'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Sunday, 28 July 2013

REVIEW: When the World was Flat - Ingrid Jonach

When the World was Flat - Ingrid Jonach
When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love)
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.
*Received in exchange for an honest review*
*Thank you, Strange Chemistry*
My reasoning for this three star review is going to sound ridiculous, especially considering the title. The reason is, there was too much love. I know, I know. The title itself even says 'and we were in love' so surely it is my own fault. Which I totally accept. The thing is, I don't mind having love in my books, in fact, I really enjoy reading about it. The problem was that this was very much INSTALOVE (if you've read it you'll probably waggle your finger at me and tell me well yeah because if this *bit* in the plot but that still doesn't work for me, unfortunately). I am a massive lover of strong female figures and I definitely felt that Lillie lacked in this. She was far too reliant on Tom and her whole hyperventilating scenes brought to mind Twilight, something that will instantly downgrade the novel for me. 

HOWEVER, despite the love scenes and the dependences, I still found this a hard book to put down. Every chapter contained something which kept me turning the pages. Why is Lillie having these dreams? Is it natural to die this many times in your dreams? Why is Tom so anti-social to her? These were all questions that I was eager to find out. These questions were unfolded in detail and drawing me further into this world. The world building was great and I truly felt that this place exists, that the events in the novel may actually be happening. This is a great achievement for an author to create this sort of feeling in a reader. Ingrid Jonach is a great writer in this aspect.

The characters within the novel were definitely believable, and some of the adolescent events which occurred are certainly things attempted by teenagers now. My one problem however was with the female characters. Sylv was most certainly stereotyped into this 'slutty' figure. There was no adaptations of it and nothing subtle about it at all. I mean, fine, maybe there are girls like Sylv around but it is their choices and I wasn't too happy with the negative aura which surrounded Sylv. The same thing happened with Jo. Jo is depicted as a 'manly' and 'fat' girl who never receives male attention. By the end of the novel, this Jo has changed and is now 'toned' and with a boyfriend (who has also gone from being bullied to a muscular guy). It felt that these characters had to alter in order to survive. Is this a societal message that Ms. Jonach tried to weave into her novel? Maybe. I just felt very uncomfortable with it. 

Despite a few of the issues I encountered with the novel, it definitely is an original read. It's light, fast reading and very interesting to see how the plot spans out. I really did enjoy it. The concept of what unfolds is fascinating. I'm being very cryptic as I don't want to spoil this or anyone that is going to read it! The characters appeared very real (despite a few negative portrayals) and it contains a few high school clichés. These clichés do not make this book unenjoyable. They are something familiar and something which makes for a good read. 

2 comments:

  1. I was very intrigued by the title and plot of this book, and just got it to read. I hope I enjoy it! But I was glad to read your review to temper some of my expectations. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am curious about this one but maybe I will wait a bit!

    ReplyDelete

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