180 Seconds by Jessica Park
I anxiously await every new release Jessica Park puts out. After she wrote one of my all-time favorite reads, Left Drowning, she has become an auto-read author for me. When I read the blurb for 180 Seconds and saw the gorgeous cover, I knew I had to have it. I preordered that paperback the very second I saw it live on Amazon. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I was hyped up for this release and had very high expectations. I was expecting a book that made me FEEL, one that made me FALL IN LOVE. I am happy to say I got both of those things from this book.
Allison Dennis spent most of her life in the foster care system. She is starting her third year of college and is one of those people who keeps to herself. The only two people she has in her life is the man who adopted her at 16, Simon, and her best friend, Steffie. Steffie and Allison have a beautiful friendship. They are each others person and more like family than anything. Steffie is the only family Allison has ever known and the only person she’s ever truly let in.
"Hold on to your one. Remember? I have you, and you have me. And 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.”
Things start to change one day when Allison is minding her own business and gets pulled into a social experiment of sorts. It’s here she meets Esben. Esben and Allison sit across from each other for 180 seconds. Those seconds, those moments, they are so powerful. Honestly, reading that was so moving. I thought it was such a brilliant way to introduce the main characters. You felt their spark, the strong connection they shared. You felt everything.
When Allison gets to know Esben and slowly lets him in, she starts to change. Watching the change in her was such a beautiful thing. Allison was a real and flawed character. I felt for her. I loved how raw and real she was. Esben was pretty perfect. Almost too good to be true. As was Simon. I just adored him. I loved a lot of the characters in this one. I loved the romance between Esben and Allison, but I loved even more that it wasn’t the entire focus of the book. This story is so much more that a romance. It’s an epic journey for Allison. It’s her finding who she is and embracing it. It's her learning to let people in.
180 Seconds has all the things I love in a book. A broken character, emotion, heartbreak, and heartwarming moments. It was’t a sad book per se, but boy did it bring out the tears for me. But there weren't only tears, there was also a lot of laughter and love. Park’s writing is fantastic and her stories are always unique and beautifully written. Allison’s story was genuine and from the heart. I recommend for anyone looking for an emotional NA read.