Monday, 5 August 2013

When the World Was Flat (and We Were in Love) by Ingrid Jonach (2013)


Description from Goodreads:

Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.

An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.

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Thank you Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry/Exhibit A for giving me the opportunity to read When the World Was Flat (and We Were in Love)!

I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't have any kind of expectations for this book because I hadn't heard about it previously or the author. In fact, I had really high expectations as the idea of When the World Was Flat (and We Were in Love) is just amazing. I don't want to spoil why the book belongs to science fiction category, but let's just say that the idea was just otherworldly. 

I think the author was a little bit too ambitious with concept. The sci-fi element is based on the theory of everything, or as Wikipedia defined it as the theory which links all the physical phenomenas together. I'm not a physicist myself and so not an expert on the issue, but the description of theory as well as the integration of it in the story wasn't exactly bad, yet not excellent, as it should have been. I feel like if the author had done more research about the topic, she could have created a phenomenal book. However, I felt like Jonach did only a mediocre job which downplayed the concept of the book. 

Another thing which bothered me quite a bit was all the high school drama going on. Melissa was the mean girl who constantly ridiculed and belittled Lillie and her friends Jo and Sylv. I'm not a fan of this type of drama, and so I got really quickly tired of Melissa's tantrums and mind games, and how she and Sylv were in a prolonged war. Jo on the other hand was a bit more mellow character which totally suited me, even though she went a drama of her too.

Lillie on the other hand was the most stereotypical YA heroine. She wasn't like all the other girls: she wasn't popular with her camera and hippie mom, neither she was exactly a beauty queen with her dark circles around her eyes if it wasn't for her bright emerald green eyes. On top of this, I didn't find her very likeable. At the beginning of the book, I did like her, but when she fell for Tom and made a move on him, and he didn't respond like she wanted him to, Lillie started criticise him. What? Not very mature of her.

However, the love interest Tom was perfect. He had the perfect looks and a perfect personality: dark hair and crystal blue eyes with a protective and loyal personality. The only downside to him was that we didn't get to know him very well. Yes, we learned about his past and so on, but this doesn't exactly equal to multidimensional character.

When the World was Flat (and We Were in Love) wasn't exactly my kind of a book as I want my sci-fi as more profound and scientific. However, those who do like their novels slightly science fictiony but not completely engulfed by it, might enjoy the book more. Even though I wasn't exactly captured by the novel, the ending was surprisingly excellent. I liked how Jonach didn't create an "easy" way out and left things even a little bit open (possibly for the future books). And I simply loved the title (great choice, Jonach!).

The book had so much potential in it, and I'm a bit surprised how disappointed I was when I didn't exactly fancy it. I hope other people get more out of it than I did!

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