for, a big no no for this reader. If you are going to broach sensitive topics please follow through with appropriate consequences, solutions. Glossing over meaty issues isn't the way it should be done, at least in my eyes. As is the issues are utterly predictable and impractical. The level of predictability is incredibly high. The stereotype for homeschooled children is typical and often a misnomer, I know, my son was homeschooled by yours truly and was a social butterfly as most homeschooled children are. Willow grated my nerves, her behavior was childlike especially for a 16 year old.

A good read, perhaps I approached it more seriously than I should have, you decide how it suits your rating spectrum.
Profile Image for Catherine McKenzie.
Author 27 books4,602 followers
January 31, 2015
I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book and I raced through it in a couple of days. In fact, it was the first time in a while that I had been completely engrossed in a book. Marisa de los Santos' books are always effortless reads and this is no exception. A unique family story about two very different sisters who begin as strangers and end up saving one another. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for BookLover.
385 reviews80 followers
May 16, 2017
The Precious One is my first read by Marisa de los Santos. She is a fantastic storyteller. I LOVED this book. I found Taisy and Willow’s alternating voices completely engaging.

Taisy had unresolved issues from her past, but she didn’t let them get in the way of striving for happiness. I loved her interactions with each and every character in the book. She was very likeable and her main flaw, as I saw it, was her desire to get love and approval from the one source that was never willing to give it to her.

Willow was young, innocent and painfully awkward from a sheltered upbringing. Her narrative was funny and heartwarming. She was so skewed in her view on her sister and life in general, thanks to Wilson’s almost singular influence on her.

The two story lines, which intersected throughout the story were beautifully told. Though I found myself momentarily annoyed when a chapter switched to the alternating point of view, it didn’t take long to get engrossed in the story again.

Ben, Caro and even Marcus were all great additions to the story and how it unfolded. Ben, in particular, was a favourite of mine.

I can honestly say that Wilson had NOT ONE redeeming character trait and I truly hated him. I’m still not clear on whether that was the point or if I was supposed to soften to him based on his relationship with Willow and stories of his past. If that was the point, I missed it.

Despite the absence of a “perfect” happy ending where everything gets tied up into a pretty bow, the ending was very satisfying and gave me everything I was hoping to get from the story.

Great story! I will definitely be reading more by this author.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
462 reviews289 followers
June 2, 2018
The two characters of Taisy and Willow were both well drawn with distinct characteristics making it easy to follow both sets of stories. The writing was ok and plot wise it was interesting enough to keep my attention. I just found the dialogue a little bit forced and unrealistic at times, plus I almost gave up on the book as the narrator voicing Willow got on my nerves so much so that I switched over to reading the book instead and it seemed to make the book more tolerable and even enjoyable.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,735 reviews14.1k followers
February 28, 2015
I was reading all the reviews of four and five stars and wondering why this book didn't affect me the way it did many of the other readers. Not that there is anything wrong with this book, it was good, a comfort read if you will and somewhat predictable. I enjoyed the character of Taisy but found the character of Willow at times irritating. Think at sixteen she acted very child like, in the book this seems to be the result of homeschooling, awkwardness in social settings. Although I suppose there are children who are homeschooled that have this problem, I know many including my son's wife and her nor her siblings acted anything like this.

Did deal with some weighty issues in a respectful way and that I appreciated. So for me this was good, but not anything as special as other readers seem to find it.

ARC from publisher.
Profile Image for Carol Brill.
Author 3 books154 followers
July 4, 2015
A well written story, with sensitively drawn point of view characters, about relationships of every kind--parent/child, siblings, first love, lost lost, and a creepy one I won't describe so I don't spoil it.
Thirty-something Eustacia aka "Taisy" yearns for her brilliant, self-centered father's love even though he abandoned her, her twin brother, Marcus, and their Mom years ago. Wilson, was a cold, critical, jerk of a father to Marcus and Taisy. He is totally different with his new family, clearly worshipping his sheltered, home-schooled, teenage daughter, Willow. After, a serious heart attack, Wilson sends for Taisy. Even though he has ignored her for years, she can't resist his invitation, hoping he finally realizes he loves her, too.
Told from Taisy and Willow's alternating points of view, the story that unfolds reveals heartbreaking family secrets and the healing power of family bonds.
Profile Image for Susan Liston.
1,311 reviews36 followers
August 31, 2015
Well it pains me to give this book one star, because it started out with such promise. I have never read this author before but I loved the way she writes, and I was quite engrossed for a time. Then it took a big jump off the cliff and fell into a stale pool of chick-lit-ish nonsense. The seemingly cruel father, who started out as an intriguing character, loses all credibility and becomes just silly. The half-sisters,one 35, one 16, who tell the story in alternating chapters, BOTH end up with The Perfect Man...one per book is bad enough, but TWO? And one has a yorkie named "Pidwit", because that is how he said "Piglet" as a child? And the teenage boyfriend is late taking his handsome swimmer's bod to practice because he is so engrossed with his discussion with our heroine of "Middlemarch"?? MIDDLEMARCH. Enough enough, I do not want to projectile vomit on a library book. The second we discover that a young male teacher is "showing an interest" in our teenage sister I thought, please don't turn out to be a either a pathetic loser or a psycho perv (He did, how about a little of both?) No spoilers here, this book was VERY predictable. Because I did like her writing so much, I am willing to investigate her other books, hopefully this one was just a misfire.
Profile Image for Jan.
203 reviews25 followers
June 12, 2015
I have read and liked de los Santos’ three previous novels. My note after reading “Falling Together” was “Just loved this -- the humor, the wit, the writing, the wisdom, the characters, the sensitivity, the understanding of human nature.” I looked forward to her newest work.

But alas, what may have fallen together in the third novel just fell totally apart in the fourth, at least for me. I am honestly stunned that the only aspect I can praise in “The Precious One” is the writing.

Let’s start with arrogant, controlling, bewildering, very unlikeable Wilson Cleary, who has wreaked havoc in the lives of nearly all of his family members, those he inexplicably abandoned as well as those he supported. Yet Wilson remains one-dimensional throughout, with only weak efforts to explain the causes of his behaviors. His two daughters, from Wilson’s two marriages, come together when Taisie is 35 and Willow 16. Each holds a dim view of the other, and each yearns to please Wilson, the rejected daughter as much as, if not more than, the precious one, apple-of-her-father’s-jaded-eye. Since the story is told from the two women’s viewpoints, you can predict that they do not remain enemies for long, though it’s a rough road to understanding each other and how to stand up to their father.

But what about other Wilson-infected characters, his son, his first wife, his sister? We know their feelings, we even see them at events which Wilson attends (against his wishes), but no resolution is offered for them.

Then there are the romances, the truest, truest love contrasted with the very creepiest, the former way over the top for high-schoolers, the latter also left unresolved and in a most unsatisfying way. And the melodrama as the novel’s end approached left me shaking my head.

All this and no humor, wit, or wisdom, and only little sensitivity and understanding of human nature. I waited for redemption, I wanted it, but with none I just really, really could not like “The Precious One.”
Profile Image for Maria.
333 reviews34 followers
March 26, 2015
There were multiple issues I had with this book but probably the most frustrating one was that none of the characters seemed to behave in a realistic manner. I also had serious problems when it came to actually liking and relating with either of the protagonists. Despite their diffrent backgrounds and age gap, found the voices of the two sisters to be too similar. And what on Earth was it with that soap opera ending?
I also didn't appreciate the fact that we never get to find out why the father behaved so differently with his kids. It seems he was simply determined from the very beginning to adore his second wife and daughter and hate the first ones. Or better said, the author simply wanted him to behave like this for no reason whatsoever.
Alltogether a too ambitous project that could have definitely been better had some narrative threads been dropped (the Bec story, Taisy's friend, the aunt... Just to name a few).
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,338 reviews696 followers
May 25, 2015
I’m a big fan of novels told in varying voices, from varying perspectives. “The Precious One” uses this format to tell the tale of two families with the same formidable patriarch. Two sisters, Taisy and Willow, regard their father, Wilson, in diverse fashion. Willow sees him as a supreme being, while Taisy views him as a pompous bully.

Marisa de los Santos is skilled in her character development. Each sister is witty and likeable and both have good reason for their ideas of their father. In each narrative, the reader learns of their respective upbringing. Taisy is in her mid thirties and Wilson left her family when she was 18 after a harsh childhood. Willow is 16, and the delight of her father(therefore the precious one). But the reader learns that being the delight isn’t necessarily healthy or wonderful. Second families are fodder for much speculation, and all too common in this era. De Los Santos does a great job imagining a story of half sisters and their tale.

“The Precious One” is enjoyable book candy; the perfect beach read. It’s engaging, funny, and absorbing. I highly recommend it for a fun summer read.
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,491 reviews9 followers
March 3, 2015
Taisy agrees to meet up with her estranged father Wilson and his strange new family after being summoned from his sick bed. A very full-of-himself scientist/professor, he wants Taisy to ghost write the story of his rise to success. Unfortunately for the spoiled, beloved, teenager Willow, the only by-product of his new marriage, that means sharing her father for the first time with someone else, as Taisy moves into their pool house to begin her research. Willow feels contempt and jealousy towards Taisy. Not to worry, though, because to hear Wilson talk about his daughter Willow, it is obvious he will never use the "daughter" word when referring to his firstborn Taisy. Wilson is a despicable man, much too obvious in his adoration for his precious Willow. For Taisy, though, she sees this as her chance to overcome some issues with her father, get to know Willow, and see what her old flame Ben has been up to following their ugly breakup 17 years prior, which was thanks to Wilson.

The plot is thickened when Willow, home schooled all her life, suddenly is enrolled in public school and must learn to cope with cliques, a teacher with improper intentions, gossip, and young love. Taisy takes on her new role as the older sister, and it was rather touching how their relationship does an about face and we see Willow gradually assimilate into a more normal, likeable teenager than she ever was before.

Maybe a little predictable and not entirely believable, but the author writes with such wit, intelligence, and sensitivity that I just went along for the ride and looked forward to whatever was coming. Thanks to Goodreads first reads for an Advanced Readers Edition.
Profile Image for Myrna.
708 reviews
August 11, 2016
5★s for the audiobook! The narrators did an outstanding job!

The Precious One is a well written, character driven, chick lit book told through alternating POVs. I definitely found myself caring about the characters, except for Wilson, their father. The author did a great job of portraying Wilson in an unsympathetic, unpleasant manner. Besides complex family dynamics, the novel includes some teen angst, love, and a few surprises. I highly recommend the audiobook.

Profile Image for Roxanne Meek.
510 reviews16 followers
March 24, 2015
I wanted to take my time writing this review to do the book justice and to think about all of the things Marisa and The Precious One gave me. I was given an Advanced Reader's Edition which arrived Christmas Eve ( I know... A gift right?) and it was indeed. Even with all of the craziness of Christmas I couldn't put it down. Written in 2 voices similar to Love Walked In, one older sister Taisy and one younger, a teen of 16 Willow, it flipped back and forth between them softly and effortlessly. Willow was my favorite character and I loved her from the minute I met her. The story itself doesn't disappoint and flies by in sad and tragic ways right up until the ending, which you think is all coming together in a nice neat happy package, and then it doesn't.

The book is full of soft and gentle words and sentences that are warm and cover you like a blanket. Marisa de los Santos's writing fills my heart in this way. "I remember being hot, hot in that rosy cheeked, hair stuck to your forehead, baked bread way that you get in winter, when you're 6". Or, "I wondered what it would be like to do something so well, to carry that around in your body like a secret, every day, all the time." There are so many quotes that I loved but you have to read the book to really appreciate them.

For anyone who hasn't read any other of Marisa de los Santos's books, read them all. They are all wonderful. The Precious One comes out in March 2015. Mark the day and buy yourself a gift to read, enjoy and pass on to someone you love. I guarantee you will be reading them all because "Yeah well it's true that once you've had wonder, it's hard to get used to not having it." 5 Stars!! xxoo
Profile Image for Kathleen.
Author 9 books75 followers
January 23, 2015
I loved this book! Marisa's writing is like no one else's, and the characters leap off the page. A poignant, funny, beautifully told story about the ties that bind—and sometimes fray and break. It's a story about siblings, and parents and children, and lovers, and the odd ways families fall apart and come together. Willow, who's 16, is brilliant but so sheltered that she has little idea how to cope with a real world filled with delight and danger in equal measure. Her once-estranged sister Taisy is solving puzzles of her own, from the mystery of her aloof father's past to the tangled puzzle of feelings she has for her former boyfriend, Ben. I was sorry to turn the last page so I couldn't live with Taisy and Willow a little longer.
Profile Image for Kari.
3,615 reviews86 followers
December 17, 2015
I'm really on the fence about The Precious One. There were parts I loved and parts I really didn't. I really liked Taisy. I thought that despite how her father treated her and her family, she grew into a responsible and caring adult. I loved her second chance story line with the love of her life, Ben. In fact, I would have loved if the book focused on them more. I also ended up liking Willow. In the beginning, I wasn't warming up to her, but she ended up being the most changed in the end. It was nice to see her become more of a normal teenager.

What I didn't like about the story was the rest. The part involving Willow and her teacher made me very uncomfortable. I was bothered at the lack of action taken by Taisy after she found out. Why weren't the police called? Or at least the principal of the school? That part didn't fly with me. In fact that entire part really didn't need to be a part of the book. I also found myself laughing at the reveal of Wilson's past and how it shaped him into the man he was. It was kind of a letdown. So, in the end I would say this was good, but not amazing.
Profile Image for Therese Walsh.
Author 6 books492 followers
March 24, 2015
When a willfull, overbearing father feels he's failed with his first family--or they've failed him--he makes a choice. Start over. This is a story about two very different sisters, a generation apart, and the unusual way they face a family crisis--and the past. Poignant, funny, quirky, and full of voice. I loved every page of this novel, and can't remember a time that I smiled more while reading a book. Wonderful characters, structure, and voice. The Precious One will definitely be at home on my Keeper Shelf.
Profile Image for Kara.
228 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2018
I did really like this story but i was left wondering if the book was really written for a teenage reader. The love stories were idealistic, the father one dimensionally cold and heartless and Taisy one dimensionally optimistic and supportive. Even the abuse story line was all a bit unrealistic. Having said all this I didn't put the book down.
Profile Image for Karin.
1,361 reviews9 followers
April 1, 2017
Taisy and Willow, very nearly one generation apart, sisters who don't know each other, are thrown together when their father, Wilson, invites Taisy to visit after he suffers a heart attack. Marisa de los Santos does a lovely job of the two intertwining stories each sister tells. While this is not literary fiction and so doesn't dig into the pithy depths of everything, it is fine story telling nevertheless. My favourite novel of de los Santos' is still Love Walked In, but this still warrants 4 stars.
Profile Image for Allison.
Author 14 books1,706 followers
April 18, 2015
The book blew. my. socks. off.

I wish I could say it more eloquently - as a writer, I should be able to, but I read it with breathless wonder, amazed at de los Santos's gift for beautiful prose, damaged but lovable characters, and dizzy, spinning plots. Honestly, I loved every last page and nearly every last sentence. Certainly, one of my favorite books to come along in recent memory, one that I couldn't wait to finish and yet regretted finishing all the same.
Profile Image for Kim.
699 reviews
October 24, 2019
This was hard for me to read. I love Marisa de los Santos's books. This one not so much. Wilson is a total douchebag. Taisy is a total doormat. The only characters I really liked were Marcus and Caro. This one kinda made me mad so I'm moving on. LOL
Profile Image for Amy.
1,617 reviews165 followers
April 4, 2015
It is amazing that Taisy and Marcus have turned out as well as they have. Actually, it is a testament to their mother that the twins are fairly grounded, reasonable, and clear-thinking adults. Goodness knows that Wilson Cleary did everything he could to insure that his two older children emerged from his grasp as insecure, mewling weaklings.

Not that Wilson would agree. He likely would blame his first wife for any shortcomings in his children.

The good news for Wilson is that he gets a do-over, and it comes in the form of his much-younger wife Caro and his sixteen-year-old daughter Willow. In the latter, he has an unformed mound of clay with which his Promethean hands can mold into a sort of Super Child, the person Taisy and Marcus could have been. In Caro, he has a willing supplicant who accedes to his wishes.

Taisy and Marcus have seen virtually nothing of their father in nearly fifteen years, so when he phones Taisy and asks her to come to him, she first wants to demur. But Wilson's pull is too strong; his allure as the father she still desperately wants to please governs Taisy too distinctly for her to turn him down. So she goes to him, curious as to his motives.

Meanwhile, Willow is not so sure she wants Taisy around. The fact that Wilson has had no contact with his other daughter for fifteen years signifies the importance of Willow in his life, cementing her position as Favorite Child. After he suffers a heart attack, though, Wilson's health issues impact Willow in a most unexpected way. No longer is she cosseted and home schooled. Now she is thrown into a private school where she knows no one and has no idea how to comport herself. She is accustomed to her father's demands, not those of fellow teens.

What Willow does not know - what she cannot see - is that she needs Taisy. While Taisy may feel a connection to her half-sister, that sentiment most assuredly is not shared by the younger Cleary girl.For all of her preternatural maturity, Willow has a lot of growing up to do. She not only is unlearned in the ways of the world, she is someone of whom sacrifice has never been required. Taisy, though, knows sacrifice all too well. She had to make one when she was only a little older than Willow, and its consequences continue to affect her. She recognizes in Willow someone who has been manipulated by Wilson but who can nonetheless thrive.

Marisa de los Santos has written a lovely, evocative novel that is beautiful and emotional to read. As much as I wanted to dislike Willow and her false sense of superiority, I couldn't help but sympathize for her. She's in an impossible situation. Always adored, always preferred, yet colossally unaware of the world outside her very small kingdom.

This naïveté causes potential harm when Willow comes under the thrall of someone whose interests in her may not be appropriate, much less beneficial. Fortunately for her, she has Taisy. She also has a new friendship with a boy in her class.

The more heartbreaking sister of the two, Taisy's blind hope that her father will appreciate and love her needs to die a swift death. Readers - and Marcus - can see what Taisy cannot: Wilson will never cherish her. She will never be her father's "precious one," and wanting it to happen will only end in sadness. When she returns home to her father, Taisy also returns to a former love, someone she has not been able to forget. This man is Taisy's "precious one," and she dearly wants to a second chance.

That, in essence, is the underlying motif of this book: second chances. Wilson gets his with Caro and Willow; Taisy gets hers when she goes to visit her father; Willow's comes when she gets to be, at last, a "normal" teenager. There are other characters who get second chances, and nearly all of them take advantage of those opportunities. One, in particular, does not, but then again, de los Santos never deludes you into thinking this person might change.

Parts of this book made me cry, parts made me laugh. Marcus is hilarious, and I wish he had been a bigger player. Then again, if he had, perhaps Taisy wouldn't have had to make the decisions she does. Perhaps she wouldn't have grown up quite the way she does. Certainly her relationship with Willow would not have had a chance to develop. The twins' mother, too, is interesting, although I had a hard time finding any sort of foundation for her marriage to Wilson.

This is not a perfect book. There is a plot hole (or two), and some of the threads are a tied a little too neatly. Still, though, de los Santos's writing is exceptional and her story utterly enjoyable.

Published on VoxLibris.net
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,304 reviews220 followers
August 24, 2015
Grade: C-

I usually start my reviews with a short description of the novel. Instead, you'll get the picture of this character driven story through my descriptions of the characters and writing. Told from the first person perspectives of thirty-five-year-old Taisey and her sixteen-year-old sister Willow, aka THE PRECIOUS ONE, these half-sisters were raised by two very different, but the same father, Wilson.

Wilson is the epitome of an over-the-top, one dimensional father who dotes on his youngest but emotionally abuses and abandons Taisey and her twin brother. He's cold, controlling and cruel. While I'm sure a person like this could exist, his lack of redeeming qualities made him more cartoonish than believable. I also couldn't understand why his seemingly normal wife put up with the way he treated his twins and their daughter.

Willow and Taisey's chapters had virtually the same voice, and at times I had trouble distinguishing whose chapter as whose. Marisa de los Santos can write beautiful prose, unfortunately Willow's voice, which was supposed to be intellectual, was so over the top I can't picture any teenager speaking with the words and sentences as she did. Though she was jealous of Taisey and immature, she was easy to sympathize with due to her suffocating sheltered upbringing. I could see she was drawn in by the teacher/predator because of her relationship with Wilson and her lack of social skills and experiences.

I loved Taisey, her childlike wish for her father's approval, her fierce devotion to family, her willingness to forgive.

THE PRECIOUS ONE felt overwritten to the point of pretentiousness. I enjoyed de los Santos's previous books much more than this one. This is not a plot driven novel, though the plots of who was Wilson, Willow/teacher/boyfriend and Taisey's teenage boyfriend did have some interest, the Why Wilson was so awful never made me believe the terrible incident (and his father's punishment was horrific) caused him to become the way he was. The Archie story made me uncomfortable as an animal lover.

I got THE PRECIOUS ONE on a Kindle Daily Deal for $1.99 and I wouldn't recommend paying more than that.
Profile Image for Sheila DeChantal.
632 reviews71 followers
May 27, 2015
Let the gushing commence. This is the first book I have read by Marissa de los Santos and I absolutely had no idea going in what an experience her writing would be. I adored the long sentences of conversation (much the way I myself may talk) and the funny little comments in parenthesis … but it was so much more than the writing I enjoyed, it was also the amazing characters and story.

Once again I find myself in a sort of trend in books that somehow lead to someone coming back home to fix, repair, or learn something. And again I am blown away with what a useful synopsis this truly is. In Taisy’s case, she is only back in her home town for a task and then has every intention to return to her life. Taisy is the kind of protagonist I really like, a strong independent woman who is just cleaning up some past residue.

Willow is also an excellent voice to this book. Told in alternating chapters between Taisy and Willow, it is enjoyable to see life through this sheltered girls eyes. Her dialogue is not that of a teenager due to her upbringing but even that is fun (it felt a little like Jane Eyre dialogue). It was like Willow struggles between the sophisticated rich upbringing she has had and the desire to be a teenager and go through teenager stuff. This inner struggles is handled superbly.

I absolutely devoured this book and am now eyeballing another book I have waiting for me by this same author, Belong To Me.

If you have not read this author, I highly recommend her. She has a refreshing style that inspired me to really be myself in my own writing. It was wonderful!

For my full review: http://bookjourney.net/2015/03/25/the...
Profile Image for Marleen.
1,741 reviews95 followers
September 29, 2017
I’m all the way with Marcus in this story. Marcus’ outrage and negative feelings towards his elderly father are totally justified. Indeed, why that pompous scientist, Wilson Cleary, suddenly decided, fifteen years earlier, to shut out his first family; his then wife and 18-year old twins Taizy and Marcus, and never speak to them again, remains unexplained in the book. Without looking back, Wilson starts a new family right away, marrying Caro, an artist wife, and has another daughter, Willow, who will be the other narrator in this story.
I am not saying I didn’t like the characterization in this book. I did. It was full of witty and lovely dialogues. I just thought that the motivation behind certain decisions were flimsy and not thought through.
Taizy, surely, is an endearing and lovely woman. She has always loved old Wilson, and sought out his approval, even when he ignored her for so long. When Taizy’s invited by Wilson to stay at his house for a particular purpose, she accepts, much to Marcus’ disapproval and bewilderment.
I see it this way, if Wilson hadn't turned his back on his first family, they would not have become the successful, determined and satisfied adults, they are now. So actually he saved them, and offered them a better life without him in it. Because for me, this man was insufferable and a person had to be exceptional to love and understand him.
I've read better books by this author, but I feel her unique pen nonetheless. Marisa de los Santos is a wonderful writer for sure.
3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Susan.
Author 5 books166 followers
February 6, 2015
This is a book about healing, forgiveness, families and love--all themes that I find essential. At the heart of the story are two half-sisters who've been separated by an egotistical father and his somewhat myopic new wife. The novel is about what happens when the Taisy and Willow are forced to get to know each other. The characters are written with care and love. These are people I'd like to know even outside these pages. A lovely book.
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,953 reviews
March 30, 2015
Marisa de los Santos is one of my favorite authors, and this book doesn't disappoint. The narration alternates between 35-year-old Taisy and her 16-year-old half-sister Willow. I was able to predict many of the plot developments, but this didn't diminish my enjoyment in any way.
Profile Image for Shilpi Gowda.
Author 14 books72.9k followers
April 6, 2015
A loveable cast of characters and an uplifting, big-hearted story.
Profile Image for Caitlin.
136 reviews10 followers
July 10, 2019
I love this author's books. They're always so heartwarming and also deal with some deeper, sometimes difficult issues. I find her characters to be likable and this book was no exception. I hope she continues to write.
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,036 reviews1,747 followers
December 13, 2018
Favorite Quotes:

“Don’t go thinking I wasn’t angry about all this. I was. In fact, I would say that I was at least as angry as Marcus, whose anger stayed red-hot for years before it cooled to something hard and shiny and black.”

“He went back to his work, leaving me feeling like I’d failed, mightily. I wasn’t sure what I had been tested on; but I knew in my bones that I had gotten a great, big, red ‘F’”.

“I stole a glance at Willow who had spent her life so cherished, so boxed up and restrained and watched over in her pretty, tiny, high-walled world. What would happen when she let her feelings loose upon that world? I imagined them running rampant, trampling the garden, jumping the walls or burning them to the ground. Heaven help you too, Willow, I thought.”

“High school girls made fascist dictators look like dewy-eyed cocker spaniels; everyone knew that.”

“Boys your age have terrible judgement and lack empathy. It is not their fault, necessarily; their frontal lobes are still developing and are connected to the rest of their brains by the flimsiest of circuitry.”

“Luka’s car is a health hazard, a science experiment, a graveyard for banana peels. It’s like the Amazon rain forest; anything could be in there.”

My Review:

The Precious One is my first Marisa de los Santos read, but it certainly won’t be my last, as I am her newest fan-girl, despite it being far from my typical genre. Her writing was stellar, stunning, heart squeezing, and achingly clever. From her literary references and marvelous word choices, as well as the way she so casually selects and strings them together – it is obvious that she is nothing short of brilliant. I adore her humor, keen observations, wit and banter. The dual point of view of the half-sisters was genius and I thoroughly enjoyed how each personally evolved and carried the story line, as well as how they unraveled and exposed the mystery of their odious father. The plot and writing style were both exceptional and well-paced; full of metaphor, scenarios, humor, personal fantasies/anxieties, angst, resentment, intrigue, and dread. From one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, several times, in each chapter, and I couldn’t get enough.
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