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.
Allison is special, she is. Battling the demons of her past, being thrown from one foster family to another, she struggles to trust people. The only person she actually trusts is Steffi, her best friend. She doesn’t let others in, not people she meets at school, not Simon, her foster dad. She’s on her own, in her dorm and fights to survive.
This was so familiar to me since I’ve always had problems trusting people. I honestly still do and reading the way she copes with it was… heart-lifting because it gave me hope that it can change. That I can change. Yup, I definitely connected with Allison.
Because that’s what people do: they leave. When things are good, when things are bad. People leave.
Then the 180 seconds happen. The influence of that social experiment is amazing, magical even and Esben makes an entrance that’s simply as wonderful as he is himself. Now, Esben is the newest addition to my favorite contemporary characters! He’s sweet, thoughtful and tries to fight his own demons while still helping others. It’s beautiful to see and feel.
You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.
Oh the feels! Really people. I went from happy to fluffy happy to even fluffier happy to crying my eyes out. This book had me smiling, laughing, crying and bawling. It lifted me up, broke me down and ripped me to pieces in a way you cannot even imagine. Not unless you’ve read this book as well, that is. Which you should. You should read it.
“Look, I’m not a shrink, but… hell, you’ve kind of been through a lot, and if you ask me, it is okay that you’ve been in a shitty place. Just because that’s where you’ve been doesn’t mean you have to stay there if you don’t want to.”
I’m not even spending any more words on this review.
Just. Read. It.
He still smells like cookies and love.