The Upside of Falling Down is a romantic new-adult celebration of all of the wild and amazing possibilities that open up when perfect plans go awry.
Clementine leaves Ohio as an ordinary girl in love; she wakes up in an Irish hospital alone, a sudden celebrity with no earthly idea of who she is, other than the one person on Earth for whom a plane crash may represent rebirth. Such is the premise of Rebekah Crane’s delectable new-adult romance, The Upside of Falling Down.
With the help of a fellow misfit in the form of a hospital orderly, Clementine begins to piece together some picture of who she is—but this all falls to pieces when her father arrives and his face draws a blank. Desperate to find some solid footing before returning to a life she no longer connects to, she convinces a mysterious stranger, Kieran, to host her for a few weeks—just until she can gather her bearings. She accompanies him to the Ring of Kerry, posing as a wanderer, Jane.
Of course, for the freshly purple-haired sole survivor of a disaster, nothing is that simple. Kieran’s tattooed sister resents Clementine’s presence. The struggling owner of an underground store provides sympathy. All she knows of herself, really, is that she’s one hell of a baker—and that Kieran’s sexiness is hard to ignore.
While some of the pieces of the final reveal beggar belief, it is worth indulging in a bit of grandiosity to arrive at Clementine’s sweet rewards: a budding romance more appealing than a surprise Dublin brogue. Memories. Hope. Clementine’s motley crew of new Irish friends arrive at their own realizations in time with hers, resulting in some satisfying, sugar-sweet developments.
The Upside of Falling Down is a post-school celebration of all of the wild and amazing possibilities that open up when perfect plans go awry; its cheerful encouragement to accept any (reasonable) dare is certain to strike a chord with seeking audiences everywhere.
Michelle Anne Schingler
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