Published January 26, 2016
Summary on Goodreads
I had picked up this book to fulfill one of my Read Harder Challenge bullet points because I had to read a debut novel. I wonder if it still counts because this was a debut novel in 2016 and at that time, the author hadn’t written another novel yet but I know for a fact that her second book just came out so…but whatever. I think it still counts.The one thing that really bothered me about this book was how confusing it was. I felt that the author didn’t really do a good job in portraying what was going on and really explaining the whole alternate world and whatnot. It was confusing to the point that even now, after I had finished the book, I’m still not 100% clear what really happened. The ending was also a bit vague as well. It’s good for people who enjoy open-ended conclusions so they can take it upon themselves to finish the ending but it’s bad for people like me who like clear finishes. It was quite aggravating.That being said though, I did enjoy the overall plot and the characters as well as the build up to finding out the reality of the alternate world(s). There was certainly a lot of mystery involved and that intrigue was also quite prevalent. Like I said, I just wish things were better explained especially at the end when the climax arrived. Also, another thing I noticed was that the climax was pretty much at the really, really end and then it just ended. There were only a few pages of explanations for the aftermath where Natalie goes off and makes her big decision and that was the end.The main characters were definitely Natalie and mostly Beau as well. I would count him because he’s such a main focus even though the story didn’t really circle around him and his family. I liked the intense attraction between the two and even though their relationship was quickly developed, it didn’t feel forced. I thought the author did an awesome job in portraying that particular aspect very realistically. However, other than the two main characters, the side characters were definitely lacking with the sole exception of Matt. Everyone else could have easily disappeared and I would not even have noticed. Natalie’s friends and family were there for sure but they were so in the background that they didn’t really play any role other than simply being there. Matt’s role was only more pronounced because he was Natalie’s ex and they did that whole jealous ex game.One aspect that I did appreciate was all the stories that Grandmother told. I liked how the author incorporated stories from multiple backgrounds and various religion. It made things more cultural as well which I liked.Overall, the book was decent but I don’t think I would read her second book because I heard it’s quite similar with the whole alternate universe theme. I guess that’s her specialty? However, if you enjoy these types of books then I definitely recommend it otherwise you can easily skip this one.