Anne's Reviews > Belong to Me

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
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's review
May 29, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: category-chick-lit
Read in September, 2012

A devoted city dweller, Cornelia Brown surprised no one more than herself when she was gripped by the sudden, inescapable desire to leave urban life behind and head for an idyllic suburb. Though she knows she and her beloved husband, Teo, have made the right move, she approaches her new life with trepidation and struggles to forge friendships in her new home. Cornelia's mettle is quickly tested by judgmental neighbor Piper Truitt. Perfectly manicured, impeccably dressed, and possessing impossible standards, Piper is the embodiment of everything Cornelia feared she would find in suburbia. A saving grace soon appears in the form of Lake. Over a shared love of literature and old movies, Cornelia develops an instant bond with this warm yet elusive woman who has also recently arrived in town, ostensibly to send her perceptive and brilliant son, Dev, to a school for the gifted.

I'll remember this book as the one that made me lose interest in chicklit, which I have loved up to this point. After slogging through de los Santos's 390-page turkey, I am heartily sick of the predictable secrets, clunky dialogue and idealized men that populate this genre. It was like skidding the surface and I don't want that in a book (especially not one of this size!). I want to feel the agony and ecstasy of the characters, lose myself in their stories and feel like I've learned something meaningful about relationships. You can argue that this isn't the point of chicklit and you may be right, but if every single character drives you nuts and you find yourself rolling your eyes or wincing at the descriptions and dialogue, you know you've hit the B-list and it's time to take a break. If you're going to indulge in dessert, make it satisfying dark chocolate like Emily Giffin or Sophie Kinsella. Don't waste your time on a box of Ding-Dongs like this.
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