Series: Off the Map, #1
Publication: August 5th 2014 by Grand Central/Forever
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.
Upside Down is one of the most addicting books I've read this year! I literally stayed up all night reading it without meaning to; it was such a fun easy quick read! I'd definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a quick new adult romance book.
Natalia, the main character, was likeable enough. She's dealing with a lot of stuff in the story and has lots of flaws which made her feel real and human to me. I liked how she was independent she was and how she wasn't struggling with self confident issues like many other NA female protagonists.
I had a hard time liking Bran, I knew straight away he was trouble. He has a lot of issues too and he's not a nice guy. He's actually a bit mean at times. I didn't love him but I did warm up to him a bit as we got to know him. He does make some bad decisions which turned me off but he might redeem himself in later books.
The romance was good, I liked how Bran wasn't used as a way to 'fix' Talia. They definitely have their issues as a couple but their relationship was fun to read about.
There is some OCD representation which I don't think I've ever come across in my reading. The whole book isn't about Talia dealing with her OCD but it is mentioned a good few times. One of the other characters tees picks up on Talia's rituals but doesn't treat her any different which I liked. I can't speak on the rep but from other reviews it seems like the author did a good job as it's ownvoices.
I also want to highlight that one of the side characters is anorexic and it is talked about so if that's triggering for you maybe skip this one.
I was so excited when I heard Upside Down was set in Australia because it's no somewhere I've ever been or read about. There was so many Australian stereotypes though which annoyed me. I felt like the author went overboard on it.
Upside Down was full of drama, tragic backstories and emotional hurt but that's what made it so quick to read
I wasn't left dying to pick up the next book but I had a lot of fun reading Upside Down and will be picking up the rest of the books when I want something quick and easy to read!
Thanks for reading,