“Sometimes the most beautiful moments in our lives are things that hurt badly at the time.
We only see them for what they really were when we stand at the very end and look back.”
The quote I chose above pretty much sums up this book, I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. Natalie went through some traumatizing experiences but she learned and grew to understand these experiences as the story builds up. She was hurting from her past and even her present, it does not help that she was told her future would be grim as well. An old lady shows up in her room and called herself “Grandmother”, tells her these stories that were to help her understand life better. Some parts were obvious, even the ending was and I don’t really know how I feel about the ending.
This review does contain spoilers just like all my reviews, so please continue reading at your own risk!
Now let us talk about Beau Wilkes, this man has been through some crazy things in his life. He loses his father and his mother is not really there for them while his brother is a drunk. Beau too picks up this habit only to find himself between worlds, there he finds Natalie Cleary who he falls in love with. She too fell for him; the two just seemed to be made for one another. The problem was that they both lived in different worlds, literally. He needs her, because she is the only thing that makes his life feel less like a shit-hole while she needs him because he is the only one that makes her feel safe and sane. He thinks his life just gets darker and that there is no reason to hope for anything more while she sees how talented he is and how he can have more. Beau can play football, is artistic and musically gifted. The way these two found one another would be what most would call fate, I rooted for these two. When he entered Natalie’s life things just got even more complicated for both of them. I would say more but I would prefer that you read this book!
I quite enjoyed it though. I laughed, I was teary-eyed, and I was angry and as I kept reading it was getting harder to put the book down. I found Henry’s approach towards time travelling quite different from the norm and I liked that. She found a creative way to set a time travelling story without making it too obvious and bland. It was complex at some parts, especially since she mixed them up with nightmares and different worlds but it hooks the readers to keep reading. To find out how and why this is happening and she explains it. Not in a way that would confuse someone, nor was it in any way difficult to understand either. It was written in a way for the readers not only to comprehend, but to have already witnessed their understanding through the story itself. She has the reader trying to figure out the story and the reason behind it, and once the explanation kicks in, the reader finds it easier to grasp due to the events that occurred within the story itself.
One of the things I loved about this book was the stories told by “Grandmother”, how they fit in with her experiences. She knew how to get Natalie to understand them once they happen in her life. See, Grandmother is actually Natalie in the future and she already witnessed these events. She not only helps Natalie learn from them but she eases the pain for her when they come. These were all done through stories she heard or read in the past, chosen for the specific event in her teenage life. It was sort of a reflection for Natalie, to realize how the stories that were told correlated to her life experiences and how she ended up retelling and recalling these stories whenever she felt a relation towards them. It was a neat way to show the difference between Natalie as a teenager and her as an adult. She saw it herself and as the story was coming to an end Natalie grew to love herself without knowing it. Natalie was quite the strong character, she did not let others manipulate or take advantage of her. She did not let peer pressure get to her and she knew when to say no or draw the line. Especially with all that was happening to her, she knew how to control things.
It was also quite refreshing to see a Native American main character, one that was determined to be who she was and to find who she was rather than just continued to try and fit in. We all try so hard to fit in when being different helps us get to know ourselves better and help us grow to love ourselves. We rarely see Native Americans as the protagonist in books, especially in Young Adults. This was overall a good read; I recommend it to those who enjoy a good sci-fi romance. Though I still feel unsettled with the ending, I refuse to say more because it would be too spoiler-y but I must say this book was thrilling to read. Emily Henry really knew how to end this book, I was both happy and angry about it. Ha. The only thing I did not like about this book though was how some parts were too predictable, but other than that I enjoyed it. It was a great book chosen by Owlcrate 🙂