Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

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.

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*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Have you ever tried holding eye contact with someone for three minutes straight? Not as in a staring contest, but actually looking someone in the eyes. Suddenly three minutes seems more like three hours. For shy, asocial Allison, it’s what nightmares are made of. Three minutes interacting with a stranger, and everything changed.

Esben is the complete opposite of Allison, and therefore really easy to like. He’s one of those super social guys, who people just gravitate towards, and above that he’s just the nicest. Thanks to his social media presence he also leads a public life, though he uses it to do all these amazing, wonderful things. Falling, and swooning for him is effortless.

For Allison it is not though. She grew up in foster care, and while there were some good families, and some less good families, it did leave their damage. Even adopted at the age of sixteen, Allison is still extremely wary of people, and does everything in her power to keep everyone at a distance. Even her dad. From the moment that we get to know her, your heart just breaks. You know that if she would dare to bring those walls down, she could be so much happier. That there is no need to shut herself off.

Upon meeting Esben, for the first time in her life she dares. Allison takes a chance, and slowly she lets her walls down. Esben shows her a whole new world, she lets people in, and all seems to be going so well, and happy. Until suddenly it’s 1AM, and you’re crying your eyes out. 180 Seconds will definitely give you all the feels.

Superb writing, idealistic book boyfriend, heartfelt friendships, new families, and first love, I adored every second of 180 Seconds. 

4.5 stars

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  • the autumn review

    Thank you!