Tag Archives: Cornelia Brown

Belong to Me

I’m writing this down on TextEdit because my Internet connection refuses to cooperate (of course by the time I post this online, my Internet is obviously better), and I just need to let these thoughts out or else I wouldn’t be able to sleep thinking of all the things related to this.

Belong to Me So I just finished reading Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, her follow up novel from Love Walked In. I loved Love Walked In, for all its seemingly old-fashioned scenes and the lovely characters. I especially loved the fact that Teo Sandoval was half-Filipino, somehow making it feel closer to my heart.

Belong to Me is a different story from its prequel. More characters, more conflict, more stories. I saw a couple of reviews that it wasn’t as good as the prequel, but because I can’t stand not reading all books in a series and because I was curious to what happened to Cornelia and Teo and Clare, I got the book.

In Cornelia’s words: I was slammed. Hard. Belong to Me is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a different tone from the first book, but it was simply (and very) charming. The chapters were long, the stories were complicated but never did I feel bored with the entire story. I devoured every page, with all its lyrical prose and smart characters. My heart burst in sadness at the particular part of the story where all things came undone, and I celebrated victory with them when I got to the end.

I think it’s a given for any reader to love Cornelia, but what I really loved about the book was (and still), Teo. I could easily imagine how Cornelia could call him her sun and moon and stars. I tried hard to find a flaw in him, and I know there was something but it’s became a part of his character as a whole that you’d end up forgiving it because you know it won’t be the same without it.

And maybe the reason why I love Teo so much because I want someone like him. Not exactly a half Filipino hunk of a man with golden brown skin and bottle green eyes type (but hey, that sounds really handsome, haha), but someone who treats me the way Teo treats Cornelia. Like how he had an almost secret and sacred nickname for Cornelia that meant “heart” in Latin (Cor), or how his face changes whenever he talks about his wife (as observed by Piper). I want someone like that, someone who I’d think of as my sun and moon and stars but would also think of me the same way too. Someone whose heart could expand with love for all the people that matter to me, and teach me to make my heart be like that too, for people he cares for and people I have a hard time liking or loving. Someone like Teo, who stuck with Cornelia for fifty-six hours to try to fix the mess that exploded in their faces and not lose patience but remind her that love is not “I” or “you” but “we”.

*sigh* It’s got me smitten, really, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget about this book too easily. I love every single bit of it, and I kind of feel sad that it’s the last book on them. I really feel like I’m saying goodbye to good friends, people who have kept me company over the weekend. But it’s comforting to know that I could always visit them, and draw strength from them, and maybe, someday, talk about them to someone who will be my own Teo someday.

Oookay, and that last line is really cheesy. Enough cheese here, or else you may be better off reading mdclearreviews.com. :P It’s time for me to go to bed. :P

Love Walked In (Marisa de los Santos)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

Love Walked In (Marisa de los Santos) “My life — my real life — started when a man walked into it, a handsome stranger in a perfectly cut suit and, yes, I know how that sounds.”

When Martin grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. Charming and debonair, the spitting image of Cary Grant, Martin sweeps Cornelia off her feet, but as it turns out, Martin Grace is more the harbringer of change than the change itself…

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven-year-old Clare Hobbes must learn to fend for herself after her increasingly unstable mother has a breakdown and disappears. Taking inspiration from famous orphans (Anne Shirley, Sara Crewe, Mary Lennox, and even Harry Potter) Clare musters the courage to seek out her estranged father. When the two of them show up at Cornelia’s cafe, Cornelia and Clare form a bond as unlikely as it is deep. Together, they face difficult choices and discover that knowing hat you love and why is as real as life gets.

From first impressions, this book has an old setting type of feel. The story and the characters feel like they came from a quaint 1920’s place, but really, it’s quite modern. Perhaps it’s because of Cornelia Brown’s little cafe and the quaint cast of characters inside, or the references to old movies and Cary Grant. It may be the seemingly countryside setting and Cornelia’s uniqueness, or maybe other things inside the novel, but it had this really nice old time feel even if it’s really quite modern — especially with mentions of laptops and cellphones with memory cards and other things at the latter part of the novel.

The book talks about love in a big general sense but also in the more specific sense — from romantic love to parental love to the love between friends and family, and finding out the love of one’s life. Cornelia meets Martin Grace who she instantly likes, and a little while later Clare comes in and Cornelia loves her and Clare learns to love her as well. Then comes in Teo, who Clare loves immediately, and then there’s Cornelia’s family and Clare’s mother. There’s big love and small love but love nonetheless — and Marisa de los Santos wrote it in such a beautiful way that you get to fall in love and believe in the love that everyone has for each other in the story.

One thing I really loved in the story was Teo Sandoval, Cornelia’s brother-in-law, who showed up at the middle of the story. Teo is the lovable male character who was described so vividly that I’d love to actually see him “radiate” his emotions. Plus, Teo is actually half Filipino and the part where he and Clare cooks pansit was probably my favorite scene in the novel. :D

The novel was kind of predictable at first and before I even got to the middle of the novel, I already knew the connections of the chracters in the novel. It was kind of a downer, but the action in the novels pick up at the middle, providing a very satisfying and heartwarming ending. :)

I hear this has a sequel already — Belong to Me. Cornelia and Teo are such lovable characters that I’d love to read them again. :)