Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”
Sticking with the official summary to be safe and not to give away things:
“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.”
I have been putting off this post since January. Why? Because I didn’t love it as much as I hoped (it was a most anticipated debut!!) or as much as everyone else did and it’s been hard for me to put those thoughts together.
I loved the premise sooooo much. Instantly I was like okay is this time travel? Parallel worlds? I immediately fell into the writing which is GORGEOUS and I was turning the pages to figure out just what was going on and why she was seeing strange things around her that didn’t quite match up to her reality. ALSO I was really intrigued to figure out who Grandmother really was and the who and why of the boy who needed to be saved. It started out marvelously for me. Emily Henry really knew how to suck you into it.
But then here’s where the problems started for me: the romance. I didn’t get it. I didn’t feel it. When you (not the author’s fault necessarily) compare it to The Time Traveler’s Wife (one of my faves) I am expecting this certain level of a sweeping and all-consuming love story that made me feel all the things. I literally felt nothing (okay maybe disappointment). I’m not at all a hater of instalove but this was an instalove based on not much followed by not much development to even make me feel the stakes in this romance. I didn’t understand it at all. I have to feel the chemistry and I didn’t at any point. [spoiler]And I mean….the whole story hinges on this romance. the love that she has for this boy that she would sacrifice herself. I never felt or understood their connection in a way that made it feel real for me. So when this whole thing ends up hinging on the romance? It was hard for me to FEEL it. [/spoiler]
And then here’s the other thing I’m going to be straight up with you about: I did NOT understand what actually happened. I read it with a friend and we both were trying to make sense of the ending and were sooo confused to some degree. We understood the gist of okay this is what happened and who Grandmother is but we had so many questions of things that didn’t make sense to us like some logistics of how things worked and some plot holes in our mind when it came to the paradoxes. We tried working it out and got too frustrated and just chalked it up to maybe we weren’t smart enough for this one. I don’t mind having to think but, to be honest, I just found the ending and explanations to just be confusing for some aspects of it.
SIGH I feel sad just talking about this, guys. WHY DID IT NOT CLICK FOR MEEEEE? I kept waiting to feel what everyone else felt.
Should you buy it or borrow it? Gahh another hard one. I’m inclined to say borrow but given how many people I know that have 4 or 5 starred it….IDK.
I am curious to see what Emily Henry puts out next because her writing is great and there was a lot of good in this book (storytelling that pulls you in, care to details, some really good non-romantic relationships) but unfortunately The Love That Split the World just never found that spark within me like it did sooo many other people. It started with feeling zero chemistry with the romance (which much of this book hinged on) and then when all the reveals started coming in I just felt straight up confused and had more questions than answers. I’m not going to say “don’t read it” because I don’t think it was actually a bad book…it just wasn’t for me apparently as much it started out well and as much as I willed myself to feel something for it.