Published by Strange Chemistry on September 3rd 2013
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.
WHEN THE WORLD WAS FLAT (AND WE WERE IN LOVE) is one of those books where I’m tempted to just push it into your hands and shoo you away to read it because I am terrified of giving away any spoilers! The story of Lillie, a young girl from Nebraska who has a nagging feeling she’s met new boy Tom before is both highly original and captivating. I read this book in a matter of hours, compelled to turn the pages until the stirring conclusion. Ingrid Jonach has created characters whom are realistic and endearing and a story filled with mystery and intrigue and (most importantly for the girlish side of me) love.
Six months ago Lillie was a well put together, organised young woman who’s biggest worry was what crazy new-age scheme her mother would thrust on her next and what plans she and her friends Sylvie and Jo had for the weekend. Then…the nightmares started. Hazy, yet terrifying, Lillie slowly begins to dread going to sleep as a sinister figure stalks her dreams. As time progresses the dreams become more vivid and Lillie finds it hard to distinguish between reality and nightmare when darkness falls.
When Tom enters the picture, playing hot and cold with her emotions, Lillie finds herself even more confused. As she and Tom dance around each other, taking one step forward and one step back simultaneously, she wonders if she’ll ever get the answers she seeks. Who is Tom? Why does she recognise him? Who is the shadowy figure in her dreams and why is her best friend acting like she’s in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”?
One thing I found incredibly interesting about this book is how the relationship between Tom and Lillie developed as the book progresses. At first as Lillie meets Tom, drawn to his mysterious nature I feared the dreaded insta-love, even more so when Tom acts like he’s repelled by her one minute and swooping in as saviour the next. However while their relationship is indeed central to the plot, Lillie doesn’t lose herself in this boy and I was happy to note that Jonach places a great emphasis on the female friendships Lillie has with Jo and Sylvie. Their presence is felt throughout the book and they are never relegated to the shadows as Lillie and Tom’s story takes shape. Indeed the same can be said for Lillie’s relationship with her mother. While Deb might not be a fan of conventional parenting she is always there for her daughter which in YA is rare particularly when the boy enters the picture.
Lillie and Tom’s connection is mind bending and captivating as is the reason for Lillie’s nightmarish dreams and loathe to give away any spoilers let me just say it made the whole story wildly romantic for me and while I’m not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to Einstein and physics, Jonach’s use of science to weave a story that is equal parts dream-like and realistic is no small feat and is both exceptional and captivating. Highly recommend!