Book review: 180 SECONDS by Jessica Park

Title: 180 Seconds
Author: Jessica Park
Daniela’s rating: 4.5 stars.

Daniela’s review

** ARC provided by Netalley in exchange for honest review.

As of today, I’ve read 300 books!!!!!!! And I can’t tell you how happy I am this this milestone was achieved by reading this book <3

If you haven’t heard or read anything about 180 Seconds by Jessica Park, here’s the blurb:

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.

Ok so, you know when you’re reading a book, and you get pulled into the story and its characters completely, you forget where you are? And with that, the fact that you’re surrounded by STRANGERS? It’s one thing to laugh and cry in the safety of your room when you’re reading a book, but it’s an entirely different thing to cry while you’re on a plane, flying back home from a family trip.

And guess which one applied to me in this case?

Crying in public, of course.

But want to know something? I don’t regret or feel embarrassed by it in any way, because I can’t begin to describe how much I loved this book, and you can’t be embarrassed by something that makes you feel so good, even when you’re crying. I know, that’s weird.

I was captivated by this story from the second I started reading it. I’d only read Flat Out Love by Jessica Park before, but when I read the blurb of this one, it called me. Like, I knew I had to read this, and I can now thank the saints and angels at Netgalley that gave me the chance to read it.

180 Seconds is the kind of book that you just want to keep reading because it makes you smile like a complete dork in love. That was me yesterday morning. That was me last night. That was not me today though, because the tears just kept rolling down my face every five seconds, but you know what? Even though I cried most of my flight, I believe it was totally worth it.

Ok so, if you read the blurb, you know this book is about a girl who’s had a tough time trough life and she just wants to be left alone so she can do what she needs to do  to get through life. All that changes the second she realises she’s in the middle of a social experiment. She has to interact with a total stranger, only they can’t talk, or touch, only stare and see what each other’s eyes tell the other one, for 180 seconds. As the seconds tick by, Allison experiences a rollercoaster of emotions, some she understands because they’re the same she’s felt her entire life, like anger and annoyance. But some are confusing her way too much and these are the kind of feelings she tries to stay away from. These are the feelings she stops with the walls she’s put up since forever. Or more like it, these were the feelings she used to stop. Now, she can’t seem to keep her walls up, not even for 180 seconds.

Who knew a simple stare could destroy years of building those walls that kept her away from everything and everyone, the walls that kept her safe from hurting? Who knew that outside these walls there was a world of possibilities, yes, some pain, but also great happiness?

We currently live in a world where social media is both a tool of empowerment and destruction. We all see good things happening all around the world, but mostly, I think our newsfeed is more occupied by awful things happening, even more frequently than we see the good stuff. And that’s SO sad. I’m a true believer that there are good people out there, people who want to help or make someone smile with no expectation of getting something in return. And sometimes, whenever we do see something good, no matter how small or big, there’s always someone ready to make rude comments or criticise whatever’s going on. And I wonder why? Why can’t they just shut up and let everyone live at peace? It annoys me to no end and in this book Jessica depicts realities that are both good and bad, but completely real, and how people react to them. I loved it.

These characters here, they’re all just so incredibly awesome. From the main characters to the secondary ones, they all play a huge part in the development of the story. Every single one of them is gorgeous in their own way. They all have something to give to the story, to help the main characters grow. This book was completely refreshing to me. It felt like the kind of book you can pick up at any time and it will give you the smile you’ve been wanting to have plastered all over your face or the tears we sometimes need to let go. This book shows both sides of humanity, the one that still makes us believe there is good and lets us hope, and the one that can destroy even the strongest of smiles in seconds. But somehow, you end up feeling lighter and your smile is broader, or at least mine was once I finished it.

I swear, this book was incredibly amazing and I hope you guys give it a chance <3.

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