By Emily Henry
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.
In “The Love That Split the World” history and magic combine to create the most stunning debut of 2016. Emily Henry describes Natalie, a girl fresh out of high school with a mission, save him. But who is he? Natalie has always been visited by a being she has named Grandma who weaves her stories from the past. But when Grandma disappears for good, leaving her with only a mission what is she to do? From the moment Grandma leaves Natalie is plagued with strange glimmers of wrong, things in her town that shouldn’t be. But it also brings her Beau, a mysterious boy that she can’t get out of her head.
Natalie is a girl many can relate to. Her family is a familiar yet unique one: younger siblings she can be jealous of, a silent father and a somewhat overbearing mother. She went through all the motions in high school, doing things she thought she was supposed to do before she snapped and quit everything. She’s a very real character that brings both familiar and unfamiliar struggles to the table. She struggles with who she is, her adoption, and the magic suddenly all around her. Natalie isn’t a Mary Sue nor is she a bland character found in seemingly every book on the market. It has nuances of many contemporary young adult books, falling in love and trying to overcome the problems that challenge their love. It isn’t quite Contemporary but it isn’t quite Sci-Fi either. The best category I’ve found to describe this gem of a debut is Magical Realism. Henry’s use of historical tales, familiar Kentucky background, and unique magic bring the story a new twist. Her writing is refreshing as well, filled with plenty of humor we can relate to and a swoon-worthy, unique romance. If I could give this book a million stars I would, but unfortunately, it can only receive five.
About the Author:
Emily Henry is a 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.