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 Park is a name I feel mildly comfortable with. Two of her previously released books are among some of my favorites, however, it has been nearly four years since I’ve read (or reread) any of her works. Despite the considerable time spent away from her books, as soon as I saw the cover for 180 Seconds I knew it was something I wanted to read. Then, after taking in the synopsis, I was absolutely sold and hoped that Ms. Park would again bring about a story that would leave me emotionally drained in the very best way.
I absolutely fell in love with pretty much everything found in the first half of 180 Seconds. I got roped in pretty quickly by the skilled writing and the loveable yet terribly inaccessible Allison. Her character was written SO well. It was easy to understand her personal choice to remain disconnected to others while still finding humor and lightness in her personality. Allison is the kind of character that you pray will have one of those epic transformations. I very much enjoyed the other characters Steffi, Esben, and Simon and thought the dialogue was cute and funny. This read very much like an upper YA actually (is it? I’m not even sure), and I had many “first-love” feels in response to Esben and Allison’s romance.
Once the relationship between Allison and Esben becomes established I lost interest pretty quickly. The writing was still strong, the characters never acted out of turn and the pace seemed to remain with a nice momentum but my interest was just…gone. Somehow every element of the story line became exceedingly predictable and corny, and I ended up skimming the majority of the remaining half.
I had some really high expectations based on my previous experiences but this one was just okay. I’d recommend it if you are looking for something endearing and hopeful and light on emotional havoc.