180 Seconds by Jessica Park
Published by Skyscape on April 25 2017
Genres: New adult, romance, contemporary
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.
I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
180 Seconds is a feel good contemporary novel, complete with an adorably cute romance, complex characters and a relatable social media aspect. This book is a crazy whirlwind of events, and trust me when I say once you pick this book up you won’t want to put it down! You’ll whiz through the story finding yourself at the end in what felt like 180 Seconds…
Let me start off by saying that 180 Seconds is my favourite 2017 contemporary read of this year so far, and that’s saying a lot from someone who’s read 57 books, yet I only rated 3 books 5 stars… 180 Seconds was one of them! Convinced yet? If not, here’s my reasons why I loved this book so incredibly much.
Trust me when I say it only takes approximately 180 seconds for you to be completely invested in this book. From the beginning, with the easy writing and relatable characters, this book pulls you in from the get go. First we’re introduced to our main character Allison, I felt like I connected to Allison in a way, she was a little bit shy, tentative and for the most part a hermit. Not to mention she also shares my love for falafel, who knew? Allison likes to keep to herself in her dorm room and isn’t particularly interested in social interactions, she was also adopted at age 16 by her wonderful father (who happens to be gay), Simon, I’ll talk about him more later. However this all changes when Allison collides with Esben, a social media star, in a social experiment. There is an insane instant attraction between the two. Esben was hands down my favourite character within the book, at first he comes off as cocky and self-centred, but as Allison and Ebsen become closer we learn that he is the sweetest most compassionate guy ever! Not only was Ebsen intelligent, insightful and deep but I especially loved how he uses his social media platform to positively impact the lives of others. Just seeing him so thoroughly invested in helping others brought joy to my heart, this book will make you believe in miracles again!
The relationship between Esben and Allison was beautiful, Esben fully respected Allison and constantly supported her. They were one heck of a duo and I loved it! In this book Allison was surrounded by people who truly cared about her and wanted the best for her. Steffi, Allison’s best friend was always reminding Allison to be the best version of herself and wanted her to live her life to the fullest. Simon is everything you want from a father, he’s understanding, supportive and most of all acts more like Allison’s friend than anything. Seeing Allison’s incredible support system and unbreakable connections she had with these people was so heartwarming and uplifting. And it was through these people that Allison could break out of her shell and discovered her true sense of self.
Despite this book seeming like a light, fluffy contemporary it also contains some darker themes. 180 seconds explores topics of cancer, death, sexuality, rape, consent and sexual assault. There is also a diverse cast of characters with characters that had been in foster care, adopted, a single gay father, numerous LGBTQ+ characters, a character that had cancer and more! This book had me laughing, crying and squealing in delight, it definitely took my emotions on a roller-coaster ride!
Ultimately, 180 Seconds is the prefect all-round contemporary novel. With a cute romance, diverse characters, important topics, it is one crazy ride, to say the least! I would highly recommend this book if you’re looking for something to cheer you up, after reading this you’ll definitely believe miracles are real!
Have you read 180 Seconds or any other Jessica Park novel? If so, let me know your thoughts! Do you want to read 180 Seconds?