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.
Who knew that 180 seconds of staring into Esben’s eyes could turn Allison’s life around so much? I know how it sounds and what happened in those 3 minutes of silence is hard to explain but the author made it an extremely loaded moment and was able to describe it with lots of feeling. I think this book pretty much falls or stands with this scene because it has to be believeable that they connect in that moment and I did feel it in the beautiful way it was written. Those 180 seconds with all of Allison’s thoughts and emotions swirling around and the description of that connection, of him really seeing behind her walls, was amazing to see.
Allison has always been guarded and has done everything to protect her heart, never letting anyone in behind those high walls and I couldn’t have been happier to see that Esben really sees through her.. isn’t it what we all ultimately want, being understood and able to be ourself and still be loved? It was so easy to root for Allison.
This novel is so heart-warming and has such a great cast of characters. I loved Allison’s father Simon, her best friend Steffi and Esben’s sister Kerry. There’s a background story that is really moving for each of them and made me like them even more. And Esben, oh Esben is one of those perfect book boyfriends. He’s doing so much good in the world, showing random acts of kindness via the videos he uploads. He’s so thoughtful and caring and everything a girl would want.
But then.. my poor heart! I didn’t expect it to happen AT ALL but reading this novel made me feel as if my heart was going to explode. Their attraction and development of the love story was so sweet and beautiful and gave me such a high but then a cruel, cruel author (just kidding) took my blissful feeling and turned me in an almost blubbering mess. Yes there were actual tears and believe me when I tell you that doesn’t happen very often. 180 Seconds got me all emotional though and it’ll be added to my shortlist of books that make me cry. This was a story of enormous personal growth, it was moving and touching, with enough sadness and love to get me through the next few months of reading.
180 Seconds is the first novel I read by Jessica Park and it certainly won’t be the last. She definitely scored in my books!
This novel was included in the Bookworm Box of May 2017.