Book Review | Upside Down by Lia Riley

Book Review | Upside Down

Upside Down is the first in Lia Riley’s Off The Map series.  It follows the relationship of Natalia (Talia) Stolfi, a girl from Santa Cruz, California and Brandon (Bran) Lockhart, an Australian young man she meets during her study abroad program.

The past year had been difficult for Talia and she didn’t know how to deal with the death of her sister.  A study abroad program to Australia was just what she felt she needed.  It would give her time away from the painful memories that consumed her and the life she felt was falling apart.

Bran comes from a wealthy family, but his life is anything but perfect.  As he runs from his past, he meets Talia, but finds that his feelings for her, brought his inner demons to the service.  While he’s trying to deal with his issues, he hurts Talia along the way…more than once.

Both are trying to forget the past and start something new, but it’s the past that keeps coming between them.


I thought this was a great book!  As you read, you’re constantly wanting Talia and Bran to finally say they’re together, but too much gets in the way.

After Tailia’s sister dies, her OCD intensified, but spending time with Bran it’s not as apparent.  She realizes that she can be more open with Bran than anyone else in her life, including her parents and friends.  Not to mention he’s a hot Australian.  I was trying to imagine what his accent might have sounded like while I was reading the book.

Talia might have been a little dramatic at times, but I think part of it was her OCD and the other was her inexperience with men.

Bran on the other hand is, internally, dealing with a previous relationship that ended badly.  He was in love with this other girl and doesn’t want to feel that same hurt with Talia.  That’s why he keeps just enough distance between them, even though he has completely fallen for her.

They both open up about things that lifts weight off their shoulders and in doing so they allow their relationship to grow.  They just never solidify their relationship throughout this first book and Talia’s impending departure from Australia makes defining their relationship even more difficult.

The more intimate parts in the book are not over-done and cheesy.  It was tastefully done and it didn’t overpower the entire story.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book and I’m excited to read the next book in the Off The Map series.

Here are the next two books in the Off The Map Series:

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Release Date: December 2, 2014

Favorite Quotes

“There’s a part where Mr. Rochester tells Jane it’s as if he had a string under his rib, connected to hers, and he’s afraid there parting would snap the connection and they’d both bleed inwardly.  Bran’s become vital to me, and our time together has almost run its course.”

Overall Rating


 If you’ve read this book, let me know what you think.

Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter 

Publishing Company: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Release Date:  August 5, 2014

Genre: New Adult

Rating Information

This was the first book I read and reviewed for #NetGalleyMonth!

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