07 August 2014

Title: Upside Down (Off the Map #1)
Author: Lia Riley
Publisher: Grand Central/Forever, 384 Pages (August 5th, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and NobleAmazon UK, Amazon AustraliaKobo

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: Book #1 in the OFF THE MAP series
New Adult Contemporary 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.

Review: 4.5 Stars - Upside Down is the first in the “New Adult” Off the Map trilogy from author Lia Riley. With two broken characters due to heartbreaking back stories it was easy to care for them both as they try to work through their issues and become whole again.

Talia has been stuck after a tragic event took someone important from her. Her family fell apart as they grieved in their own way for what and who they lost. She’s trying to come to terms with being behind in school and wants to try to live her life to the fullest without the pressure she’s putting on herself. So, to try to get a better hold on herself and her life and what’s next she takes part in an exchange student program far, far from home in Australia.

Bran is, for lack of a better world, a self proclaimed - ass. He’s hardened his heart and keeps people, especially girls at an arm’s length. One of the reasons he’s a jerk is how he sees things in the world vs. how he was raised. He’s not close to his family and pretty much does his own thing. But the main reason is about what happened for this character the year before. And how he’s never healed from the events that took place and how he’s not sure if he wants to. He’s also extremely swoonable in all his troubled, jerk glory. I mean who doesn’t like a broken guy who just might have found the perfect girl to help heal every scar of his heart, mind and soul?

Their story is bumpy and rough, both together and apart. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that the other doesn’t know so it’s extremely helpful and, as always something I love… it’s written in dual points of view.

Speaking of writing, it’s written well and before you know it, you have half the book devoured and then you worry because it’s going by too quickly so you slow down and then something happens and you speed back up because you just have to know what’s going to happen next… yeah, it’s one of those books you go back and forth to read fast and slow.

In the end I loved it. I loved everything about it. The characters have a lot to offer readers from beginning to end and just when you think you know everything… you find out that the next book will continue to follow the next part of the journey for Talia and Bran and if you’re anything like me you get extremely excited because you have a chance to spend some more time with them. So I’d like to thank the author for writing two characters that I want to spend more time with. I mean they are far from as broken as they were but they still have a long way to go and I for one can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next! Bring it!

If you love broken characters’, great writing, swoonable boys and “new adult” contemporaries, then look no further! You’ve found the right book. So go forth and read and come back to let me know how much you loved everything too. Enjoy!

About the Author: 

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 aUkranian 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.
Find Lia Online:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


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