Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Year We Fell Down By Sarina Bowen

If your looking for a nice, sweet read with a few bumps along the way then look no further. This was a steady, friendly, comforting novel about friendship, love, acceptance and disability. Don't expect any miracles but it's an inspiring story that engages and gets it's point across in creative and cliched ways.

For it's genre, this novel is perfect. Yes, it's fluff but the cover and blurb should have told you that. Hartley has little to no self esteem but at the same time he is so confident in who he is and what he represents. He has no inhibitions and is quite frankly one of the better book boyfriends, especially when he grows a pair! I don't know about you but I love the kid!

I think all the characters of this novel are endearing and I root for them all, even Stacia. The usual dilemma's and cliques weren't present and we focused on building a solid relationship between Hartley and Corey that made the transition that much simpler. I believed there friendship and actually hated the one sappy moment because it wasn't like them. Time was spent to build the important relationships, so even when they became bed mates, I could share in their awkward interpretation. Yes, within all the fluff, there was some sex. Raw? Not so much but it was a special brand and blend of Corey and Hartley.

Corey/Callahan/Corinne are whatever her name is today was the most spectacular of them all. She was brave, witty, depressed, funny, adorable and strong. I felt her worries and inhibitions and spent the entire novel waiting for her to take a step. I still think she can!

I like how her back story was revealed and staged, as it showed the effort and time placed in the progression and delivery. It was certainly not what I expected but I love that it wasn't one of the cliches. The end might have been a little jumbled but I like that we got that out of the way before it fell apart. I also think it's a testament to the quality of the novel that I didn't crave an explanation every step of the way.

The supporting characters were also good in their own rights where their roles were concerned. There was genuine emotions and reactions and I like that Hartley wasn't a douche to Stacia, even when she deserved it. He was a too good example of what can happen between exes without one ending up in jail and he treated both of them so well that I found it hard to hate him for his indecision. He even brought out the good in Stacia.

I was a little worried initially because I am not a fan of love triangles but this wasn't even a problem. You got the time to know and love them as a couple without interruptions and when the time came every one stepped up to the plate.

I hardly ever enjoy the events, around freshmen in college, novels but I love the history within this institution and the camaraderie between Hartley, Bridger, Dana, Corey and eventually Daniel. I will admit this story is rainbows and unicorns with an underside of sadness due to the disability of the main character but I liked it. It was leveled and fair in the release of the different elements. I didn't even mind the hockey elements and it was my first hockey novel. I like that it took the time to get us warm towards the game without diving too far in.

This story is a quick, fun read for you to pass time while getting acquainted with a troubled but strong group of youngsters as they try to get through college and life's problems with all the right decisions,  experiences and friendships. There are rocky moments but it's barely a bumpy ride and the dual POV didn't hurt either. I'm not a fluff kinda girl but even I enjoyed this.