Sunday, 13 October 2013

[Review] When The World Was Flat by Ingrid Jonach



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.


The book, 'When The World Was Flat (And We Were In Love)' to give it the full title, starts off much like any other love story, for the most part.  Lillie lives with her hippie mother in the small town of Green Grove.  She has her friends that she hangs out with, taking lots of photographs.  And then Tom arrives, along with her nightmares.

As things progress, everything becomes complicated for Lillie, with more questions being thrown up all the time.  Answers are few and far between, but only propose more questions.  Who is Tom?  How does she know about him?  What do her dreams mean?  Are they connected?  If so, how?

Well written, the pace is varied and is always appropriate to the situation, serving to heighten emotions.  The imagery is wonderful and vivid, bringing the dusty world to life.  Lillie seems to act like it's a very boring place to live, but it seems a lot more lively and exciting, but it sure seems that way compared to where I live.

There is only one very small thing I'm not sure about, and it could just be me here.  One of the characters seems a bit, well, too sexual.  I'm not saying that it's wrong or anything, it just seems odd to me.  It's probably because I've never known anyone like her and her behaviour is very different to my own.  It's not a big part either, but it is mentioned a few times.

Over all though, this is a great book.  It's yet another good read from the fine folks at Strange Chemistry.  While there might not be a sequel straight away, I'm excited to see what Ingrid Jonach comes out with next.  (I asked about this in the interview)


As always, my questions are in italics and the answers are in bold.

Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am the author of three books for children and now one book for young adults. I live in Australia and am a dual citizen of Australia and Austria. My family is spread out, as my mother and two brothers live in Australia and my father and half-sister live in the United States.

I studied creative writing at university and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing with Honors. I have worked as a journalist, a public relations consultant and a public servant.

Last year, I got married to my now husband Craig, who I met at university. We have been together about eleven years now and have a pug dog.

This isn't your first book, but is it still exciting to have a new book come out as it was for your first?

This latest book was particularly exciting because it was my first young adult novel. I love being able to connect with readers online now, which was difficult with my children's books.

Do you find it gets easier to write with each book?
I think every book has its own challenges, for example ensuring your new protagonist has a different voice to your last protagonist and not repeating phrases or settings.

I am becoming a better planner though. I used to write organically, but I now at least plot the key scenes.

Reading WTWWF, I got the feeling that it was all very plausible and could even be real.  Is this a subject you've thought about or done a lot of research into?

I have a lot of wacky theories about the world and this was one that I had wanted to write about for many years. I knew there was some fringe science behind it, but was surprised when I started researching String Theory and found that it led back to Albert Einstein.

Probably a pin prick of the research that I did actually ended up in the novel. We (my editor, agent and I) tried to keep the science as simple as possible, but I am looking forward to explaining it more in a spoiler section on my website one of these days.

Will there be a sequel?
The jury is definitely still out. I know exactly what happens in the next two books, but they are only rough drafts at the moment. My attention has been on other standalone novels. I have just sent one off to my agent and am going to get cracking on the third standalone. They are loosely tied to the concepts in When the World was Flat (and we were in love).

Did you watch the TV show Sliders when it was on?
I absolutely did! It has been many years since I last watched it, but I definitely think it inspired the science fiction in When the World was Flat (and we were in love), without giving away too many spoilers!

(Rachel's note: I used to love Sliders when it was on)

If you had to sum up When The World Was Flat in just one tweet (140 characters), what would you say about it?Oooh… here goes!

When Lillie Hart meets Tom Windsor-Smith she has no idea her whole world is about to change - literally.

Any last words?
I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has read or who will read When the World was Flat (and we were in love), and to all of the bloggers, bookstores and librarians who have been so supportive. It means so much to me!

Author Bio

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.
Find out more at

Giveaway Details and Widget

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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