Book Review: Upside Down by Lia Riley

Upside Down (Off the Map #1)
Lia Riley
NA, Contemporary, Romance
e-ARC from Netgalley
See on: Goodreads

Buy links: Amazon
 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
In the beginning, I try to dampen down my dislike for the main characters. I'm not really sure why, but they, Talia and Bran, have my blood simmering. I guess it's because they try to run away from their problems. They shut down in their own way. They shut others from knowing them and leaning on other's support. And yet, as the story progresses, they begin to open up and learn to depend and share. In that, they found each other. 

Over time, I got to find the good things in both of them. I like Talia's no-nonsense attitude. She would take no crap from Bran as she wants him to give it to her straight. If things aren't working out on Bran's end, she would say so and leave Bran's sorry butt. I also like how Bran retained his character til the end. Bran is a first-class donkey (I'm trying to tampen down my swearing so it's donkey) and he remains that way til the end. What I like is that Bran tries hard. He tries hard to stop being a donkey especially to Talia. 

Overall, it just showed how both characters are imperfect yet perfect for each other. The book did not show how, when you're in love, you immediately turn into Prince Charming or Snow White. It just showed how hard it is to cope from things of the past and the importance of letting people in your life and helping you out. 

If you have read, cried over, loved and worshiped Miles Archer and Tate Collins story, Upside Down would be right up your alley.

 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.

Author links:
 Website ll Twitter ll Goodreads


  1. That cover is so cute...
    Your blog is lovely! :) Followed you!
    @Vanilla Reads

  2. Thanks for following Agata :)
    Followed you back too

    -The Daydreamer Reader