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

When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) Book Cover When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)
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 can’t decide whether When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) is brilliant, and I’m just too dense to follow its twists and turns, or if there are really as many plot holes as I think there are.

Just in case it is brilliant, and you do decide to read it, I’ll try not to give away any spoilers. The most I’ll say is this: as hinted at in the synopsis, Lillie and Tom are connected. The ins and outs of that connection, and the implications of it, are rather complicated, and there is a lot of room for confusion and inconsistencies.

I found it very difficult to keep track of what was going on in this book; there seem to be a lot of discrepancies. In one scene Lillie and her friends will be in a fight, refusing to so much as speak to one another, and in the next they’ll be having a heart-to-heart about serious topics as if nothing had happened between them. Likewise, there’s a chapter in which Lillie feels so betrayed by a character, so aghast, that she flees from that person. In the next chapter, however, there’s no hint of the previous emotions, and all she can do is yearn for that person to the point of becoming depressed.

There are times when a character will explain he “rules” of the universe, and you’ll put forth a lot of effort trying to get them straight. Once you think you’ve finally managed to wrap your head around those rules, that same character shows up again and says, “Hey, those rules I told you about? There are actually loopholes. So nothing I said earlier is really accurate. Sorry!” and you have to readjust all over again.

I could’ve overlooked the complaints detailed above if the romance had been swoon-worthy, but it wasn’t. I felt no attraction to Tom whatsoever, which is pretty shocking – I generally can fall for any love interest who is even remotely appealing. I just didn’t connect with this book, though, and I had a hard time buying the love story. In the end, the novel just didn’t live up to its intriguing title and cover.

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