Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Upside Down (Off the Map #1) by Lia Riley

If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

First off, this cover is awesome. Judge this book by it's cover!! This New Adult genre just keeps getting better. When the genre just popped into existence a while back, I really didn't know what to expect. Young Adult had encompassed so much and I was just accustomed to it but I'm glad that New Adult has taken these books out of YA. New Adult books are quickly becoming my favorite and this book is a really good reason as to why. 

I wasn't expecting this book to be funny and there are quite a few places where I would chuckle to myself. The back and forth between characters is great and really makes me wonder if these convos are things that have actually happened to the author and she's just writing them down ... they are that good. Now, something to keep in mind is that this book does take place in Australia and there is a bunch of lingo that will be a bit unfamiliar to quite a few people. Thank goodness I fell in love with the movie Bootmen eons ago and I was able to keep up. BTW, if you haven't seen that movie ... you totally need to ... I'm talking Sam Worthington and Adam Garcia. You can thank me later. Anyhow ... there is some Australian lingo. You'll be fine. I promise.

Upside Down really got to me. The struggle that Talia and Bran go through separately and then together was very moving. You can almost feel their heartbreak and the push and pull of their emotions. It's something that will stay with me for a while since reading this. You become attached and almost protective of the characters from pretty much the very beginning of the novel. I also wanted to throttle both of them a time or two! 

Lia Riley is someone that I'll definitely be keeping an eye on. The way that she writes is captivating and I'm really excited to see what her next novels hold. This is her first!!! Very impressive. Now, as a side note ... I would like to thank Riley for some new words and definitions. One in particular made me laugh out loud and I wish that I could say what word it is but I don't have a final copy of the book, I just have an ARC, so I'm not for sure that it will end up in the final book. I truly hope that it does!!!!

Great book. You have to pick it up when it hits shelves on Tuesday, August 5th. Yep. I totally just plugged this book. It's that good.


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