The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Published: January 26th 2016 by Razorbill
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.
“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”
I don’t know if I can write a review of this book and do it any justice. I liked it, but then there was elements that I just didn’t like at all. I thought based upon the title that it was going to be a contemporary novel with maybe a little bit of fantasy woven in. For the most part I was correct, only there was a lot more sci-fi and a whole lot of romance involved.
“No matter how hard it feels, you don’t need to be afraid to move on, and you don’t need to be afraid to stay either. There’s always more to see and feel.”
I’ll start first with the elements I did not like about this book. First, there was a lot of info dumping. The characters would go on very long tirades about a concept and then you’re left feeling “what did I just read?” At some points it was a struggle to continue reading, I would have to put it down and pick it up later after some motivation.
Second, there was insta-love. Cringe. I liked Natalie and Beau together, but I just wish that they had at least some sort of build up into a relationship. For the contemporary romance side, this was a huge let down. Especially since this made up of at least 85% of the book.
Third, there was just so many elements to the story and I don’t think Henry was able to incorporate all of them very well. There was your romance, time travel, world jumping, therapy sessions, boy drama, identity crisis, and well you get the picture. With all these elements coming into play, there was no character development. So when it is all said and done, you don’t really feel anything for Natalie and Beau by the end of their story. Oh and Henry tried to make this book a little LGBT friendly by inserting that her research scientist/therapist is a lesbian during one of the many tirades. I am all for different types of relationships, but it should at least be thought out a bit more rather than thrown into a random conversation.
Lastly, this book was a little boring. It started off great, and then it went to snoozeville quite fast. Halfway through I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue or not, but I was already invested so I had to finish! The last 10% of the book was very quick, Natalie was running out of time , and it felt as if the book was running out of pages to get the information down. I’ve read some reviews that don’t like the ending, but I actually liked the ambiguity of it.
“And because she jumped, our world began”
I know it seems as if I don’t like anything about the book, but I do, I swear!
This book has a very diverse set of characters, and I love it! The main character is Native American, who was adopted into a Caucasian family. Natalie feels that since she doesn’t look like her family, that something is missing in her life. I found this very relatable, since I am from a mix household. I never felt like I didn’t belong, but there was hardly any other half Asians in my little town of one stop light (now they have about 5 and maybe more diversity, who knows).
Natalie is also a feminist, which you don’t see very much in YA novels. Well she was very feminist in the beginning of the novel, but I felt she kind of lost it somewhere around the middle. But I like that Henry made a very strong, independent, and smart main character.
The writing in this novel was fantastic. Henry knows how to use her words and make everything sound wonderful (even if I was a little bored). What I enjoyed most was the Native American myths and legends that were told throughout the whole novel. I am not an expert on Native American stories, but the stories were told very respectfully and seemed as if it was the only aspect that helped advance the plot.
“Why did they have to sacrifice anything?”
“It was a symbol,” Grandmother explains. “Of an innocent dying on behalf of someone else—the greatest act of love. A choice to die so someone else doesn’t have to.”
This book is definitely one of those hit or miss for most people. I feel as if you are either going to really like it or just be totally disappointed in it. I for the most part fall in the middle, it was just eh. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?