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.
As a disclaimer, this book isn’t for everyone. I happily and gloriously admit that. Regardless, I love this book and this author so much and I think that the people who this book was written for will also adore and hold it close to their hearts.
The elephant in the room. I’m tattling on myself here. I know that I say it all the time. “Down with instalove.” But…but… you guys!! This one was really good…. *cringes* I’m going to admit that I’m not super loyal to the things that I like and dislike, sooo, yeah. Look, the instalove. It’s there, and honestly, I got over that blip rather quickly. I think I got over it because I only really dislike instalove if the two characters in question are all lovey-dovey for each other like two pages in and if I know nothing about either of them for me to ship them yet. But to be fair, I’m just a biased jerk and really have no rhyme or reason to my judgey judgey ways….. But back to TLTSTW. GUYS!!! GUYSS!! The romance! It totally got me. Turns out, the romantic buried beneath the icicles in my heart said, ‘yeah, I’m so down for this’. I think because I really liked the love interest from the start that it made me 100% okay with how quickly things progressed.
The storytelling was amazing! Guys! GUYS!!! (I’m going to be yelling your names a lot, get used to it!) Native American stories weaved into the narrative bedtime story style??? Like… can all stories be like this? Please! Seriously, it was beautiful and deep and strongly meaningful because I knew all these stories were going to add up to something and me being me I was already trying to puzzle it all out and it DID end up meaning something and even with me TRYING to puzzle it out ALL THROUGHOUT THE STORY, I still wasn’t able to really grasp the awesomely intricateness of it!!
I connected so much to Natalie! Not only is she an expert at the deadpan humor (my hero) but she also falls somewhere between an INFJ and an ENFG on the Meyers-Brigg. (I’m an ENFJ, FYI ^.^) It soon became clear that with everything Natalie had been through, the struggles she’d faced and the current questions she was dealing with along the lines of: “Where do I come from? Where do I belong?” I knew without a doubt that this character was my spirit animal. I connected so much with her journey and with her feelings of not knowing where she belongs in the world. Because she is half Native American and half white, she felt like she was split between different two cultures and nations. This concept really resonated with me, and I could understand her plight of having unanswered questions and her feelings of being forgotten.
This book discusses issues of abandonment and feeling like one doesn’t belong or have a place in the world. It also addressed feelings of guilt and trying to find a way to fit into the world around you but also finding a way to fit in with yourself. It’s definitely a book about self-realization and understanding someone who feels lost and is trying to find themselves as they reconcile everything about who they are and who they want to be. But it is also a story about love and the crazy and convoluted magical journey that love can also be, which I was just all wrapped up in and a little confused by, but more in love with than anything.
Think of this book as a blanket. A warm, loving blanket. Woven with care and mystical stories that will wrap you with feels, heartache and leave you thinking about the journey. But mostly heartache. Bring tissues.
I absolutely adored this book. I just completely fell in love with it and I loved the ending. If you ever want to talk about that ending, hit me up on Twitter! OMG, let’s talk. Don’t spoil it here in the comments. PM me! I am a big fan of the romance and I cried during the acknowledgments section where Emily Henry talked about her husband. I think I cried throughout the book too. Seriously, I couldn’t love a book more. Just read it. You’re my soul sister/brother if you love it as much as I do!! ❤ Even if you don’t it’s cool, I still love you.