Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Upside Down by Lia Riley Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"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 . . . of if they were meant to live a world apart."

A bit more dialect would totally make this book more interesting. It takes place in Australia and California (though SoCal only appeared in the beginning and the end). At least, Lia Riley does mention a few of them, but she could had gone a bit further. Then again, there are those two lovebirds, so I guess romance takes a bigger place than dialect (writing)?

(Sounds like Twilight?)

Natalia Stolfi is a girl with a huge OCD problem. Ever since her sister died (sister's name is Pippa, remind you of someone?), the OCD got worse. At least, that is what I assume. Usually, stress plus tradegy equals a more severe case of OCD. Right? Well, you can look that up. Or think logically. For a girl with OCD, she is very brave to travel to a new country and amazing. She could work on her OCD problem, but I don't know if she is going to work on it (oh, yeah, this is a series). She is an okay character, with an interesting background. It is a good thing the author didn't throw her background at the readers all at once. That annoyed me very much in... Sorry, I'll try to stay on topic.

Bran Lockhart, a surfer, is a heartthrob/jerk. (Remember that rule that says only good looking boys can be bad boys? That rule applies here). Bran is no bad boy, but he is a surfer dude. So that counts for something? Oh, I know a bunch of weird details about him (e.g. how he acts in... [Let's not go there]). I'm not going to spell anything else out, but I can tell you that he, like Natalia (who goes by Talia, by the way) has an interesting background (perhaps a little too interesting).

The romance ("Gag," says those romance-haters) isn't quite there in the beginning. It sounded forced, tight, and quick (like a ball just suddenly thrown at you by the author). It gets better in the end, when the author slows her pacing of the plot down and let things flow.

(And sadly, this is a series).

The plot (and minor conflict, which sound so like Twilight) is barely there. I guess the romance serves as the plot, but eh? This entire book sounds more like an Adult Romance book than a NA book. And now, I'm back to Twilight referencing. Did Natalia even went to school? Oh, wait. She did. But she spent a lot of time with Bran (and I don't even remember her friends' name) while surfing (or learning to surf). And Bran? Well, he is no virgin. That is for sure.

Rating: Three out of Five (Star for mention of OCD; nice portrayal!)

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