The Whole World by Emily Winslow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Polly and Liv are Americans studying abroad in Cambridge. When Nick, a friend of theirs, goes missing, The Whole World turns upside down. Is Nick still alive? And does his disappearance have to do with what happened between him and the girls? That's what Morris Keene and Chloe Frohmann mean to find out!
Yeah, I fudged the teaser a little bit. That's the book I was imagining when I picked this up. Look For Her was part of one of my Pagehabit boxes and I liked it quite a bit. While I liked this one, it was not the same kind of book.
The Whole World is a character study in four parts that happens to feature a mysterious disappearance. Polly, Liv, and Nick are all working on a project, sorting a blind woman's photos, when Nick disappears after some romantic misunderstandings with Polly and Liv. The story is told in four points of view: first Polly's, then Nick's, then Morris', and finally Liv's. Each tale reveals more of Nick's disappearance and the events surrounding it.
Now that I write it out, I liked the structure of the book quite a bit. Instead of being linear, the narrative curves back in on itself quite a bit. Honestly, there's not a lot of sleuthing to be done. Nick's fate is revealed early and the shit doesn't really hit the fan until late in the book.
I understand now why Emily Winslow doesn't call this a series, precisely. While Morris and Chloe are characters in this book, they are secondary to Liv, Polly, and Nick. While the story wasn't what I expected, the book was very well written. I'm a little on the fence about reading the second and third book, although I'm interested in what happens to Morris' marriage and daughter and Chloe's future.
The Whole World wasn't what I expected but I still enjoyed it. Three out of five stars.
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