17 February 2018

180 Seconds: Review

Title: 180 Seconds
Author: Jessica Park
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Find: Amazon | Goodreads
Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

Jessica is the author of CLEAR, The Left Drowning Series (LEFT DROWNING and RESTLESS WATERS), the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (& the companion novella FLAT-OUT MATT), FLAT-OUT CELESTE, and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

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The beginning of this story was really promising. In fact I only meant to read for a chapter or two and quickly got drawn in to the developing relationship between Allison and Esben. These two were actually really adorable. And the blossoming romance throughout the story was something to behold.

Ms. Park knows how to write romance.

My only issues were that Esben was just too. Too what? Well, too good, perhaps? I love the good guys. I really do. But, Ms. Park took a social media "entertainer" and made him into a philanthropist. Maybe I'm just too jaded to buy it.

The other issue was that instead of a slow, steady build-up to the emotional hook of the story, I felt we were kind of karate-chopped into the situation. I like a little bit of "reality" mixed in with my fiction and I just didn't accept the way the events unfolded in the last half of the book.

Character development for Allison was what it should have been. And, again, seeing Allison and Esben together was really endearing.

With all the hype over Ms. Park, I will definitely be trying out another one of her works.

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