The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication: March 20th, 2014
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Format: Kindle Edition, 270 pages
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Read: April 2017
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.
Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I found this story to be really entertaining. I liked that there was some drama and some angst, but neither of them were incredibly overpowering which I appreciate. The romance developed slowly and the book was really emotional. It talked about the struggles of college, hockey and disability.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style was fast paced and easy to read. There were multiple POVs and each one had a distinct voice which I appreciated. I would’ve liked it to be much more emotional and intense but it was entertaining and kind of serious at times.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked getting to know the characters in this series. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about it for a long time and I’m glad to say that I liked them overall.
Corey was a tough chick. She’s really smart and determined. However, at the same time, she was sometimes insecure with herself. She’s really strong and I loved her tenacity. I would’ve liked to see her be more open but I loved her growth throughout the story.
Hartley got on my nerves a little bit. He’s really charming and fun loving. But also kind of oblivious to what he does and how he’s acting and how that’s hurting people. However, he’s vulnerable and insecure at times. His stubborn streak makes it hard for him to get his act together but I’m glad it happened.
I really loved the great side characters in this book. They were such sweet and supportive friends to the main characters though I would’ve liked to have seen more of their development as individuals.
I’ve been recommended this book for a long time and I’m glad that I finally managed to sit down and read it because I enjoyed it a whole lot.
The plot was honest. We follow Corey, a freshmen in college who is adjusting to a new life after being in an accident that left her partially paralyzed. She meets Hartley, a hockey player with a broken leg who lives in the handicapped-accessible dorm across the hall from her. I was honestly quite surprised with how much I ended up enjoying this book. It’s a new adult romance but the story talks about much more than that. I appreciated how the author made some of the harder themes a big part of the story. She didn’t shy away from sharing the realities of college or of disabilities. Corey is dealing with a big physical change and she has to learn how to do everything with these new limitations on her body. Her growth and her struggles with this are a huge part of the story which I loved. One of my favorite parts of this story was being able to see Corey developing into a more confident and powerful woman. She finally gets space from her parents and the life she had before her accident and she finds her own place within the college and within the student body. However, the story is still predominantly a romance between the two main characters. I liked it well enough. I wish there hadn’t been an infidelity angle. I am not the biggest fan of cheating, fictional or in real life, and I would’ve liked for Hartley to have been more self-aware and conscious of the affect he was having on Corey. It made me dislike him a little bit because he was naive and self-absorbed. He took just a little bit too long to get it together for my opinion. However, I really liked the ending and how everything turned out for everyone.
Corey is beautiful. I really loved her personality and her strength as well as her determination. Her attitude was great and it didn’t seem like she was just that way because of her situation, she just had a tenacious spirit. Not only when it came to her disability but to her heart. She did her best to keep her relationship with Hartley platonic when he had a girlfriend and when she realized her feelings ran deeper, she made the effort to try and get space from him. That shows so much integrity and self-love. I really, really loved her character. I need more from her honestly.
As for the side characters, I had mixed feelings for some of them. Hartley got on my nerves. He was really sweet and charming and all, but totally clueless about a lot of things. He took way too long to get his shit together in my opinion and I’m glad Corey gave him a little bit of a hard time to win her over. I felt like cheating was unnecessary. Hartley’s relationship with his girlfriend was kind of open, but I don’t think it excused his behavior towards her. If you’re unhappy in a relationship (whatever kind that is), get out of it and find something or someone else that makes you happy. I don’t agree with cheating and I don’t agree with the way it happened in this book either, but I liked how they got together in the end. Dana was one of my favorite characters in this book. She was Corey’s roommate and she was so sweet to her and in general! I liked her supportive attitude and how she also pursued her dreams and her goals.
Overall, this was a good book. For a new adult contemporary romance, it was well rounded. There was some drama, some angst, some seriousness but also some lighthearted moments and laughter. I liked the characters and really enjoyed their development as individuals. The romance was cute though I had some issues with parts of the way it developed. However, I want to see more of Corey and her attitude! She’s my favorite.
So that’s it for this post! I’ve been struggling a lot with life at the moment and my blog has suffered for it. I hope to be able to improve on my posting though it will take awhile. I hope you all will stick around with me while I try to keep my feet under me. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!