Upside Down by Lia Riley

September 26, 2014     erinbook     Book review

Upside Down (Off the Map #1) Lia Riley

Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central/Forever
384 Pages
Received: Netgalley
Format: eARC


3.5 Nuts
Description: 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.
Book #1 in the OFF THE MAP series
Review: This book falls into two genres I usually don’t care for: new adult and contemporary. By chapter two I’m usually zoning out and staring out a window, just ready to be done. So you would expect that I really did not like this book, right? Wrong. This is only the second new adult book that I’ve finished completely, and I had no hardship doing so. In fact I was quite hooked.
Normally a character like Talia would make me roll my eyes. Often. Extremely often. She starts off as a bit of a stereotype and you would think she’d be a cardboard cut out of every other similar character. Wrong again. Lia Riley did an excellent job of using subtle details and personality to make the character both likable and unusual. Then you find out why she’s so unusual and I was in love. Very rarely do I find a character like this and it made me so happy, I’m doing my best to avoid spoiling some pretty awesome character stuff here, go and read it if you want to know what I’m talking about!
I also really liked the love interest, not as much as Talia but you can’t have everything. I was not expecting to like him either and was quickly discovering that I sort of judged this book by its genre. Oops. I found myself devouring the book and while it’s still not an amazing book to me, it was a fun read and I enjoyed it immensely.
One of the things that really made this book stand out was its setting, Australia. I’m so used to contemporary books being set in the same places over and over. You just get bored so easily that way and this new setting made it feel fresh and new. It’s always been one of those places I’ve wanted to visit so doing so through a character’s eyes was really cool.
It’s the small things that make a book really good and this book has so many of these small things to give it depth and a sort of sweetness. I’m actually very excited for the next book now and I’ll definitely be giving it a read.
What did you think of Upside Down? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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2 responses to “Upside Down by Lia Riley

  1. I thought Upside Down was nothing short of amazing. But I'm much more into NA than you are. LOL It's one of the best books I've read this year. And I cannot wait for the second. Even though it's sitting on my Kindle right now. LOL

    • I think if I can get used to reading good NA, my opinions of the genre as a whole will improve. I'm gearing up to start Ann Aguirre's I Want It That Way and Sideswiped is downloading to my nook as we speak.

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