Sep 13, 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.
Not much happens in Green Grove, Nebraska. Ask 16 year old Lillie, who has spent her whole life in the small town with her eccentric mother and two friends who are basically from opposite ends of the spectrum. So when word gets around that there is a new face in town, it brings curiosity and wonder to Lillie and her peers. Tom Windsor-Smith arrives at Lillie’s high school and changes everything. His mysterious demeanor and timid actions are followed by gossip left and right. The girls are all head over heels in love (including Lillie), and the boys look at him as nothing but competition. Despite the attention, Tom seems to have no particular interest in Green Grove and it’s citizens. But for some reason, he is drawn to Lillie (though he would rather ram his BMW into a lightpole than admit it).
Tom’s arrival changes not only their schoolmates, but something deep within Lillie herself. She becomes victim to nightmares almost every night, and it doesn’t help that her closest friends seem farther away than ever. She imagines a life with Tom in incredible details that she wonders of their relationship. Tom’s presence in her life increases over the months, and she finds her feelings growing past the physical want to something deeper. When a night out with a friend and peer pressure turns into an unnecessary risk on her life, Tom’s hot-and-cold actions begin to reveal themselves. As Tom shares with Lillie the his true nature and that of their relationship, it alters her worldview and very being. Tom’s secret is not only his own, it is much bigger and involves many more people… and it threatens to separate the two for good.
I will definitely admit that I am a hopeless romantic. I love a good love story, and Jonach definitely did not let me down in that aspect of WTWWF. I really liked Lillie’s character from the start. She is not a damsel-in-distress, she is a teenage girl who puts herself first and looks at all of her options before making a decision and sometimes doesn’t notice the state of her other friendships. She gets confused and scared of new things. She is a typical teenage girl and I thought she was very likable and relatable. Tom, oh Tom. There were a lot of times where I found myself annoyed at Tom’s hot-and-cold attitude towards Lillie. But in the end, I ended up really enjoying his character. He is well bred and loyal to a fault and is willing to sacrifice everything for the one he loves. Their romance grew on me as the story went on. I really enjoyed the minor characters as well, I thought that each character added to Lillie’s story and improved it, as well as help the reader understand Lillie’s own character.
I liked the science/physics aspect of WTWWF. Jonach has put a unique and interesting spin on science fiction, and while it was complex, it was well-explained and it made sense. Her approach to Einstein’s theory made me appreciate Tom and Lillie’s relationship so much more, because it truly shows the significance of love. For when one falls in love, they are changed forever. They will never be the same. They will always put their beloved above themselves. And as Lillie and Tom’s story unfolds, us readers see that. We see how far two individuals in love are willing to go to protect one another.
The title is so fitting. After the big reveal and all of the plot twists, Lillie is changed. Her new knowledge has changed her and she will never go back to being the girl that she was all those months ago. Just like all those years ago when those scientists and geographers determined that the Earth was not flat, but instead round. It changed everything. And once you finish the book, you recognize how perfectly titled it was. Because it’s the same for both Lillie and Tom. Once upon a time, they made decisions that, somehow, brought them together. And they could never be the same people that they were before that.