When the World was Flat by Ingrid Jonach
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.
I was first drawn to this book because it's a Strange Chemistry title and they haven't let me down yet, and this definitely stood up to their standards. Ingrid Jonach introduces an intriguing sci-fi/romance about a girl who is plagued by dreams of her death and a boy who is always around to save her. Lillie would like to say it was love at first sight, but for Tom, she doesn't think he feels the same way, especially when he acts so cold towards her when he's around other people. There's a mystery that surrounds by Lillie and Tom and Lillie is determined to find out why she feels this way about Tom and what secret Tom has been hiding from her, but does she really want to know the truth?
For me, the start of the novel was a bit slow and I was stuck thinking 'is this even science fiction?', yeah, there was plenty of signs that it was romance, but absolutely no signs of any of the out of the ordinary stuff happening, unless you call an insomniac teenager who dreams of her own death out of the ordinary. I'm glad I didn't give up on the story, because once it jumps over that hurdle, Jonach plunges the reader into a world of mystery and suspense as Lillie tries to discover what secret Tom is keeping from her, as well as why she feels so strongly for a boy that doesn't reciprocates her affection.
The characters are strong and well-rounded, with an interesting background cast that makes the story interesting to read. The only other issue I did have with this story was the little bit of insta-love that happened, as well as the infatuation for the boy, but when the secret is revealed it actually makes sense as why their love has been written this way.
This novel was an interesting take on the sci-fi genre, one with a definite unique twist, and I look forward to reading more stories from Ingrid Jonach and Strange Chemistry in the future. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good teenage romance story with a unique twist or slice or sci-fi.
Source: NetGalley2013 Debut Author Challenge: #9 of 12