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

» 26 April, 2015 » A-minus Reviews, Sarina Bowen » 1 comment


The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves wants 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.

♥ My review ♥

Why oh why did it take me so long to read this one? The blurb alone has my name written on it. I loved the heroine, loved the hero, loved their friendship, the banter, Harkness…so many things about this book worked for me.

After a devastating accident, Corey is starting her freshman year at Harkness in a wheelchair. She was a varsity hockey player in high school but an accident during one of her games left her paraplegic. During her first day at Harkness, she meets Adam Hartley, star player of the Harkness hockey team, who suffers from a broken leg. They meet and Corey immediately harbors a crush on Hartley. Unfortunately, Hartley has a girlfriend so he is emotionally unavailable.

Still they became friends and the more they spend time with each other, the more they care about each other. Corey is especially struggling to adjust with the loss of the use of her legs. She had to undergo extensive therapy, learn to use her chair, not to mention, adjust to college life. Her struggles were heartbreaking. Adam, for all his flaws, truly cared for Corey. I loved how he took care and encouraged her.

I know a lot of readers would balk at the idea of a hero being involved with someone other than the heroine but it didn’t bother me here because while they weren’t romantically linked in that sense, their relationship as friends was wonderful to read. The build up of the sexual tension between Corey and Hartley was exquisite.

Another thing that I loved about this book was the way Sarina Bowen gave these characters personalities. They have hopes and dreams and struggles. It isn’t just about when are Corey and Hartley going to be a couple. It’s about them as individuals. As a reader, I really appreciate reading about that because it makes me root harder for them.

There is quite a bit of angst in this book but the pay off is worth it. Definitely a new series to watch out for.



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