Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘180 Seconds’ by Jessica Park


Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss a new book by author Jessica Park called ‘180 Seconds’, which was provided by ‘Skyscape’ and ‘Two Lions’ for review. Jessica Park grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has also previously written several books entitled ‘Clear, ‘Relatively Famous’, as well as the series ‘Left Drowning’ and ‘Flat-out Love’. This review will be spoiler free, so if you’re ready let’s find out whether you should add this book to your summer TBR or if 180 seconds of your time is more than this book deserves. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

‘180 Seconds’ is about a college junior named Allison who lived within the foster care system until she was adopted at the age of 15. Due to what she experienced as a child, Allison is not comfortable forming strong bonds with people, which includes her adoptive father Simon. The only person that Allison feels truly close to is her childhood best friend Steffi. All of this begins to change when Allison unwillingly participates in a social experiment conducted by social media star Esben Baylor. The 180 seconds that this experiment takes sends Allison on a path to discover what love and friendship mean to her, as well as the realization that sometimes the strongest people hide the darkest demons.
Personally I really loved this book as a whole. Immediately we are introduced to a cast of interesting characters that show new layers the further into the story you go. Allison is a relatable, interesting protagonist that we see tremendous growth from throughout the course of the novel. Esben is also an interesting character that at first glance appears to be the stereotypical perfect love interest, but is later shown to have much more to him.  However one of my favorite characters had to be Allison’s adoptive father Simon. He is our diverse character in ‘180 Seconds due to the fact that he is gay however, Jessica Park does an amazing job to show that Simon is also fun, funny, and above all an amazing father (seriously this guy has a superhuman amount of patience). Although I did thoroughly enjoy this book, there were a few places here and there where the book lagged a bit and I felt myself skimming the pages a bit until the story picked up again. Although this didn’t happen often, I did have to knock my rating down from 5 to 4 smiley faces because of this. Also, this book does mention sexual assault twice in reference to two of the characters’ backstories so if you are triggered by this please proceed with caution. In conclusion I would say that this book is definitely worth the read due to its interesting mix of fun romance and deep emotional topics.
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