Title: Upside Down
Author: Lia Riley
Publication Date: August 5, 2014 by Grand Central/Forever Books
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.
I dove into this book blindly because I met Lia Riley from an online book launch party over on Facebook months ago and she was really nice and great so when I saw this book on NetGalley I didn’t think twice about it and just clicked on request. I didn’t even read on the synopsis but I knew this was a New Adult fiction.
The book started out really great and strong. From the first chapter, I already picked up that Talia was having some parent troubles. And that she has OCD. Then the next chapter had Talia in Australia to which the story really starts.
During her first day, she met the “Jujitsu Koala” who turned out to be this hot Aussie guy named Bran, the other main character. Bran was a great guy. He was, for me. He’s smart and cares for environmental issues and other stuff which is a total plus for me. However, there were some stuff throughout the book which made me shake my head. He had his reasons though.
Talia was a bit awkward, shy and insecure during the start. Well, maybe because of her OCD and the grief she has felt when she lost her sister. Throughout the book, I saw her grow and become stronger. BUT, I found it so surprising and abrupt how she transformed from a shy girl into a freaking… I don’t know, flirty? Sex-crazed may be a bit overstating it. But seriously, I was so surprised by her abrupt transformation.
Now the thing was, I’ve seen their relationship grow throughout the whole book which was good because it’s not like the other books which has insta-love which I’m pretty much avoiding right now, unless an author delivers that angle pretty well. Or like, I’m craving for that kind of thing.
It was also nice to see Bran’s POV in some parts of the book but UGH I HOPED THERE WERE MORE. On the sequel maybe? Haha!
Overall, this was a nice read.It didn’t blow my mind or anything but it was pretty well-written and was an amazing debut novel. There was a sneak-peek for the sequel so I’ll keep my eyes open for that book.