{Blog Tour} Review + Character Interview + Giveaway: When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach

Monday, September 2, 2013

When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)
Title: When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Publication: September 3, 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.

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thank you so much to Caroline of Strange Chemistry for the review copy and for Ingrid Jonach for letting me join the blog tour! Still, receiving a review copy and being part of the tour did not affect my views of the novel.

Wow. I'm still breathing deeply as I just finished WTWWF. I'm having such a hard time reviewing this because you won't know how great it is until you've read it. Sure, I can say how much I love the characters and how compelling the narrative was. I can state how much I adore how Ingrid Jonach wrote this novel, with its fantastic pacing. How Ingrid made me resemble a panting dog anticipating everything and coming of utterly satisfied and a bit brokenhearted with how everything panned out. But still, it won't cover everything without me spoiling you and you wouldn't want to be spoiled.

In reality, I'm still in a book hangover from WTWWF. I actually sent four consecutive emails to Ingrid after I read it and it wasn't like we were talking. I just sent emails out into the ether, ranging from the short to the long ones and from the spazzy ones to the coherent ones. I just need to talk about it and probably get it out of my system but lo and behold, I still can't stop talking about it. I talked to myself in the bathroom, processing everything, but it's not enough. I NEED TO TALK TO A PERSON NOW. So please, if any of you have read WTWWF already, please talk to me. I need to bounce off my ideas, thoughts and everything without heeding for spoilers. I need to freely talk about spoilers!!!11 But for now, I will be dodgy and review this spoiler-free.

WTWWF was told in Lillie's perspective looking back to when she met Tom. Hints of what will happen keep on popping out and it will tickle your appetite for more. With the mystery hanging in the air, I still enjoyed how Lillie tells us the story of how Tom arrived in her life and how little she divulges. I didn't get frustrated with this mystery and in fact, I just wanted to know that I didn't realize the pages flying by. I finished this in half a day and knowing how slow I read, that was really fast. The science in this sci-fi romance didn't come until about halfway but it still held me enrapt to it as we slowly see how it unfolds. So you could say it's as much a contemporary romance than it is sci-fi. Gah, I love sci-fi romance.

Let's get to the characters! Lillie. I love Lillie. She's funny in an off-handed way. Not your usual sarcastic one but she has more of a self-deprecating humor. She gets it from her insecurities but she's not a pushover. She sounds and looks normal, which I totally appreciate. Some readers found her irritating but I don't know why! Sure, she's your common plagued-by-nightmares heroine but I never had a case with it because for one, the narrative was satisfying. You get some answers and you gain some more questions. There were arc conflicts, expected and totally unexpected ones, and an overarching one. Then it wasn't like Lillie was a damsel in distress wailing in grief and asking for help. It's just that Tom was there every single time. For me, I unapologetically love Lillie. Let's get to Tom. Oh, Tom. Tom Windsor-Smith (I am swooning just from his name) is the hot-and-cold new guy at Green Grove, Nebraska. He acts like he couldn't care less about Lillie but then he swoops in and goes chivalrous. I know, you might be rolling your eyes here. Handsome, hot, mysterious new guy who's everywhere? But seriously, even though the trope has been done to death, Tom isn't a bit irritating. He's a perfect gentleman and as rare as his smile and laugh are, when it appears, you know it's worth it. I can spout off a litany why Tom isn't like all the other hot, mysterious new guys in YA. Maybe it's because he rocks in Physics? #nerdsrock

The way Ingrid Jonach has written WTWWF was commendable. She gave Lillie a little quirk right from the start and I love how the novel shows it all the time, giving Lillie a unique voice. Moreover, as a nerd, I absolutely squeed when Albert Einstein was mentioned. As a fan of sci-fi (romance), I take it to heart that the science in the novel must make sense. It doesn't need to be true but in the world of the novel, everything must fall right into its place. And fell right into its place it did. The science in here was impeccable and it was explained in not so many words. Yes, no info dump in here. It was easy to understand too for those not heavy on the sci-fi. Gah, I can't even talk about the major plot of this novel without spoiling you! It's kind of frustrating. Just read it!

I was so giddy when the title was mentioned in the novel and how apt it was. Don't you love that bit when the title suddenly makes sense once you've read the novel? Truth be told, what attracted me to this novel was its title and how little the blurb gleams over the actual storyline. Being a mystery buff, I wanted to know what was the secret Tom was hiding. Moreover, why is it titled like this? Oh, how wonderfully apt, I tell you.

But probably what made me drunk on WTWWF the most was the marvelous ending and the epic love it showed. Once again, I can't disclose how epic this epic love was but it's AWESOME BEYOND WORDS. It will make you doubt and swoon. It will break your heart. It will be painful but it will be bittersweet. A love so selfless, a love that transcends, that's my favorite kind of love. #sappyromanticalert

When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach is a compelling and outstanding masterpiece weaving in mystery, mind-bending twists, alternate dimensions and an epic love altogether seamlessly. Perfect for fans of parallel universe and time travel romance novels like me, which makes this book perfect for me. You wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it long after you have finished reading it.

And because WTWWF was told in Lillie's perspective and Tom isn't a talkative guy, I wanted to interview him so we can know more about him. Luckily, he agreed and here's my interview with Tom Windsor-Smith!

Tom Windsor-Smith
A younger Jensen Ackles
Character Interview with Tom Windsor-Smith

Can you tell us something about yourself?

I always get top marks in physics. [Hesitates] More? Okay. I like reading poetry. It reminds me of a girl I knew a long time ago.

What are your hobbies? How do you spend your free time?

I used to play cricket, but that was before... I have other priorities now and rarely have time for hobbies. I spend a lot of my spare time practicing martial arts and learning survival skills, but it is because I have to, not because I want to.

Before moving to Green Grove, Nebraska, where were you from?

I grew up in England, but you can probably tell that from my accent. I have also spent some time in Australia and in the United States. My parents used to travel a lot, but they decided to stay behind when I moved. [Shrugs] I was mainly raised by my grandmother anyway.

How was life before you moved? Do you miss anything?

[Pauses] Empty. There was a time when it was full, but that was another life...

What was your first impression of Green Grove, Nebraska?

[Smiles] Familiar. It was as if I knew every street in town. I probably could have driven to school blindfolded.

How would you describe your ideal woman?

Funny. [Chuckles] I would never have said that a few years ago, but I am starting to remember what it was like to laugh.

What was your first impression of Lillie Hart?

At first I thought she was like every other girl I had met, but then she started to make me laugh. I am not sure she even realizes she is funny.

Favorite movie?

I rarely watch movies. I have enough dreams and nightmares to keep me entertained.

Favorite book?

Aside from poetry, I like to read the imagined dreams of Albert Einstein in Einstein’s Dreams by physicist Alan Lightman.

Favorite quote?

How about my least favorite quote? I loathe the saying, It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. [Grits teeth] I loved. I lost. And I would rather I had never loved at all.

If you could have three wishes, what would it be?

I wish I could go back in time. I would give her a clue — just a bit of information. A warning. [Sighs] I guess that is my second wish — that I could change the past. And, lastly, I wish that I could have saved her and my… [Shake head] Never mind.

Any message to our dear readers?

If you read this book and anyone asks, there is no such thing as the Evacuation. You have never even heard of the Circle. Okay?

Any message for Lillie?

It would be better for you if you stayed away from me. I am not sure if it would be better for me though.

About Ingrid Jonach

Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.

Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.

Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.

Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.

There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:

  • a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
  • a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
  • a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.

The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via

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  1. Can I just say this sounds amazing?!? I had no idea how great this book was. Fabulous interview too! So fun! :)

    1. I'm so happy I got this book into your radar of awesome, Lisa! Hope you love it too as much as I did! And yes, I love this character interview as well. So so much. Thanks for dropping by! <3

  2. LOVE the interview with Tom! I think it says a lot about how much Ingrid knew her characters!
    congrats on a great blog!

    1. I know! I wanna ask more questions so I can get to know Tom more. Thanks for dropping by but I wish I know your name!

  3. The character interview felt real! And I have a feeling I'm going to love Ingrid Jonach's works! She seems so different and fresh! Looking forward to reading it! ^-^

    1. I love how Tom's answers really gave us a look of his personality. <3 I'm swooning!!! Hope you get to read it soon! Nah, you MUST read it asap! I love it and I hope you do too, Lillian!

  4. I liked this book for reasons I don't entirely understand, haha. I had a lot of issues with it but I'll still probably buy a copy to read again. Great interview :)

    1. I actually read some negative reviews and although I do get why they didn't like it, it didn't make me dislike it. I guess this book is just truly for me. Hee.

      And thank you! I love the interview! <3

  5. I got approved for a galley of this and can't wait to finally get to it! Strange Chemistry has had so many great titles, I love them as a publisher! Great review =)

    1. Strange Chemistry rocks. <3 You must read WTWWF as soon as you can! Thanks for dropping by, Emily!

  6. Glad you enjoyed this one. Unfortunately, I really struggled with it. In the end, I didn't enjoy it at all. I just had so many issues.

    1. I actually understand why some people didn't like it. However, this kind of books is just my cup of (tea) book so I loved it. Thanks for dropping by, Vivien!


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