Marisa de los Santos’ writing in “Belong to Me” is absolutely gorgeous–lush even. And the story is compelling, though you’ve probably read similar stories before. At times the telling is a tad overwrought, but ultimately I cared about the characters, wanted them to work things out and was pleased with the strong characterizations. While the book tends toward the literary, it’s also an entertaining story that moves at a decent pace. In the end it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read that I hated to see come to an end. And yes, Piper started as my least favorite character and by the end she was the one I would most like to spend time with.
I can often tell that what I’m reading affects how I’m writing. Which is okay as long as I don’t let it change my voice or overall style. “Belong to Me” helped me step my descriptions and emotions up a notch. Now all I have to do is hold onto that as I move on to other books that are perhaps not quite so beautifully written . . .