Book Review – The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

by Maryse on June 2, 2014 · 3 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years)
<— Fantastic little piece of sweetness, this one! The synopsis gave me a “blurb jolt” last month, ’cause it had that obvious (and understandable) pining/unrequited-love factor that I crave so much, and I’m so happy my trusty reading -bud, Jean, told me to get on it! It was exactly as I imagined it to be.

Jean: Maryse, I started The Year We Fell Down last night because I was looking for something different. Well, I am loving it! Slow build up, great characters, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about a girl in a wheelchair. What a great book! Highly recommend it!

Maryse: I’m on it. Tonight! :D thank you for helping me choose, Jean!

Jean: Yay! Hope you love it as much as I did!

Cheryl: I thought The Year We Fell Down was a sweet story too. Great book!  I specifically read it because the heroine was in a wheelchair, because my daughter is special needs too and I wanted to read a positive story about the heroine having a “normal” life in college despite her “disability.” Heartwarming!! ;)

Jody: … I liked it. It was a nice college romance read to break up all the angst and alphas I have reading about lately.  :)

Great writing, a sweet exploration of honorable, intelligent, yet human “new adult” characters, with somewhat tragic events that kept that touch of angst rolling, and the learning process… growing.

College strangers, to campus neighbors to eventual close friends (while they bond over mutual disabilities… and passions). And then… more. But there are two twists.

  1. They are both disabled. He’s got a badly broken leg, that in time… will heal, and his life will become “normal” again. She’s disabled permanently, and still getting used to her “once-sporty” to “significantly disabled” lifestyle.
  2. He’s got a gorgeous, popular (but mean-girlish) girlfriend.

Oh yesssssss. That storyline.

Damn her for coming back.

No, that wasn’t really the problem.

Damn him for loving her.

And you known me. I can’t resist being the character that “falls in love” with that perfect someone that didn’t even consider her in the running. At first. ;)

“You really cut him loose, didn’t you?”

“I guess so.”

“Playing hard to get?” she asked.

I shook my head. “It’s just pure survival,” I told her. “And it’s really not as hard as I thought it would be.”

While I was able to put it down ’cause there was nothing too crazy-angsty, or traumatic that might have kept me frantically reading, this definitely had a sweet message. One that I was happy to take in and learn from. One of adapting, but even better, flourishing. Sometimes taking certain things for granted, and suddenly being forced to re-evaluate and re-adjust… re-learn everything again, well… life takes on a whole new meaning.

Before my accident, it had been easy to stare out the car window at the frozen landscape, thinking of nothing at all. I hadn’t known that I should love every moment, that every minute of feeling complete and capable was worshipful. I hadn’t known.

A new outlook. And all I can say about this one, is despite all the negative circumstances, this is a sweet book about hope. About positivity. About love. Love of life, love of self, and of each other.

‘Cause when everyone “gets over” obvious physical and social conditions (and I’m not just talking her disability – you’ll see) these characters become that much better for it.

Yep! I mostly loved this one! Mind you, I would have enjoyed even more of the “developing friends” scenes, and for angst’s-sake, I would have loved more intensity (both in the crush and the unavoidable hurt).

But overall, it was a solid take on two amazing people (make that a bunch of amazing people)… friends… learning about each other, supporting each other, and in turn learning about themselves.

Suddenly, living my new life seemed more important than mourning my old one.

*sigh* Awesomely said. :D And it’s the “getting there” that makes this one so special.

4 stars!


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean June 3, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Hey Maryse! Great review and glad you enjoyed it! I know there wasn’t a lot of angst but it was just so good! And the 2nd book is out now, The Year We Hid Away about Bridger!

Celeste June 4, 2014 at 1:21 AM

I was just coming here to say the same thing, Jean! I finished The Year We Hid Away a few days ago and really liked it!

Abby June 11, 2014 at 9:31 PM

I loved this book! It was touching and sweet and I really loved Corey. She was a great heroine, very strong and positive. Thanks for recommending it!! Off to Bridger’s story…

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