Dual Review~~180 Seconds by @JessicaPark24
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.
Dawn’s 5 Blush Review
A TOP PICK FOR 2017
180 Seconds is quintessential Jessica Park. It has the same essence as Left Drowning. Which totally had me squealing with delight. (Left Drowning is one of my all time favorite books ever.) 180 Seconds had me feeling a whirlwind of emotions from the first page to the last. Despair, sorrow and ultimately, love, all engulfed me.
Allison is a young, beautiful girl who grew up in foster care. For most of her life, she was made to feel unloved and totally rejected. As a result she hides from the world. I automatically connected to Allison. I felt all her despair, awkwardness and loneliness. I just wanted to hug her. A surprise encounter with a social media star, Esben Baylor changes both their lives in a matter of a 180 seconds…. Esben is like the Robin hood of 2017… A modern day super hero. He has such a pure heart. He steps out of the box and does wonderful things to help people or even just to put a smile on their face. This story reminded me of just how good the world and people can be…. As perfect as Esben seems, he has a past he’s still dealing with as well. Seeing him and Allison’s relationship form was beautiful. Especially seeing her transform and view the world differently… ultimately both of them needing each other. I had butterflies and feels! I loved everything about this book. At times it was a difficult read and down right heartbreaking, but I promise it is worth it.
Side note: Wait till you meet Simon and Steffi. Simon is Allison’s adoptive father and Steffi is her best friend. You will fall hard for these two. They project so much love and loyalty, it’s hard not to love them. Jessica did a phenomenal job making them loveable and essential players in this story.
Tera’s 5 Blush Review
I have had Flat Out Love and Left Drowning on my TBR for… well… ever. And I’m thinking that’s a damn shame because 180 Seconds is probably one of my top reads ever. One of the best kept secrets from me must be Jessica Park. Who knew? Who left me sleeping under a rock?
Allison is a broken girl from a broken home who was adopted at the age of 16 by a single dad, Simon. She is quiet, reclusive and hiding from the world. Esben is a social media sensation who has left me nearly speechless on how to describe him. He is social and sees so much good in people. Allison and Esben are polar opposites, but their magnetism during a 180 second social experiment has flipped Allison’s pole.
“I empty my mind until I am barren, until I don’t feel like me, until I don’t feel like anyone.
I just exist. Barely.”
This story is beautiful. Watching Allison’s character develop is just overwhelming. The connection between Esben and Allison is so convincing that even I believed in their “insta-love.” I cheered them on. I loved their innocence. I loved their growth. I loved everything about this book. I loved all of the essential secondary characters… Kerry, Steffi and of course, Simon. I don’t think I’ve had a book make me feel like this book since I read Bright Side. The affinity for the characters could easily be likened to Kate, Keller and Gus.
“I love you, Allison. It happened when I wasn’t looking for it, when I didn’t know I needed it. But I fell in love with you so quickly and so smoothly. So without question.”
I found myself smiling so much through this book. And of course, I cried. Another fabulous YA that I quite literally could not put down.
“…When you’re lucky enough to find one-just one- person in this unforgiving life who makes everything worth it, who you love and trust and would kill for, then you hold on damn tight because that’s probably all you get.”