Upside Down by Lia Riley: Review

Upside Down by Lia Riley: ReviewUpside Down by Lia Riley
on August 5, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

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.

Alexis says…

I literally just finished Upside Down and needed to put my thoughts to paper immediately. First and foremost, I am convinced that Lia must be a relative of mine, perhaps my best friend with a pen name and some serious knowledge of Australia she has not shared with me. I have never, ever, connected with a character before but I swear that Talia and I are almost the same person. Well, only in character traits not her actual story. Off the Map is a beautiful story about love, heartbreak, loss and eventually healing all intertwined. To say I loved it is an understatement.

Talia suffers from OCD. To some it may not be a big deal or even comical. But, knowing firsthand, it is a seriously debilitating disorder.   You see, I suffer from this condition and the author did such an amazing job really showing how awful it can be. Talia’s OCD has been sent into a tailspin with the death of her older sister, Pippa who was also the perfect daughter.   Subsequently, her grades have dropped drastically and she needs a change in scenery. So, Talia decides to study abroad in Australia or in her words, she calls her adventure, Talia 2.0 reboot. Throughout the book you really do watch Talia go through a sort of revitalization. During her time away from a place that is a trigger for her, she starts the healing process that sets her back on the right path giving her the direction that she needs

“You’re perfect. You’re only perfect for me.”

Bran is the first guy to give Talia a run for her money. Coming off a bad relationship, he has decided what better way to get closure and distance then to sleep with as many women as possible. From the get-go, this brooding surfer told Talia that he did not believe in love. So obviously, I just knew that his past relationship/breakup was really bad. Trust me, it was. But Talia was able to break through those barriers he set in place and get under his skin.

“We fit.” I kiss his scruffy cheek. “You’re my perfectly imperfect key.”

This story is told in dual POV but more so in Talia’s POV.  I enjoyed Talia so much that I would’ve been entirely happy with just her. But I am glad that we got in Bran’s head a little too. Lia has to be one of the funniest authors out there. There is a certain part of the book that I reread twice because I could not stop laughing (trust me you will know it when you read it). The wittiness that she gave Talia was beyond entertaining (obviously another one of my traits). I am a bit dumbfounded on how this could actually be Lia’s debut novel. It does not read that way. At all.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Between the humor, the fantastic chemistry between Talia and Bran it is a top recommendation for me.

P.S. it is a series but no worries, there is no cliffhanger. The next book will be out soon.


About Lia Riley

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.