Title: 180 Seconds
Author: Jessica Park
I had my eyes on this book for a bit and finally decided to go ahead and buy it and then I ended up reading it almost immediately after I got it. This is a short book and I read it in one go in a couple of hours.
Here’s one of my “incredible” summaries:
Allison Dennis has begun her junior year of college and keeps to herself pretty much 24/7 holed up in her dorm room. After a life spent bouncing around in different foster homes and then finally being adopted at the ripe old age of sixteen, Allison still keeps people at arm’s length and knows that nothing ever truly lasts.
After being roped into a social experiment, where she has to keep eye contact with a stranger (read: dreamy fellow student and social media star Esben Baylor) for 180 seconds, Allison’s life is flipped upside down and with an encouraging push from her best(and only)friend, Allison tries to embrace this new and exciting life and everything that comes with it, both the ups and the downs.
So the premise of this book sounded cute and like an easy read, right? And it was. For the most part.
Allison is this shy and insecure girl who keeps to herself and is basically the most anti-social person you could think of. Her only friend is Steffi, whom she spent time in foster care with, but she moved to Los Angeles and Allison is stuck at college on the East coast. Bummer.
But then we meet Esben (a common Danish name actually so that’s cool and unsuspected), a fellow student and dreamy social media star who conducts social experiments, films them and uploads them to the internet (we’ve all seen these, right?). Allison is literally hauled in from the street (after actually leaving her dorm) and is placed in a chair across from Esben with only a small table between them.
The three minutes start and with Allison’s internal counting we go through all the different emotions that she experiences throughout these three minutes where she has to stare into Esben’s gorgeous eyes. And hey, three minutes doesn’t sound that long, does it? Well, apparently you can feel a lot of things in 180 seconds and Allison goes from trying to appear indifferent to have serious internal emotional turmoil and when time’s up both her and Esben fiercely hug the crap out of each other.
Shit just got intense! And it sort of made me want to try it. I suck at keeping eye contact, so maybe it really is that intense.
Anywho. Most of the book is this cute discovering lovestory of two different people, but then of course, as with all books like this, shit hits the fan and it hits the fan in a big and unfair and crappy way. Seriously. Page 201 broke.me.down and I did NOT see that coming. You’d think I was reading a bloody Colleen Hoover book or something. Fist in my chest, ripping my heart out. Ugh. I almost threw the book on the floor, but I didn’t
*Kids, be kind to your books.*
But okay, it was a nice twist to an otherwise predictable story although what happened after was a little far-fetched, but I guess it was a way of showing what social media can do.
All in all it was a sweet love story (minus the breakdown at page 201). It’s a fast read and although some of the choices in this book I did not agree with at all and was sort of a weak attempt at stirring drama in the end, I did end up giving it 4 stars. I was torn between 3 and 4 stars, but since I don’t give .5 stars, I decided to round it up to a 4.
So, do I recommend this book?
Yes I do.
To those who enjoy a good contemporary lovestory and aren’t afraid of getting the tissues out to ugly cry (so basically most people).