Pen, Will, and Cat were inseparable in college. They met during the first week of their freshman year and formed a unique bond that no one could touch. They thought it would always be this way, but the trio suddenly dissolved after graduation, each person going their own way in a flurry of hurt and confusion.
Six years later, the three have moved on with their lives and are no longer in contact. Pen, whose point of view the reader sees the most, is now a single mother who is still reeling from her father’s death two years ago. She lives with her brother and is at a very confusing point in her life. Out of the blue, she receives an email from Cat, begging for Pen and Will to meet her at their upcoming college reunion. Pen and Will anxiously meet for the first time since their falling out and soon discover the reason behind Cat’s email; Pen and Will must put the past behind them in order to help their troubled friend.
The book is told in flashbacks that take readers through the highlight’s of the trio’s immediate friendship and ultimate demise. From the instant that they reunite, it’s clear that the bond between Will and Pen is still there, and they’ll do anything to help Cat and get the trio back together. And as much as I wanted to get on board with this story of unbreakable friendship, this is where the book derailed for me.
I have several friendships — some from my college days, some from way before that — where my friend and I can go ages without seeing each other and still fall back into our old routine as if no time had passed since our last meeting. I also have friendships, as I’m sure we all do, where we once had something great, but time has run its course and our once-great friendship is now just something nice we had in the past.
So I know these fabulous lasting friendships can happen, but because of the way they all fell out, I had a hard time sustaining the belief that Pen, Will, and Cat had the type of friendship that would easily pick up where it left off. It was difficult to believe that Will and Pen would just drop everything after six years of estrangement that go to the extreme lengths that they did to help an old friend (much less an old friend whom they weren’t sure completely even wants their help). On top of that, I sometimes felt like the events leading up to The Big Lesson were at times just filler for the sake of added plot twists; some of it could have been left out to make things tighter.
That said, I do like how de los Santos teased out Pen and Will’s friendship. Of the trio, these two had the most believable relationship. My problems with the books aside, I do have to hand it to the author for maintaining the brisk pace of the book. A lot happens, but I don’t think it ever felt slow. For that reason, I think this book would make a great airplane or vacation read.
Falling Together was released in 2011; it was released in paperback on October 2, 2012 by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. This book is on tour right now, so check out what other bloggers are saying about it.