Hey guys! I'll be reviewing this book as part of Nori's SST. So, I received this book in exchange for an honest review, which doesn't impact my review in any way.
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Version: Arc Paperback
Rating: 5 Stars
Published: January 26th 2016
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.
First of all, thank you Nori for hosting the Sunday Street Team and giving us an opportunity to review The Love That Split the World!
The Love That Split the World (TLTSTW if you will) is a time-traveling, alternate dimension, contemporary romance that takes the concepts of time-traveling and alternate dimensions and turns them upside-down to create something entirely new. No time travel machines or fancy gadgets here. Think of Time Traveler's Wife or Stein's Gate - Everything starts with an accident, no?
The beginning itself was confusing and rather slow because you're thrust into this world where there's a "Grandmother" figure who exists and doesn't exists to our main character Natalie Cleary, and tells her cryptic stories. Grandmother's last message reveals that she has only three months to save "him", but who is "him"? Sooner or later, a character Beau shows up out of nowhere, and you wonder, "Is that the "him" she was talking about? This confusion and slow pacing lasts only 100 or so pages, I promise.
It picks up as soon as more pieces start to fall in place and you realize the stories Grandmother has been telling Natalie hold deeper meaning, and you piece together the puzzle. I especially liked how Natalie was an adopted Native American and connected her heritage through Grandmother's stories. They were well-thought out and fit the mood of this adventure perfectly!
I essentially loved almost everything about this book, so I'll try to sum it up without it becoming a tl;dr.
I LOVED THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS/INTERACTIONS. Emily Henry's diverse cast of characters shined. Besides romantic love, she showed us other types like familial and friendship, and how strong ones seem to transcend time. Natalie and Rachel's friendship was golden, no fakeness at all. Their inside jokes like "the feeling is mushrooms" reminded me of my friendships. Genuine friendships are something I don't see a lot of in YA, and this made me happy to read. Also, with Natalie being adopted, although I couldn't relate, her interactions and relations with her family hit a few emotional bones in my system. The feels were real.
And Alice Chan reminded me of that lady in the Incredibles who was extremely sassy and blunt. Did anyone else think that?
|There was one scene in the book where Alice psychoanalyzed Natalie and it reminded me of this for some reason...|
I LOVED THE WRITING. Emily Henry's writing blew me away. This book had so many good scenes and so many great quotes, and I'll share a couple.
“Sometimes you change your mind about a person,” I tell her. “Or your feelings for them change, or they change, or, I don’t know, you just want to make a different decision. And that’s always okay. You don’t owe anyone anything. You know that, don’t you?”
"It’s all in the stories. Everything. The truth. The whole world, Natalie. That girl jumped through the hole, not knowing what would happen, and the whole world got born.”
All these meaningful quotes hinted to the ending of the story and I DIDN'T GET THAT until I hit the end and the ending itself was marvelous. It was really something unexpected from all those time-travel/AU endings I've seen.
The message of choosing love or choosing life, whatever way you wish to interpret this, is strong in this book. It was so eloquently written and such a great standalone. Coincidentally my copy of the book came in yesterday! I can't wait to reread it again. And I definitely recommend it to everyone!
About the Author:
Emily Henry is full-time writer, proofreader, and donut connoisseur. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. She tweets @EmilyHenryWrite.