Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Year we Fell Down by Sarina Bowen | Book Review

First Published: 2014
New Adult, Contemporary Romance
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.What now?
She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.
Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.
Also, he’s taken.
Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.
They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.
But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.
To be completely honest, I didn't really expect much of this novel. I had actually gotten it as a freebie some time back, but I didn't really know much about it and for some reason the cover screamed "typical romance story", and though I love those, I simply have too much of them on my kindle for this one to stand out to me.

Then, by some weird twist of fate, I reached a blog post by the author and found out the main character was in a wheelchair. This changed the whole picture for me, because I had been looking for some different romance to read, and a heroine struggling with disability was just what the doctor ordered. 

This book took me by complete surprise. 

First of all, the writing is great. Yes, this should be a given, but I've been burned by so many freebies that at this point I'm kind of cynical and disillusioned about the whole thing. So I was keeping my expectations low, and it far surpassed them. There was this easy, flowing quality to the story and dialogues that made it feel very effortless. I almost forgot that I was reading

Then there was the story itself. I kind of expected an avalanche of drama like a lot of those college romances throw at you. FYI - I hate over the top drama in novels. It makes me roll my eyes and feel exasperated. 

But once again, this novel surprised me. Instead of drama, we got real, believable conflicts that didn't relay on some miscommunication between two people. Conflicts that were resolved naturally, even if it took time. What could have been a tedious and aggravating journey for our mains to finally end together was handled with such care and maturity that it was simply delightful to read.

These people, Corey and Hartley, felt like real people, their romance flawed and yet wonderful and the progression and build of it natural and captivating (btw, slow burn!). You will 100% root for these two to get together. You will want them to get their happily ever after because they just fit so perfectly with their banter and humor. 

I never expected to like this so much, and yet I am so thrilled I did

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