Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 6, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #1
Also in this series: The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Fifteenth Minute, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: March 24th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General, New Adult
Pages: 268
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves wants 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.
"I absolutely loved it, and I can't wait to read the rest of her books." Colleen Hoover, bestselling author of Hopeless.
"I bought - and read - this entire series in a week. It is OMG-awesome-NA-at-its-finest." Tammara Webber, bestselling author of Easy.
Keywords: new adult, college, Ivy League, hockey, disability, sports romance.
For fans of: Colleen Hoover, Elle Kennedy, Kristen Callihan, Cora Carmack, Tammara Webber

Corey, the heroine, is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She wasn’t whiny or filled with self-pity, but she did ruminate about her situation and changed circumstances a lot. I thought her attitude was a good one, but her internal dialogue rang true. I felt the same about Hartley. His broken leg wasn’t really his issue, and he had a great attitude, but his insecurities made sense given his past.

Their friendship developed over the course of months and felt genuine. The transition from friends to lovers worked, though I wish it had happened just a bit sooner.

One thing I want to comment on: I liked the cessation of drama between the couple once they declared themselves. Things were a bit angst-y there for awhile, but then it was done. There were still outside situations to be dealt with, but nothing crazy between them.

This wasn’t my favorite book of the series, but the strong characterizations, engaging plot and excellent writing really drew me in.

3.75 out of 5

four-stars

11 Comments
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11 responses to “Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

  1. I’ve been thinking about this book for a good while, and I’ve re-read it a couple of times already. As an able-bodied person, I can’t say whether or not Cory’s attitude towards her injury and how it changed permanently changed her life, is accurate or not. However, as a reader, it felt very well written. As you say, her internal dialogue rang true.

    I like that her issues–from coping with buildings without handicapped access to physical complications (clots, UTIs, etc)–are actually on the page, for both Cory and the reader to deal with.

    And I really like Hartley, even as I wanted to shake him from his stupidity regarding trophy girlfriend.

    Are you looking forward to the next story, Holly?

    • Hartley and his girlfriend made me want to bang my head against the wall, though I can see how having the “trophy” girlfriend – hot, rich, popular – would appeal to him.

      Rowena, Ames and I discussed the book more in depth here if you’re interested: http://breezingthroughbooks.blogspot.com/2015/01/buddy-review-year-we-fell-down-by.html

      I am looking forward to the next book. I’m curious who Bella’s hero will be and whether Dash will get a book (or be her hero). I can’t decide if I want to read about him or not. There’d have to be some serious growth for me to accept him as a hero.

    • I agree that Cory’s internal dialogue rang true. I think that’s what I liked most about this series is that Bowen did an incredible job writing them. She put me in the mindset of a disabled person and she made me connect with them, understand them and their struggles. Nothing ever felt off to me.

      She also made me think about the way that I think in my every day life about real problems. I liked that.

      I’m dying to know who Bella ends up with. I think Bowen can redeem Dash and if anyone needs redeeming, it’s him.

      • I absolutely believe that Bowen can redeem Dash, but as I said above, I’m hoping that he’s not Bella’s hero–because I need some distance/time/stories between being an asshat in Blonde Date and getting his own HEA.

        Makes sense?

        • Yeah, I see what you mean. I’m just anxious for his story and I can totally see Bella putting him in his place. That would be fun to see.