'Soulmates'. A title that would gain an Oscar for being excessively cheesy. Until you read the book. If you're not into all this cheesy mushy malarky do not panic; granted, there is a hefty bit of it. But there is also such an ingenious plot that makes your hands spasm from wanting to turn the page so much. Trust me, its good.
The novel follows the unique story of the two protagonists, Poppy and Noah. Poppy is a headstrong female (albeit a cynical one at that). She despises all of the stereotypical 'clichéd' lovey-dovey business; Romeo and Juliet and Cathy and Heathcliff to name a few. But as she states herself, her life is undoubtedly one big cliché. She's 17, lives in a small town (which she hates), and guess what? She has mental health Problems too. Original. In her own words she "detests myself for my lack of creativity". Oh, but the cliché does not end there. Oh no. You would never guess it, but the boy she meets happens to be in band, the son of millionaires and to top it off, suffering from depression. One fat big cliché indeed.
Maybe the characters would also gain an Oscar for being terribly cheesy and over-clichéd. But this is where the over-melodramatic cliché ends. Holly Bourne has thought of such a fascinating and prodigious plot twist, so great indeed, that all of the cheesy cliché stuff is instantly forgotten and Bourne is forgiven wholeheartedly.
The big twist that contradicts all of societies stereotypical ideas of love and 'soul mates' is that in this case, two 'soul mates' or to be more scientific, when two people's genetic information is a perfect match, they have the potential power to be earth-shattering, and not in a good way.
I know I often say this, but I was hooked from the first page. The novel is written in first person, from the perspective of Poppy. I loved the way that Bourne interpreted the thoughts of a teenage girl - from our inner thoughts to little nags - she understood it all. It must have been a difficult challenge writing as a cynical to suddenly love-swamped, hormonal teenager, but Bourne somehow managed to pull it off - and brilliantly too.
Holly Bourne's writing style is incredible. Some young adult fiction radiates a 'forced' feel that denies you the chance to become thoroughly invested in the book. Conversely, Bourne writes with magical simplicity that portrays the characters and the events in a such a 'real' and plausible nature, it's incredibly hard not to feel your chest tighten and your pulse quicken at times.
The book also raises some thought-provoking issues and ideas about love, friendship and life in general. As Poppy developed as a character, you followed her path into becoming what she promised she would never become - a love-dosed soppy teen girl who, dare she even think of it, giggles. But in the end, the image she so heftily avoided was exactly what she needed for herself to understand life and love fully.
The best part of the novel was by far the ending. Not being ashamed to say that I am intrigued by the world of science, the explanation of the huge twist was truly captivating and thought provoking. Let's just say; Holly Bourne certainly did her research! Even though for the majority it is fiction, the way in which it is written is undoubtedly authentic and plausible. I'm not one for the super natural and paranormal, but this book felt far from it.
Oh, but the last chapter. I am speechless. I even found myself tearing up, which is a rarity in itself. It may have been one of the best ending's I have ever been fortunate enough to discover- words that brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. It manages to fill you with some sort of hope, and it left me eagerly googling to spot any rumours of a sequel. Unfortunately not, but I cannot begin to express how incredible the ending was.
Please. If it is the only thing you do, read this book. Ignore the over-melodramatic clichéd plot and enter this magical portal of a book. You will not regret it, and I promise you a big grin on your face and tears in your eyes; even you big tough-nuts out there will find a soft spot in your heart for this wonderful novel.