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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: When the World Was Flat


Title: When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 3rd 2013
Source: Netgalley/Strange Chemistry

★★★

Three stars.

Lillie's life is relatively normal. She's a small town girl, with friends she's known forever, in a school where everyone knows everyone else's business. But her world comes crashing down when a new boy moves to town. He seems eerily familiar. Between this strange newcomer, horrible nightmares that she can't quite understand, and the return of a schoolmate who moved away years ago, the landscape quickly seems to be changing. Slowly she learns the truth behind her dreams and why Tom is so familiar... But is it too late for her in this world?

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Ugh. Every once in a while a book comes along that I just don't know how to rate. There are aspects of this book that I adored, and others that made me almost give up on the book entirely. I guess the good and bad even out to a three for me.

Let's get my negative rants out of the way first:

I hate the protagonist. Lillie is a girl that I would never knowingly be friends with. It's no wonder she's invisible and average at her high school- she's judgemental and unpleasant. She's constantly remarking to herself over how big of a slut her "best friend" Sylv is, because she wears short skirts and makeup. And then there's the other "friend" Jo, whom she refers to as being masculine and that some makeup wouldn't kill her. But it's not just these characters. The goth/emo girl in her art class is automatically called a potential serial killer. She turns up her nose at the nerds who are into manga and D&D like she's so much better, when she makes a point of ho humming about what an average person she is. She's hypocritical about her feelings for her mother, an eccentric hippie/bohemian type, as well. One minute she's thinking about how big of an embarrassment her mom is, with her tie dye shirts, odd herbal remedies, and praying to a variety of gods. And yet, when she has nightmares she turns to her mom and her dream dictionaries, uses the oils in her bath, and drinks the teas to calm herself. Lillie's whole outlook on everything is negative, until she meets Tom, and thereafter her existence is defined by having a boy in her life. She also somehow manages to get drunk on one sip of alcohol. I know she's in high school, but, bull.

This book was a very strange mix of stories that I've heard before and originality all jumbled into one. It's an odd mixture of Doctor Who, Twilight, Slide, and The City of Masks, with some original influence. By definition I shouldn't have enjoyed this book...

But for some reason, I did. As much as I don't like Lillie, I wanted to know how the story ended, and why she was having the dreams, as well as what her connection to the new boy Tom was. I also rather liked the side plots that were happening to her friends. Somehow, Sylv, Jo, Tom, Jackson, and even her mom helped me to press through this story until the end.

There's a dark tone (other than Lillie's outlook) that haunts the writing of this book, that gives the whole thing the sense that something really bad is going to happen. The details were well written, though in my opinion too much time was spent on clothes and the like.

I could go on a tangent about the science aspect of it, but, it's a work of fiction inspired by a theory. I understand that liberties are to be taken.

I wish I could explain why I liked this book, despite the fact that I find more flaw in it than good. I just liked it.

If you're a die hard sci fi fan, I wouldn't read this. But if you're into YA insta-love fantasy, maybe this book is for you. There's slut shaming and judging that goes beyond typical high school drama, but for me the intrigue of the plot was enough for me to keep with it.

Thanks to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry for my copy.

6 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what to think of this book, there seems to be so many bad things, yet, I'm intrigued to know more about the story. I'm torn on if I want to read it or not, gah!

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    1. I read it and I still feel that way haha.

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  2. Eeeesh. I don't know if I want to read it or not. Lillie sounds like she would annoy me into throwing my book across the room!

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    1. She had some really good moments..... But most of the time I kind of hoped her nightmares would come true!

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  3. This sounds like my experience with Everneath hahaha

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    1. I have yet to read that, but I really ought to. You had a love hate relationship with that book I take it? :)

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