I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 Lightsmeets 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.
Natalie Cleary used to be the most popular girl in school cheerleader and girlfriend to Matt the quarterback. She also has brightest future ahead of her, going to the Ivy League school, Brown University. This is her last summer before college and she should be preparing, yet she can’t. Her nightmares are back and with that comes Grandmother. She has been visited by this woman several times, telling her stories of her Native American background. Until things start to change around her. Flickers of the people she knows, doing things they normally wouldn’t do. Instantly being drawn by a boy she hasn’t seen before and has never existed in her world. Could there be something else drawing them together?
I am happy to report I am not the black sheep, I kind of fell in love with the writing. Emily Henry knows how to pull and tug and twist your heart all around. At first, nothing is really grabbing at me until Natalie started seeing things. The whole time traveler part was the most fun. But then the science behind it was being explained and my eyes glazed over. I tried to understand it but for the life of me I will never understand time and worm holes. It always confuses me. I liked how it was incorporated though so it wouldn’t end being just another love story.
The romance kind of felt too instant for me, but I forgave the book because after reading it, I just couldn’t stop remembering the beauty of love. How much love can be found from not only romantic relationships but from family and friends. This is that story, Natalie loves all of her people and they love her back. She never felt so out of place until now. Being adopted and half Native American in a predominantly white community can make you feel like isolated. That’s one of the things I loved about this book, hearing and reading about their Native stories. It was wholly new and refreshing. I loved how her family was portrayed. Her twin siblings and even her dog Gus who is just this big drool monster. Her friendship with her best friend is adorable. I like how they spell out all the words when texting and not use chat lingo. Then her relationship with Matt. He seemed like a jerk but there were underlying issues that were only addressed later on in the book. And then there’s Beau. He fit the “bad boy with a heart of gold” cliche boyfriend, but for some reason I didn’t mind.
The Love that Split the World is one debut that will have you reminisce how much love can change a person’s life. A beautiful coming of age story that will pull at your heart strings! What a fabulous read!