I am so excited to have my very good friend and CP, Lia Riley, on my blog! Today we’ll talk about dream casting. She’s given me a glimpse at her ultimate dream cast. WARNING: Hot guys ahead!! Enter at your own risk. There is also a kickass excerpt at the bottom, so check it out!
Here is Lia’s cast:
Bee (Talia’s mom)
Scott (Talia’s dad)
I absolutely love Lia’s choice for dream cast. And Bran? Totally swooning right now. Someone get me a fan. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this book, GO DO IT NOW! It is a summer must-read. Well, really a must-read of any season.
HERE IS MY REVIEW OF UPSIDE DOWN:
Okay, first off let me start by saying that if you only read one NA contemporary romance this year, it needs to be this one. This is a spectacular debut by Lia Riley.
The main character, Talia, is running away from her problems. Her sister died in a car accident—one that happened when she was rushing home to check if Talia had left her hair straightener on. Talia (and her mother) blames her sister’s death on Talia’s OCD tendencies. With Talia’s life going to shit, she decides she needs a break from her life in California and chooses to study abroad in Australia. Lia does such a good job portraying a girl who is dealing with OCD. Talia’s discomfort rolled off the page, and I really felt for her. Her struggle with wanting to be normal, but her compulsion to do her rituals was heart-breaking and eye-opening. GOD DAMNIT, TALIA, I WANT TO GIVE YOU A HUG!
Fast forward to her new life in Australia. Talia is on her way to meet up with a guy who is a total wanker (never heard that term til this book and am now going to use it to describe every dirtbag I meet!) Right in front of the bar is where we meet Bran for the first time. The way Talia meets Bran is quite possibly the funniest “how we met” story ever. I won’t spoil it, but it involved a Kuala suit. And I snorted. In public.
Bran is a very complex hero that kept me guessing the whole time. Not giving any spoilers, he has been through a hell of a lot with his ex-girlfriend, and the last thing he wants is to have a relationship. But the way Talia and Bran are drawn together is absolutely magnetic. The sex scenes were very steamy and well done.
What I really loved about this story was that it wasn’t cookie cutter. These characters were truly flawed, but I loved them for that. Their problems were real and relatable. Also, the secondary characters, such as her friend Marti, who was HILARIOUS and I wanted to be her friend, also added so much to the story.
This book made me run through the gamut of emotions. I laughed, cried, snorted, and wanted to punch Bran (the hero) in the nads (and also swoon majorly for him).
Lia’s writing is so rich, and the characters are so complex, they literally pop off the page. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good laugh, cry, and beautifully-crafted story.
Title: Upside Down
Author: Lia Riley
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Off the Map #1
Publication: August 5th, 2014 by Grand Central
If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be Found
Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she’ll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.
Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He’s never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live in Northern California.