[464]: When the World Was Flat by Ingrid Jonach

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Strange Chemistry | Hardcover,
272 pages | September 3rd, 2013 | Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars


This book started out fantastically. For the most part, I was able to forgive the heroine’s annoying quirks (until I couldn’t), and the book’s seemingly lack of desire to stand out. The author also tried to explain the dynamics in relatively simple terms. However, the deeper we delve into parallel universe and multiple dimensions, the more confused I’ve become. And just like that, the book fell apart like a leaning tower of Jenga blocks.

Will the real Lillie Hart please stand up?

Really unfortunate considering this is one of those books that had me in its grips 75% of the time. But once the explanations of how many versions of themselves had lived and died, and which versions of themselves are actually in the present, it was buh-bye rapt attention. ย Because they’ve lived numerous dimensions already, it was really hard to figure out each characters’ real personalities. It became vague, convoluted and just plain muddy.

It was hard to reconcile the generally immature Lillie Hart to the Lillie Hart that Tom had fallen in love with. This one is just way too obsessed with a boy who avoids her like she carries the black plague.

And the general confusion doesn’t end with the unhappy couple. It always irks me when a character treats another like the scum of the earth because he or she was doing it for their own good. After a few push and pull from Tom, it had become increasingly annoying.

There was a lot of allusion to the evil “evacuees”, but not enough evidence that they were, in fact, the villains in the story. Other than the fact that “evacuees” are meant to kill the original sliders, none of them really made an attempt.

This is not Science Fiction.

In this book’s defence, it was not really marketed as YA Sci-Fi. I mean, the title alone tells you that it had to be romance, right? And yet the focal point of the story really is about Tom and Lillie’s connection. The readers will get tiny crumbs throughout the story, and it will drive you nuts. Too many dreams of dying, deja vu, and insinuations of how they’re connected, but the author doesn’t ย reveal the core of the plot until near the end. So if you’re going into this in the hopes that it will satiate your taste for parallel worlds, you might be a bit disappointed. However, ย most YA readers would enjoy the romance.

Ho-hum.

The following over used tropes can be found in this novel:

  • Copious amounts of slut shaming.
  • Small town girl whose self-confidence can fit into a thimble.
  • Said small town girl pines for mysterious, rich, unattainable English boy.
  • Cliques, and Mean Girls mentality.
  • Absence of parental units.
  • Secrets. Lots and lots of secrets.

When the World was Flat has an interesting premise, but the Sci-fi elements were abysmal. It spent too much time showcasing the push and pull relationship between Lillie and Tom and not enough effort in explaining the dynamics of “sliding” and parallel dimensions. The result was a convoluted story arch that had become dangerously close to becoming inconsequential.

  • I was reading your statuses on GR and thought that this will be at least 4/5 stars book for you. Sorry it was rather disappointing in the end, but I can understand why.

  • Annoying characters are the reasons why I drop the book and never read it again. By the way, your photography skills are soooo awesome! Tika’s talked a lot about you and I’ve just got the time to check out your blog. I see you’re going through a revamp as well. Can’t wait to see the new look!

    P.S. I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS <3

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

  • I was intrigued when you mentioned the sci-fi parts but then got confused when you said it wasn’t? It sounds a lot like a contemporary novel with some sci-fi thrown in for ‘plot’ and ‘world-building’. Those cliches make me cringe, no thank you!

    • It truly was the most frustrating part of the book. Those never ending cliches. Ugh.

  • It’s difficult when it’s different frm what you think. I didn’t know about this one but I’m not that much a fan of Sci-fi I confess. Not sure it’s for me. Thanks for the review.

    • Thanks, Melliane. I had a hard time liking this one, for sure.

  • Wow, yeah, I had NO idea this was science fiction. I really thought it was a contemporary romance too. Plus you just listed almost every trope I despise, definitely going to be skipping out on this one. Oh and congrats on self hosting!

    • All it was missing was the love triangle! Lol. Thanks, Alise.

  • Oh wow! This sounds like it was quite the messy read. I’m not particularly fond of parallel universe books and this sounds like it’s so confusing. Also, I’m so sick of slut shaming in books. This kind of mentality needs to end. -_- Ugh.
    Great review, Joy!

    • Me too. My eyes tend to glaze over by the mere mention of it. *shudders*

  • Zoe

    I hadn’t heard of this one before, but I honestly don’t think it will be at the top of my wishlist anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I absolutely adore parallel world stories, but the science has to be well-explained and easy for someone without a background in that science to follow along, you know? It’s always irritating when the author overcomplicated the world-building. And those YA tropes… *facepalm* I don’t think any of us readers are interested in reading about any more Mary Sues or forgotten parents, no?

    Anyhow, well-written and thorough review Joy. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜€

    P.S. Love the new blog layout too!

  • Ohhh, well. I loove parallel world stories, but I’ll just skip this one. I love romance as much as the next girl, but it can’t be in lieu of the story itself.

    • Oh if you like parallel universe, you might enjoy this one Rachel. I just had way too many problems with it most of all is the need for all the cliches.

  • I don’t mind the tropes if it’s done well. I’ve read formula books and found them enjoyable but I’d like the plot to support the blurb so even if I don’t like sci-fi much, I’d be disappointed if that part is lacking.

    • The slut shaming irked me a lot. As well, all the unnecessary suspense.

  • Eeek Joy, well done for sticking this book out Joy, I can totally see why you would find yourself drawn to this book, the promise of parallel worlds always tend to call out to me. But Tom just sounds like a horrid character! Sorry you weren’t able to enjoy this one more, but thanks once again for another honest review!

    • Thanks, Jasprit. Though now I’m starting to hate myself. Am I to continue living in a world full of 1 or 2 star reads?! *sobs*

  • I like that cover. So gorgeous. <3 But aw. I'm sorry this book was disappointing ๐Ÿ™ especially since it started good. Hmph. How mean. Thank you for sharing about it, though. <3 And two stars isn't that bad, at least you didn't fully hate hate hate it, lol ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m sorry you didn’t like it. It doesn’t really sounds as though I would like it either.

    – Love, Felicia
    ( http://asillygirlsthoughts.weebly.com/ )

  • I’m sorry that this wasn’t better for you. I hate when I have certain expectations and book don’t live up to them.

  • I can’t say that I’ve heard of this one before, but regardless, I won’t be reading it now! There are very few well-written, YA sci-fi novels out there, are there not?

    • I know what you mean. I can’t even think of one. Cinder? Maybe? Yes. Definitely. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson?

  • Can I borrow your book photography skills for the month of December, Joy? I am participating in an IG challenge in an attempt to post more, and I really suck. LOL Anywho, I can’t stand annoying heroines, and stories that deal with time travel usually end up a jumbled mess which seems to be the case with When The World Was Flat. And, holy tropes!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

    • Lol! Thanks, Carmel. I do have my moments. It’s all about the lighting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • First off, fantastic picture, I love it!

    And second, boo! Too bad this fell apart. It sounds like it had potential and then the author went overboard with the whole dimensions and parallel crap. Bummer. This type of reads are so hard to find that are well written and easy to understand.

    • Thanks, Ali. I love how it turned out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh nooo, the way you described this with the alternate dimensions actually really intrigued me – it reminds me of The Prestige movie. I really do not like the sound of the YA tropes and the confusing sci-fi elements though. Great review Joy!