Monday, September 16, 2013

Review and Blog Tour: When the World Was Flat (And We Were In Love) by Ingrid Jonach

When the World Was Flat (And We Were in Love) by Ingrid Jonach
ARC received from Strange Chemistry
Release Date:  Available Now
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Poignant and Bittersweet
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.

I’m having a hard time coming up with the words for how this book made me feel.  While it was slow at times, it always had this aura to it, like I was slowly reading one of my favorite poems.  So, I guess I would describe it as poetic, an alluring mixture of science and beauty.

The first thing that attracted me to this book was the title—I absolutely love it.  It is so perfect for this story.  Have you ever had that nostalgic feeling, where you just look back on the great moments of your life and smile?  And you find yourself thinking about what it was like “back when”?  That’s what this title describes, that feeling of being happy and mesmerized—even if it only lasted for a moment.

I found this love story to be both beautiful and terrifying, but not terrifying in the horror sense.  It was terrifying in the “what if it ends” sense.  There were twists and turns in the road, and I really enjoyed the road to discovery that Ingrid paved.  In fact, I read this book in less than 3 hours because it just flowed so well.  It is also a short book, so you don’t have time to get caught up in overwhelming details.  (This might bug some people who like more definite world-building, but I’m not one of those people.)

The only thing that bugged me was the slow pace at the beginning of the book.  I think I was about 80 pages into it before it really hooked me, so that is going to turn some people off.  However, if you stick through the slower beginning, you will be rewarded with an endearing love story that rivals the ages.

While I did not like the secondary characters in this book, I did find myself hooked on both main characters, Lillie and Tom.  They were both broken in some way, but not so broken that they seem to have no hope.  I liked Lillie’s “I don’t care what you think” attitude because she pulls it off without being abrasive.  It’s not an “in your face” type of attitude; she just merely exists, like she walks through a shadow of her own making.  I liked that fierceness about her, whereas both her friends seemed to fall deeper into a pit of despair because of the problems of high school (bullying, peer pressure, etc.).

Then there’s Tom.  He’s not the type of guy who is going to sweep you off your feet, but he is the type that will make you smile at just the right moments.  He’s a fierce protector that stays on the sidelines until he is really needed.  He is stand-offish at first (and you discover why later in the book), but once you get inside his head, you can really see his heart.

Overall, I really enjoyed this romance with its touch of science fiction.  The ending did feel rushed, and I would have liked to know more about how the “science” came into being; but, it probably would have been too much to add all that science gibberish.  So, I’m happy with how Ingrid told her story.  I will definitely be looking for more of her books in the future.