The Love that Split the World
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.
This is one of those books I find hard to put a rating on because I end up so torn. I found the first half of the book to be quite slow and a little confusing and it was a bit of a struggle to get through it. The second half had a lot more action and started explaining things and I finally felt absorbed into the story. I liked that it wasn’t a typical time travel story and that there were many twists to figure out and connections to be made.
Natalie was an enjoyable main character. She was confused by her ‘Grandmother’s’ declaration that she must save ‘him’ but was determined to figure it out, even while her whole world was changing around her. She was a mature character at the beginning so I was excited to see where her growth would come from. I really liked her relationships with her friends, her two siblings, her parents, and especially the mysterious Beau.
There were many stories woven through the main plot, stories that ‘Grandmother’ had told Natalie when she was a child and it was interesting to see how each one fit into what was happening to Natalie and Beau. The stories were like listening to a bedtime story, though they didn’t always have a happy ending, and they fit in well with the whole story.
Where the book lost me a little was the romance. It was so close to being insta-love. It happened so fast and even though they were so cute together and had adorable banter and definitely some swoon-worthy moments, it was so fast! That, along with the fact that the beginning was so slow and it seemed like forever before the connections started to be made, took some enjoyment out of the whole reading experience.
On the plus side, the writing was extremely good. It flowed so well and it made me want to keep reading even when I was struggling. I’m definitely glad I stuck with it because once all the different plot lines started coming together, it was great.