The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry (A YA Book Review)


The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Natalie Clearly is graduating high school. But before she leaves for Brown in the fall, adopted as a young child, she’s determined to figure out some things about herself before she leaves smalltown Union. On top of her own identity issues, Nat’s ex-boyfriend is still in love with her, her best friend is leaving for college early to train for soccer, and then there’s the mysterious boy she keeps seeing.

The Love That Split the World opens up with Natalie experiencing a visitation from Grandmother, a spiritual figure who Natalie likens to God. Grandmother has visited Natalie during the night for years and tells her Native American creation stories. Once Natalie makes the mistake of telling her parents about Grandmother she ends up in therapy which results in the temporary disappearance of Grandmother for several years. Until now when Grandmother appears with a cryptic message: You have three months to save him. But save who?

This story incorporates a lot of issues: growing up, leaving the familiar behind, friendship, searching for identity, and what it means to love and be loved. There is so much that happens in the story (it’s almost 400 pages long) and at times it plays out a bit like a teen TV show, but I don’t find that it detracts from the story itself. Actually, having an interest in the metaphysical, I found the psychology bits very interesting, even if a bit jargon-y. Toward the end, when I had 150 pages or so left, I found myself thinking about Natalie, Matt, and Beau to the point where I just sat down and finished the entire book. I laughed. I cried. I found myself relating to Natalie (despite the age difference betwixt Natalie and myself, regardless, doesn’t everyone just want unconditional love?). I think my love for this story also come from my love for the novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife (I still refuse to see the movie). After looking up author Emily Henry, I found she also loves Lois Lowry, one of my favorite authors, and we share The Giver as a favorite book. Personally, I think this is one of those books that you’ll only love if you are on board with all its bits and pieces, nooks and crannies. For me, I loved it. The Love That Split the World is published through Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Books. Henry has another booking coming out in 2017.

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© 2020 by Jennifer L. Kelly