April 12, 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.
This title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).
I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
With such a loud title, I had big expectations for Emily Henry’s The Love That Split the World. The cover was gorgeous and the novel’s premise sounded intriguing. I’m always a fan of romance novels and considering that the title promised an epic romance, I was very excited to dive right into The Love That Split the World. I will say that in hindsight there were many good things that could be said about The Love That Split the World but there are just as many things that can be mentioned that didn’t quite work for me.
In The Love That Split the World, Natalie Cleary is nearly done with high school and is prepared for the rest of her life to begin. Ever since she was young, Natalie has been able to see things that other people can’t, including the presence of a being that she calls ‘Grandmother’. After having not seen Grandmother for years, she reappears to warn Natalie that she must save a boy’s life and then is gone once again. Just as Natalie begins to search for whoever it might be that Grandmother wants her to save, she meets Beau. Beau is unlike anybody else in her town and whenever she’s with him everything feels right. But Beau has his own secrets and Natalie is determined to discover them and save Beau as per Grandmother’s orders.
I think that the initial premise for The Love That Split the World is one filled with promise. I also think that a lot of the lore and supernatural elements that were woven into the plot were innovative and wonderful ideas. However, I do think that the execution of The Love That Split the World could have been better. A lot of the novel’s key plot devices were, I found, not explained enough and thus made it difficult to really get into the novel due to confusion.
Natalie is a protagonist who I could have liked too had her decision-making skills been less immature. As a teenager myself, one who is in the exact same age demographic as the protagonist, I think that Natalie’s naïve decisions were befitting for someone far younger than us. There were still things that I liked about Natalie—her drive and ambition, for instance—however considering the novel is all told from her point-of-view, it was incredibly difficult for me to get into her head and enjoy being there.
I do think that Natalie was a bit of a Mary Sue. She’s perfect. It was difficult for me to find many flaws that were put forward in a clear way. Everybody loves Natalie and Natalie can do no wrong. There’s a lot of insta-love in the novel as well between Natalie and Beau and I just couldn’t get into that either. Finally, there was the relationship between Natalie and her ex, Matt, which I think could have been executed better. Matt’s so-called ‘love’ for Natalie verged on the edge of lust and obsession and ultimately made me want neither Matt nor Beau to end up with Natalie.
The one thing that I felt The Love That Split the World had going for it was Henry’s beautiful prose. There were a lot of sentences and passages in the novel that took my breath away and were absolutely stunning. However, there’s only so much that pretty prose can do for a novel before the reader grows exhausted from the plot. The pacing was a bit awkward in the novel, and there was a lot of info-dumping and long-winded explanations for things that could have easily been explained in a couple sentences.
I would recommend The Love That Split the World to readers who want a novel that touches on Native American culture, and to readers who are just getting into the YA genre.