The Year We Fell Down

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) by Sarina Bowen

4.25 stars!

“Everybody has their shit to shovel, Callahan. Everybody. Now, yours is right up front where everybody can see it. I don’t envy you that. But everybody has some, whether you can see it or not.”

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After losing mobility in her legs after a tragic hockey accident college freshman Corey starts college in a wheel chair. While she isn’t completely paralyzed, she uses a wheel chair and has been taking physical therapy to slowly start walking again. Corey and her roommate are placed across the hall from junior and all around hottie Adam Hartley. Hartley broke his leg over the summer and has to sit out on the hockey season. Both relegated to a handicap dorm, Hartley and Corey form a fast friendship over video games and hockey.

Pretty quickly Corey develops what appears to be a one sided crush on Hartley, who has a girlfriend who is studying abroad that semester. But as time goes by, the lines of friendship become blurred and Corey must make a choice, to keep Hartley in her life as a friend or to let him go.

“Why would you complicate our friendship?”
“Like it’s so simple now?”

I really enjoyed this book. When Geri told me it was full of angst and unrequited love I was totally on board. Plus this had been sitting on my kindle forever, so it was like I was being productive by reading this.
This book was filled with the kind of angst I love! Oh my gosh I ate it up. But, it was not overly angsty. I think it had just the right amount of angst for all of you angst avoiders out there.

I loved the amount of research and reality that went into the book about handicap access. I’ve read other New Adult books that gloss over those parts, but it does an injustice to do so because many people don’t consider how hard it is just to go and get food when there are three little steps you cannot climb. The author was obviously very conscious of this issue and it really helped develop her book and her characters.

The friends to lovers romance was great, I loved seeing the development between Corey and Hartley, but I struggled with a few things near the end. I get why Hartley dated his horrid girlfriend, I do. But when he began to pursue Corey, he didn’t actually pursue her. He just basically said “I want you” and she went to him. That sort of ticked me off, I wanted her to make him work for it. But I was also just happy they weren’t pussyfooting around anymore so I’ll pick my battles elsewhere.

This is what a college NA romance is supposed to be like, enjoyable with angst, a little bit of steam and a nice guy. I wish I had discovered Ms. Bowen much sooner.

“I was perfect,” I said. “And I didn’t even know.”

“No,” he whispered into my ear. “No, no. Perfect isn’t real.” I took a deep shaky breath and the feel of his strong arms around me began to feel steadying. “There’s no more perfect, Callahan. Now there’s only really damned good.”


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