Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

7:30 AM

I am so glad I finally got to this book. It was exactly the mood boost that I needed. All the good things that I've heard of 180 Seconds didn't prepare me for how brilliant it was and Jessica Park is truly on fire.


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.


180 Seconds by Jessica Park
Rating: ★★★★☆

A little fun fact for everyone: when I first started Booked J, we had some additional letters after the J. Namely, ones that represented two of my friends, aka the other original reviewers who joined me for the first few years of book blogging.

During that first year, we were sent quite a few books directly from authors and publishers. I don't remember who sent them to us, but back then Jessica Park had a cozy mystery series going on under the name Jessica Conant-Park with her mother and we were sent a couple of books from said series. I've always been found of her because of this memory--I'll honestly never forgotten the names of the earliest authors who were amongst our first reviews!

That being said, 180 Seconds is actually my first experience with Jessica Park's solo writing in ages. I had been meaning to get to it since it was first published in 2017 and, well, better late than never! The first thing to note about 180 Seconds is that it's deeply moving and unforgettable. It's thoughtful, sweet and romantic, and really wonderfully developed.

There's honestly not a lot to complain about when it comes to 180 Seconds. Frankly, it sets the standard for its genre and left me feeling a ton of emotions. The characters all great and full of life; there's flaws in them, there's this gentleness in some. In order to create believable characters, and connections, there has to be this balance of traits and Park pulls this off perfectly.

While NA can be hit or miss for me--too much of this, too little of that--this is not the case with 180 Seconds. 180 Seconds attaches itself to your heart and refuses to budge. This is definitely one of the more enjoyable novels set in NA that I've read recently and I can't sing its praises enough. It's just a really wonderful story that will make your heart soar and break and repeat.

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