Monday, March 5, 2012

Miss Penelope Carter

According to, my Jane Austin inspired name is Miss Penelope Carter.  I'm just wondering how the website knew I was single...

Find your Jane Austen inspired name by visiting!  (and please do share with me!)

Tags: mindless activities

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Love Walked In

Love Walked InLove Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished reading Love Walked In a few days ago. The description of the book is as follows:

“When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbs--eleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mother--goes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meeting with him at the café, and the two women form an improbable friendship that carries them through the unpredictable currents of love and life.”

I have to say that at first, I didn't care for Cornelia (one of the main characters) and her inside thinking drove me nuts. Everything she thought related to a classic movie, story, or celebrity and it was hard to follow in the beginning (and at some other times throughout the novel). However, I loved Clare right away and that is what hooked me on the book. Eventually, I grew to like Cornelia, as well, and found the book delightful, humorous, and charming.

I really began to enjoy the writing style of the author a couple of chapters in even though I wasn’t so sure when I began the book. Describing the conversation between them during their first date, Cornelia’s thought: "Maybe love comes in at the eyes, but not nearly as much as it comes in the ears, at least in my experience. As we talked, lights flicked on inside my head; by the end of the night, I was a planetarium." A planetarium was just such a clever way to describe those new love feelings we get.

When Cornelia was having an attack of wishing she looked different: “Martin did something that pushed all of those thoughts not out of, but certainly to the back of, my mind, to a shadowed little corner where their own mothers wouldn't recognize them."

Cornelia describes her whining as "tinted with a vaguely Cornelia-like color” which I found humorous. The author made it a pleasant and delightful trip through the head of Cornelia with descriptions like these and I just enjoyed how things were phrased or described in the writing.

Clare was my favorite character. What a brave and bright little girl! Your heart goes out to her as her mother starts acting strange and you can’t quite figure out what’s going on. Her father is not in the picture, not even when she reaches out to him for help, and here this little girl just takes over her household and keeping things perfect so no one would know. As someone who mentors foster children, I found the thoughts in Clare’s head to be very realistic and believable. Even when her mother abandons her, she still has that intense love for her mother that makes her do courageous things to not only survive, but to protect her mother.

Being inside of Clare’s head was also delightful and refreshing. She was so sweet that you just wanted to know her and give her a big hug! There are two paragraphs I won't type that describe little Clare's thinking about seeing love. Okay, maybe just one quote, "Love was mixed up in all of it, like gold in a pan of sand." The way this child is viewing love for the first time is just beautiful and natural and I loved it!

I also loved the character, Mateo, who was the lifelong friend and brother-in-law to Cornelia. He was a decent guy and so perfect with little Clare, I just loved that sweet, soft side of him. He’s described as gorgeous ("the moon was always humbled in his radiance") and shy, yet intelligent and sensitive. He is the rock that both Cornelia and Clare could stand on. I did, however, question his judgment towards the end (I won't spoil it) which marred him just a tad for me.

Martin, the new love of Cornelia, was a spineless loser. I pretty much thought that about him throughout the novel, even in the beginning when she was so twitterpated with him and only describing the sunshiny happy moments. He had no depth and it was not from the author’s lack in writing; that was who he was, unfortunately.

You meet Cornelia's family and learn about the special relationship she had with a neighbor, Mrs. Goldberg. I loved Cornelia’s family and the relationship she had with Mrs. Goldberg, and I loved the little town they lived in and the childhood memories. This book really grew on me, so if you had a tough time in the beginning, hang in there because it gets way better.

There were definitely some twists you wouldn't have imagined in the beginning, but they turned out nicely. Nothing too overdone and all pretty believable, pretty realistic.

Lastly, this book really challenged my own writing in the way the author used words. I had to pull out my dictionary several times, not because the word was too complex, but because she used words in ways I never thought of. "Big words" as some would say, but not used in a way that the writer wanted you to know how smart she was. Big words used in an imaginative and creative way that got you seeing the world differently, got you seeing the character (mostly Cornelia) differently. The writing really flowed.

Overall, I gave this book 4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it!