Monday, August 8, 2016

Book Review: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

What it's about:

Natalie Cleary has one last summer before she goes off to college.  She's going to have a blast going to all the Senior celebration events, avoiding awkward moments with her ex-who's-still-a-friend (and who's still over the moon about her) and her family road trip to top it all off.  (You know, #justgirlythings)
But then a mysterious character from her past (an old woman only known to Nat as "Grandmother") appears and sets her on a collision course with the words, "You have three months to save him."....Whoever "him" is.
When Natalie starts seeing things that shouldn't be there, including a hunky Southern football player  named Beau Wilkes, things get seriously freaky and Nat is determined to find out who "Him" is and how to save her world and (dun dun duuuun)...her heart!

What I thought:

Overall, I liked this.  Nat and Beau were pretty likeable characters, and we did get some development for both of them, which was good considering this is a standalone novel.  This reads very much like a contemporary with fantastical elements that make it a good read for those who are into more fantastical qualities in their tales, but still also enjoy a nice summertime football game-themed contemporary.

The idea behind the events of this book was really interesting to me and the fact that these characters were a catalyst behind their own "Many Worlds"-style story was both science-fictiony and magical at the same time. There was also a lot of inclusion of First Nations mythology, which I thought was really cool and was tied into the story fairly well.

I liked that the relationship between Beau and Nat was the main focus, but we also learned a lot about Nat's relationship with the secondary characters like Matt and Megan.  Those relationships were almost as important because for the majority of the book, we aren't quite sure *who* Nat is supposed to be saving, and as there are multiple men in her life and not a lot of clues to go on, it's important that we know about the other people in her life.

One thing that did put me off slightly was the dump of info we received from the character Alice. (Fyi: She's a sciency paranormal psychology researcher who helps Nat along the way)  It's interesting to know some of the theory behind what's happening in the book, but at the same time, I felt as if we were given too much information, and that it wasn't all totally relevant or essential to our understanding, considering the ending kind of did its own thing and ended up explaining itself.

If all else fails, and the above mentioned stuff doesn't thrill you, read it for the romance. Nat is your average super-pretty, adopted, vaguely Native American time-and-space-traveling dancer girl, which is all well and good, but Beau, on the other hand...Beau is every girl's dream of a sexy, slow-talking Southern boy who can pummel your enemies but also create gorgeous furniture with minimal supplies. (Dreamy, right?!)
But really, the love story was integral to the story as a whole, and was very cute. I enjoyed they way they met and how they reacted to each other and how they helped each other through their shared experience.  It was also just super adorable.

Fair warning, though. The ending of this book does leave a lot to the imagination (though it insinuates an acceptable ending), and I chose to imagine that it ended well for the characters involved, so that was mostly satisfactory to me (I love a good, satisfying ending. None of that Kartik bull).

Rating: 3.75 stars

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