“It’s the upside of falling down”, Kieran says. “It’s why you jump in the first place… for that moment.”
— The Upside of Falling Down, Rebekah Crane
This book was the perfect palette cleanser. It was a light, quick read with a happy ending. The plot wasn’t groundbreaking and was, at times, a little formulaic, but I had fun while I was reading it.
The Upside of Falling Down is a boy-meets-girl story (more girl-meets-boy, but that’s semantics) about Clementine Haas, who is the sole survivor of a plane crash in Ireland. Clementine wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is or what happened. During her stay in the hospital she meets Kieran O’Connell, a blue-eyed Irish boy who she can’t help but feel drawn to. Clementine, in an act of desperation, assumes the identity of “Jane” and dares Kieran to help her escape the hospital. Little does Kieran know, but “Jane” is trying to escape the life she forgot and forge a new life until she remembers who she is.
The first part of the novel is a little slow and I wish that the plot picked up faster than it did. A lot of the beginning was describing Clementine’s confusion and frustration with not knowing herself, but at the midway point is when the plot starts picking up. Crane weaves in memories of Clementine’s past life as Clementine is remembering them. I really liked this touch because it gave you some insight as to why Clementine was in Ireland in the first place and hints at who she was with.
My biggest complaint is that the twist at the end came in the second to last chapter which didn’t give the book enough time to wrap up without feeling rushed. I wish it had been revealed a little sooner so I could have enjoyed more of the resolution. However, I did enjoy the twist (wasn’t completely expecting it which is always a plus!) and thought it was a good way for the author to tie in Clementine’s old life with her new one.
Since I am sucker for romance and will happily admit I love boy-meets-girl novels, I really enjoyed this read. Knowing it was YA helped me overlook some of the far-fetched aspects of the plot and just let myself enjoy a cute love story with a really great meet-cute. Of course I was rooting for Clementine and Kieran to be happy in the end because their relationship was really cute and made me daydream about meet-cutes the way I used to in high school. I even I think I had a little crush on Kieran. I mean, c’mon, a gorgeous Irish boy with blue eyes who makes it his personal mission to help you? How could you say no?
Overall, I give it a three and a half out of five stars. It had a happy ending that wrapped up nicely and, while I wished it were earlier in the story, a twist that I wasn’t completely expecting. I would say this book would great when you want a quick read that you don’t have to focus on too much.
Pick up a copy when it comes out January 2018!