This is the upside to crashing: madly letting go and giving yourself to someone else. This is the freedom beyond the fear.
My synopsis: Clementine Haas woke up in a hospital in Ireland, with no memories of her past, the sole survivor of a plane crash. Refusing to come back to a life she does not know, she took on a new identity and dared a stranger to take her in for a couple of weeks. But starting over wasn’t so simple after all when the lies she weaved began to unravel and the truths came crashing down…
Published on January 30, 2018 by Skyscape and Two Lions
eARC** provided by Amazon Publishing on NetGalley
**in exchange for an honest review
Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
Themes: memories, amnesia, traumatic incidents, starting over, fear, courage, freedom, falling in love, finding yourself, Ireland
No, sometimes life beats you down. Sometimes life deserts you, and your only choice is to find another path.
The Upside of Falling Down is a delightful and heartfelt novel about finding yourself and making your way out: it’s about creating new memories and moving on, about finding freedom and facing your fears until you don’t feel so afraid or lost or trapped anymore.
The narrative is easy to get lost in, the voice of Clementine so believable and heartfelt. All that she went through, it’s like I was there, it’s like I was her. In her moments of distress, I felt lost and scared and deserted, too. In her joyful moments, it felt like the victory was mine.
What is the point of cheating death if a life doesn’t exist when you wake up? […] When everyone in the world is a stranger, who am I supposed to trust?
Rebekah Crane did such a marvelous job telling Clementine’s story: the story of this girl who was trapped in a foreign country, a stranger even to herself. I was convinced every step of the way, what someone in that kind of situation would have felt, would have done.
Even with amnesia as an oft-used plot device, the plot was still original and very enjoyable! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book, and how Clementine’s unique situation managed to still be relevant, to convey such genuine emotions.
Life is a collaborative effort. We can’t do it on our own.
All the characters grow on you, even with limited appearances – all endearing in their own eccentric ways: Stephen and his lovely personality, sports-loving Mr. Haas, fiercely beautiful Siobhan, flirty jack-of-all trades Kieran, infectiously kind and Jane Austen-loving Clive, and daringly brave Clementine. It was only natural for me to root for everyone and their happy endings.
I don’t want to say anything much about the romance but I wanted to share one of my favorite moments in the book because it just reminded me of the iconic lines in Taylor Swift’s song Call It What You Want – You don’t need to save me, but would you run away with me?
My past doesn’t matter anymore. I’m moving on. I’ll just keep running, if that’s what it takes. […] The question is: Are you moving on with me?
I have to admit, I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. I think Clementine just resonated with me at this point in my life – searching, looking, and feeling a bit lost sometimes.
And also it was fantastic to have learned and explored Ireland through this book!
With several nods to Jane Austen, plenty of humor, endearing characters, unbelievably raw moments and all these set in the beautiful cities of Ireland – I definitely recommend The Upside of Falling Down for everyone who’s looking for a great read.
Thank you for reading!
Have you been to Ireland? Which cities and/or attractions are your favorites?
How would you cope if you wake up one day and all your memories are gone?