Title: Upside Down
Author: Lia Riley
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Off the Map #1
Publication: August 5th, 2014 by Grand Central
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.
Talia needs a getaway, an escape. She’s running- away from it all. Her problems at home. Her mother’s already done it. So now, so is she. Her personal problems weigh heavy on her and because others blame her, she does also. She sees one out. Go.
Australia. That’s where she ends on up on a 6 month break. Her getaway. She meets Bran (side note: LOVE the name :)) Along with Talia, they both struggle with loss in their history. At first, they just click. Friendly. But it doesn’t end there. Which makes us very lucky readers.
When I got to Bran’s POV I can not express my happiness to be in his head. He can’t help but think of his new American…friend. I loved his character. I fancied him.
“That girl’s a watcher- those expressive eyes didn’t miss a trick. One look at their depths and I sank.”
Bran’s been burned and burned very badly. More so than he ever thought. He isn’t look for- ANYTHING. But Talia, she makes him think and want, and too much. He wants to try- for her. For him. But still holds back.
“If I still had a heart, Talia’s the type of girl who’d shoot an arrow straight through it’s core. Lucky for me, I’m a Tin Man. Can’t slay what’s not there.“
It seems Bran couldn’t do that. This is where they begin their friendship. The connection. They both are working to better themselves. Inside and out. Today and tomorrow. They both tackle their demons but not by choice. When is it by choice. They are thrusted into dealing with them.
Holy banana boat the last 10% had my hand over my mouth, shaking my head. Not believable the words I was reading. My heart rate was pounding, I couldn’t read fast enough even when I said slow down! I really really loved this book. I loved the high and the ride. I loved my smiles and my gasps. Killer awesome goodness!!!!
What I loved:
Funny LingoAussie remarks (It’s like I’m really in a different world when reading) This was a huge positive. So many times the same words and thoughts are used and over used and having the Aussie language really brought something new to reading.Flirtiness at it’s finest (some books are little flirty, this was like perfection… it was a slow rise flirtation) Tailia’s thoughts, when they first meet and even after, as they spend together.
“It’s like I’ve been clipped by a city bus, but in a good way.”
“No one’s ever knocked me out with such weird magnetic voodoo.” (that’s enough of an explanation) THE BIGGEST LOVE- THERE IS MORE TO COME. THIS THRILLS ME.
“Your smile lights up your whole face, but your eyes always stay sad.”– Bran
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live in Northern California.