Book Review: Upside Down

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.

Book #1 in the OFF THE MAP series

TeriLyn's thoughts: **Upside Down generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Upside Down tells the story of two young people journeying to discover themselves apart from the actions of the past defining them. The plot starts off on Talia’s adventure to Australia where she’s separating herself from a life she longer recognizes. Continuing there we meet Bran, with a past weren’t privy too but a disposition that makes you eager to know more about him.

Written mostly from Talia’s POV with glimpses from Bran we get a personal look into Talia’s processing mind. The author delicately traces the line of the mania overcoming Talia in times of struggle, weakness, and anxiety. The ways she deals with her emotions tax her as she’s trying to redeem herself to freedom from her mind. Her character provides a good balance between hardship, fun, angst, and redemption. She meets Bran and short circuits. His character, full of charisma and dark charm, makes the mystique of him more appealing. There’s such sweetness under his hardness that when Bran is at his most vulnerable and open we understand Talia’s attraction. Their stories mesh in such a way you want them to move forward and find what they’re seeking.

I liked both these characters as individuals. I felt for them, rooted for them. This is a good read when you’re looking for young love between two lost people. While I wanted them to master their issues and felt myself cheering for a victory there was never a time I truly felt their connection to one another. The conflict of story I wish had been more developed. I enjoyed it and think it’s a story that many will enjoy as well. The end of Upside Down left questions able to be explored but didn’t leave me hanging in a way that the need for the next is great yet has me quite excited to see where the development of Bran and Talia’s lives leads them.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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