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

Genre: MF Contemporary Romance

Title: The Year We Fell Down

Author: Sarina Bowen

Release Date: 20 March 2014

SarinaBowen-TheIvyYears#1

Summary: 

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.

What I Liked:

My favorite thing about this book is the fact that the heroine has a physical disability, but the author doesn’t flinch away from some of the uncomfortable realities of her situation.  Going in, I was expecting this to be a light, fluffy romance with some hurt/comfort, but not a lot of detail or depth with coming to terms with a life-altering injury.  I/m glad that I was wrong.

I liked all of the characters.  I felt Corey’s pain and uncertainty, and Hartley is one of the more swoon-worthy male leads that I’ve read this year.  They have instant chemistry share some really great moments together.  I’ve always been a sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope, and this book hits all the right friend-to-lovers notes and then some.

What I Didn’t:

I liked Hartley a lot, so his attachment to Stacia was really frustrating.  I understand his reasons for staying with her, but I hated to see him staying with someone who obviously made him unhappy.  Also, his family conflicts were resolved too quickly and neatly.  Everything came together much more easily than I was expecting based on the dramatic buildup.

Overall:

I really liked this book.  I had already read book 3 of the series (The Understatement of the Year) because MM hockey romances are 2 of my favorite things combined, but I finally decided to give the rest of the series a shot too.  I am so glad that I did!  I loved getting to know Corey and Hartley.  They had such a great friendship, and their friends-to-lovers story was especially sweet.  I loved the bits of hurt/comfort thrown in, as well as the realities of being disabled that the author included instead of glossing over.  I really enjoyed this book, and I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series as well.

My Rating: 4/5

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