Soulmates by Holly Bourne (review copy) - Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.
Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates.
After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love… From Goodreads
When I first heard about Soulmates, I was so intrigued to read it! I just loved the idea of soulmates actually existing, but their bond being dangerous to the world. I started reading it as soon as it arrived, and I enjoyed it!
When it comes to love, Poppy is a cynic. The whole idea of romance and falling in love just seems completely ridiculous to her, and she's absolutely certain there are no happy endings. Then she meets Noah, and everything changes. The feelings she has for Noah are like nothing she has ever felt, and she is surprised over just how strongly Noah returns her feelings. Poppy and Noah are soulmates, each the other's perfect match. But their happiness comes at a cost - their being together puts the whole world in immense danger. They have to choose, stay together, or live apart?
As I said, I enjoyed Soulmates, but there were a few things that I weren't so keen on. Poppy was one of them. She was just so sarcastic and cynical, I found her incredibly annoying. And she was so insecure, which is surprising as Poppy's dad has a thing about encouraging her to be aware of her own self-worth. But whenever Noah was in the slightest of moods, it was because she was unattractive or he didn't fancy her any more. She didn't even consider that there could be some other reason.
Noah was also a little too sappy for my liking. This is mostly down to personal taste, but his great declarations early on aren't really my bag. Especially as they didn't know they were soulmates at the time, and he isn't even sure she feels the same way. Talking about being together forever after just a few dates would have me walking away backwards very slowly. He was really romantic, however, and planned some of the most awesome dates! Seriously, soulmate or not, Poppy is one lucky girl in that respect! And there were a number of hot and steamy moments! Yeah, despite his habit of declaring his undying love at every opportunity, Noah is pretty much perfect!
Despite the description about the book, it's heavier on the romance and Poppy and Noah's relationship than on the consequences. We're aware of some of the effects on the world, and they comment on them quite frequently, but as they don't know they're soulmates, there is no connection made. Every few chapters, we would have a chapter in italics told in third person - as opposed to Poppy's first - showing us Dr Anita Beaumont and her assistant Rain, members of some unknown organisation who have been keeping track of Poppy and Noah's relationship, and deciding what action to take. These chapters are so intriguing, and I wish we had more of them! I would have liked to have understood a little more about what it was they were doing than seeing Noah and Poppy kiss again. The book does feel a little unnecessarily long to me when so heavily fosed on the romance, but I was gripped nevertheless, eager to know exactly what their relationship is doing to the world, even if they were completely oblivious.
The science! Oooh, the science! Not only is Soulmates a really sweet novel, the science it's based on is absolutely fascinating! Having the biology of love - how it actually manifests in the body - was really interesting! Though I must admit that I was loudly thinking "NO!" when some of the arguments about love were discussed. You can't help but really think about your own views of love and what it is - your beliefs, and the strength of those beliefes, while you're reading, and exactly what you would do for love, and to then have someone - a character - try and tell you you've got it all wrong... it's amazing how strongly I reacted. In it's way, Soulmates is a thought-provoking and challenging book, and really has you asking questions.
The ending is absolutely incredible! Seriously, it might just be one of the best ending's I've ever read. Those last few paragraphs made my heart sing, and filled me with such hope! They had me loudly thinking, "YES!", and brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. They're words I will come back to over and over until I have them memorised. After so much cynicism, in the end, Poppy is a girl after my own heart - though it does kind of feel like Bourne is talking herself, as well as Poppy. Really, such an amazing ending! Soulmates is awesome and educational, with an ending that is too beautiful for words!
Thank you to Usborne for the review copy.
Published: 1st September 2013
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