Title: 180 Seconds
Author: Jessica Park
Rating: 5/5 stars
“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.“ (description from Goodreads)
I’ve read most of Jessica Park’s work and have been blown away by her writing. With her latest novel, 180 Seconds, this hasn’t changed. I’m not sure this author has a bad book in her.
It’s hard to come up with just one reason why this book made me want to keep reading and reading (even though, because of life, I couldn’t do that). The characters were great. They probably top the list of reasons. They were so real, relatable, and knew they were flawed. I think that last part was what made me like them even more. They knew they weren’t perfect, and that worked into their actions.
I also thought Park, like always, was able to work current trends and culture into the story, while still being able to keep the interest of a reader (me) who might not be up on what characters in college might be into and using the internet for.
This book isn’t all fun and games, though much of it is. Neither Allison nor Esben doesn’t have a great past. Their present has obstacles. But it’s how they get through them and build on where they came from that makes this book a necessary addition to my top reads list.
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About the Author:
Jessica Park is the author of LEFT DROWNING, FLAT-OUT LOVE, the FOL companion novella, FLAT-OUT MATT., FLAT-OUT CELESTE (new!), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. Jessica grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years in the frigid north, including suffering through one memorable Halloween blizzard, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in (relatively balmy) New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dogs named Fritzy and Finn, and a selfish cat. When not writing, Jessica indulges her healthy obsessions with Facebook and complicated coffee beverages.
You can e-mail her HERE. Tell her about your ex-boyfriend who was a font nerd. Or send pictures of awesome Flat People on adventures. (You get bonus points for this. Possibly some sort of award, too.) Stories of online romance. Apartment rental disasters. Skydiving experiences… Whatever you want. And like any normal person, she has an online addiction, so you can find her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER where she updates with much greater regularity than she does on her blog.
Jessica is a huge proponent of self-publishing — after all, it worked well for her! — and has put together some thoughts for other authors on the self-publishing process and its pros and cons on this site.
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