For those of you that don’t know, I suffer from a very serious non-disease called “I CAN’T STOP READING THIS BOOK EVEN THOUGH IT’S FOUR AM AND I WORK IN TWO HOURS.” Okay, this isn’t actually a disease so much as a side effect of not liking to use bookmarks, but you get my drift. I am this way with all books, even really happy, funny books. I’ve stayed up until four in the morning just to make sure Shoapholic’s Becky Bloomwood gets the happy ending she deserves. But I am especially this way with books that have even a TINY hint of intrigue. I basically cannot read mysteries because I am a useless human until I finish reading (and also because they scare me).
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.
Did I start The Love that Split the World mainly because the book jacket compared it to Friday Night Lights? Yup! Texas Forever! I know the premise totally hints at mystery and intrigue, but the word LOVE is in the title and it has such a pretty cover that I sort of assumed it would be sweet and dreamy. (Okay, yes, I judge books by their cover. But don’t act like you finally got around to reading Eleanor and Park because of its rave reviews and not its super adorb cover.) The point is, I went into this book expecting to stay up late reading.
Here is what I didn’t expect: TO HAVE PHYSICAL ANXIETY AS I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT READING. I’m talking heart racing, chest constricting anxiety. And also, the tears! I ended this book sobbing. (I know this sounds wholly traumatic, but it was more like a beautiful sobbing. The kind of sobbing you do when your favorite ice cream shop re-opens for the season.) I sent out a mass group text to my whole family saying, and I quote, “I’ve just been really profoundly changed by a book and now I can’t stop crying and I’m not sure how to continue on with my night.” They were all like, “…cool, we’re going to continue on with our Floridian vacation now.” I then texted every person I’ve talked to in the last five years or so with quotes from the book, begging SOMEONE–ANYONE–TO PLEASE FEEL WITH ME.
Bean is the best friend in the whole world because she let me text her for like an hour about this book, talking about how profoundly changed I was as a human but without actually telling her why because I obviously couldn’t spoil it for her. She pretended to know what the heck I was talking about while probably actually more into an episode of Dance Moms than my texts. Responding to frantic book texts is an incredibly important quality to look for in a best friend.
“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.” – Emily Henry
This book was really and truly unlike anything I’ve ever read. I was confused at times while reading (but, like, in a good way), very much wanting to know where everything was going while obviously not knowing because the Internet hadn’t yet spoiled the ending for me! Here is what I will say: every single freaking word of this book is important. It all comes together at the end and your mind is a little blown and your eyes a lot watery.
Here is a metaphor because metaphors are basically the only way I know how to effectively communicate about books I love: this book is like a really complicated puzzle. Only you don’t know you’re doing this puzzle. But subconsciously you’re putting the pieces together, and when you suddenly place the last piece in you’re like panting a tiny bit at the gorgeousness of this puzzle you just created (only you didn’t create it. Emily Henry did. Be jealous of that.) The point is, if you’re an impatient human (me) and get anxious with mystery (me) and like to know that a whole entire book world isn’t about to disappear (me), hold tight. You’re about to be shown a really epic/illuminating puzzle.
“I found myself in the hearts of those who loved me.”
Though I did sometimes get lost in the whole logic behind the time travel, I think this is a total me thing. I barely understand geometry (or geography for that matter), so when it comes to timelines and locations and numbers, everything gets a little fuzzy in my head. I subscribe to the Hermione Granger Time Turner system. AKA magic is easier for me to understand than formulas. (This really explains a lot about me, like why I once got in trouble for reading Harry Potter under my desk in a math class).
So, in case it wasn’t clear, I think you should read this book. And then I think you should talk to me about this book so I can finally discuss all the spoilery thoughts I have. I know I’m always a dramatic human, but I’m not being dramatic when I say I felt changed as a person by the end of the book. I had a better understanding of love and friendship and faith and family and life. So, read it! Or, you know, don’t. Whatever. I’m not your ninth grade English teacher. (READ IT.)
xo – Rosie 😘
Rosie & Bean Rating: 4/5 donuts