Upside Down: Off the Map #1

Title: Upside Down
Author: Lia Riley
Published: August 5th 2014 by Piatkus

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

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying goodbye to painful memories—and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she’ll pretend to be a carefree exchange student. Everything is going to plan until she meets a surly 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 slunk back 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. A single semester abroad won’t cover something this serious. 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 there’s a plane to California with her name on it.

*First of all, I would like to thank Clara at Little, Brown for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: When I read that Talia suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and OCD, I was curious to read her story and see how she handled it because I think I had never read a book that talked about OCD. I found it really interesting. These problems are common in our society but people tend to avoid talking about it. I found Talia a very strong girl. You could really feel her panic and struggles and how she was hurting for the death of her sister. But also her will to overcome her inner fears and her strenght.

It was also really interesting to read about her impressions on Australia, how she tried to be a better version of herself on her trip, building walls around her so nobody would know who she really was and how she was feeling. Until Bran. He instantly got her because he took the time to look at her, properly look at her. I think it was a great idea that some chapters were written from Bran's point of view because, not only did we get to know him better, see what he was going through too, but also because we could see Talia through his eyes. Their love was electric and I loved that at first they played this game of hot and cold. But once they got serious, they tried to be frank with each other (almost all the time) and tried to understand and help each other.

Upside Down is a fast paced, poignant read. It tells a unique story of two broken souls who are desperately looking for their happy ending without even realising. You won't be able to put it down and it will stay with you long after you have finished. And since it is a series, Bran and Talia's story doesn't end here. I cannot wait to read more about them. 

About the Author: 
Image of Lia Riley
Lia Riley writes off beat 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 station hands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

Connect with her: 
Twitter: @liarileywrites

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