Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in Emily Henry’s brilliant follow-up to The Love That Split the World, about the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations.
In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies. But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.
Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.
But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.
Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored. And she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all of the O’Donnells before her—to let go.
I am such a sucker for Romeo and Juliet retellings. Theres something about the star-crossed forbidden love trope that I cannot get over. So when I saw a modern retelling with magic interwoven, I knew I had to read it right away.
This story feels like a bit of a mix of Romeo and Juliet and Hatfields and McCoys. It feels like a mystery that you unravel layer by layer to figure out what happened between their two feuding families. I love this aspect because each piece of the puzzle is revealed through ghosts and flashbacks. But the magical aspect weaves itself into the story so seamlessly, that it makes it all very believable.
The romance is entangled with the magical threads and there are many parts that are downright cute and swoony. At first, it may seem like a story that is instalove, but I feel like this is a story where they already know so much about each other because of how much history is already between their families. The only complaint that I have about this book was that the romance started waning towards the end. I wanted more interaction between Saul and June. I think it would have made the last half of the book so much stronger.
This has quickly become one of my favorite reads of 2017, and I cannot wait to see what Emily Henry has in store for us next. In the meantime, maybe I can finally get around to The Love that Split the World!
*I received an ARC of this from Penguin First to Read in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my review*