Synopsis (From GoodReads):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.
Review:I've been a lucky blogger lately, getting to review a bunch of ARCs from NetGalley, winning books from contests. I have even had a few authors send me their books. Yet despite all this good fortune, I could not snag an advance copy of Emily Henry's The Love That Split The World! I had heard so much about it, how wonderful it was and didn't I wish I had a copy? Well, yes I did have ARC envy! But then I came to the realization that I would, indeed, need to shell out my hard-earned money to actually buy a copy of the book. Actually, I was glad to buy this book as I wanted to support the author. But I also had that nagging thought in the back of my mind: This better be worth it. Well, I am happy to report that IT WAS SO WORTH IT.
What I Liked:
The Love Story: I usually am not a fan of an insta-love story, but in this case it was necessary and it worked. I totally believed that Beau and Natalie were meant to be together. Although the circumstances of the story are fantasy, I see Beau and Nat's dilemma as an analogy for all those what-ifs and if-onlys we all think about as time goes by. How would our lives be different if we did (or didn't) go on to that party? What if we had (or hadn't) moved to that part of town? There are so many parts of life that happen due to chance.
The Friendships: I love books where the main characters have great friendships to anchor them. I loved Natalie's relationship with Megan, how she could tell her things that no one else would believe and Megan took it in stride. Natalie's on and off friendship with Rachel was a rich example of how friendships change over time.
The Stories: The Grandmother tells Natalie a series of stories throughout the book that may have meaning later on. These stories were beautifully written and added a fairy-tale quality to the overall narrative. They were also a nice way of subtly showing the reader Natalie's Native-American heritage.
What I was Mixed about:The timey-wimeyness of the story: Okay, this is going to be hard to discuss without throwing in some spoilers, so I will be a bit vague. But there were many parts in the story where I was completely lost!
I realize this is a necessary part of the story, and it was probably my personal issue, but some of what was happening was really confusing. I think I will need to re-read the book to perhaps understand what happened, and why. But sometimes the story made me feel stupid for not getting it.
Overall, this book was definitely worth the money. It was a beautiful love story. If two people are meant to be together, circumstances will conspire to ensure they find each other. I often think about this in my own life. I can recall the exact moment when the friendship I had with this guy changed into romance. I had liked this guy for a while but I was on the fence about taking it further. Well, I was at a party when a girl I knew started talking about him, saying she wanted to make a move on him that night! That decided it for me. I literally ran up to him, threw my arms around him and we've been together ever since. Was it chance or fate that brought us together? I don't know but, decades later, I often say a silent thank you to that girl for nudging me into action.
Release Date: January 26th, 2016
Source: Bought by me
Format: Hardcover book
Recommendation: For those who love an epic love story and time-bending fantasy, this is a must read.