Friday, November 7, 2014

Review- Upside Down (Off the Map #1) by Lia Riley

Title:  Upside Down (Off the Map #1) 
Author:  Lia Riley
Publication Date:  August 5th 2014 by Grand Central/Forever (first published January 1st 2014)

Plot:  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.

Book #1 in the OFF THE MAP series

 My Review 

☆I was gifted a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!☆

Before my review, some useless rambling from me…

Originally, when Lia Riley approached me with reviewing her book debut, Upside Down, I’ll admit, that I was initially reluctant to accept it. While I do love meeting new and upcoming authors, I also cringe at it for fear of the unknown and not knowing to expect from them. So hence, I pondered on it for quite a bit.

Luckily for me, what ultimately gave this book a go, were the words: Australia. Surfer. And Hawai’i.

For one thing: I LOVE AUSTRALIA! I'm obsessed with that country and Ireland.

Number two: Hawai'i. I know that this may not be where the book is based. But, IT IS, where the heroine's mom is holed up at. AND ALSO, where I live and my home state!!

And last but not least: Surfing. As I said in my point "Number two"-- I'm a Hawai'i girl, so come on! Surfing is a culture thing where I'm from so it naturally appealed to me.

THEREFORE- Australia, beach theme going on, and surf?!! Hells yes! I'm there!! <3 


That all pointlessly said, here’s my basic jest and thoughts on the story… 

Upside Down was actually a “surprise, surprise” kind of moment for me. While I was only going to read so much of it to test the story and writing out, I found myself sitting at my kindle for a much longer period of a time than I had expected. In the end, I had read it from start to finish without even putting my e-reader down.  Who would have thought?

Author Lia Riley tells a poignant and engaging story of two broken individuals, Bran and Talia. Shattered on the inside and mentally&emotionally tainted, Bran and Talia each give off a beacon of light and darkness to the other and bring a sense of reason and awareness that neither has ever known.

They both experience a chain of what I’d like to call, “A series of unfortunate events” to which has shaped the people who they are today, and the people, they are trying to make a clean break from.

Each looking to start over from the woes of their lives, their paths eventually intersect, and while their relationship is initially supposed to be light and no attachments…it turns out to be something, MORE. Something that neither Bran nor Talia ever expected.

But with tragic pasts, old hurts and demons coming into the mix, will these two young lovers learn to let go and break out of the holds stopping them from moving forward in their lives? Will Bran ever feel enough for once in his life and rediscover himself for the better? Will Talia ever come to terms with her dysfunctional family life, the loss of her sister, and the emotional turmoil she feels?

#A heart-stopping and sentimentally packed tale of life’s unforeseen ups and downs, and picking yourself up and realizing that you are worth a life of greatness and happiness. Not everything has to be as “upside down” as it can seem. It’s what you make of it that really matters! 

My Rating:
-Overall : 8.5
-Plot : 8
-Writing : 8
-Characters : 8
-Cover : 8.5
                                      ☆ About the Author 


Lia Riley writes offbeat 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.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. 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. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound pretty sweet.

She and her family live in Northern California. 

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