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Review: When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)

September 9, 2013

Title: When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Format: eGalley

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.—via Goodreads

There is a lot of really good stuff happening in this book.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite come together for me.

It’s possible that the reason is more about me than it is about this book, which is richly conceived and delves into Einstein’s theory of relativity and string theory. I’m not going to pretend like I understand either of those things. So it’s possible that the book didn’t work for me because my brain refused to comprehend what the hell was going on.

However. I have quite the love for books that deal with time travel and time slipping, so I think that this book could have worked if the entire premise of—I don’t think this is a spoiler because…Einstein—alternate dimensions and travel between them had been introduced earlier. Sure, there are subtle hints, but they are extremely small and only the most intuitive of readers (meaning Sheldon from Big Bang Theory) could have put exactly what was happening together with the larger hints of characters’ behavior changing seemingly overnight.

In the end, there were a lot of threads still dangling that I was thinking, “Wait, what about that?!” about. But, this book isn’t a bad read—it’s engrossing and mysterious and a bit frustrating, but the story at its core is epic and sweeping. I just wish I had been able to wrap my brain around it a little easier and that a few of the major scientific themes had been revealed earlier.

When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)

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