Friday, October 17, 2014

Sideswiped by Lia Riley

The Basics:
Sideswiped by Lia Riley
Book Two in the Off the Map series
New Adult
Published October 7, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo

Why I picked up this book:

I loved the first book in the series (review here) and was very excited to see what happened in the next chapter of Talia and Bran's story.


Love is uncharted territory...

Sometimes in order to find yourself, you need to venture off the map.

Book 2 in the OFF THE MAP series 

Talia and Bran broke all the rules and navigated dark and stormy emotional waters to be together and now that they finally seem to have found their way back to each other, the winds of change threaten to blow their love off course yet again...

My thoughts:

Picking up directly where Upside Down ended, Sideswiped follows Talia and Bran as they try to build a life together. Renting a house, completing their degrees and figuring out their future, these two are facing not only the question of how to live together and cope with the day to day, but also how to make long-term plans together.

How do they do - and more importantly, how good is the book?

This is an amazing follow-up to one of my favourite books so far this year. Where the first book was a nuanced "can they?" tale, the second book goes beyond the happily ever after and actually puts our couple to the test. 

And boy is the result a very realistic look at what a long-term relationship takes. It's hard work! There's no manufactured drama around jealousy or petty disagreements in Sideswiped. Instead, Talia and Bran have to reconcile their own ideas and ideals about how relationships work with the coping mechanisms they've developed over the course of their lifetimes. 

These two are beautifully perceptive when it comes to each other and believably blind or defensive when it comes to their own behaviour. I shouted at the book a few times, calling both of them idiots, and frantically read through the following pages for reassurance that they would figure it out. Communication, people, communication is the key. 

I loved that Talia and Bran's personal issues are not easily addressed, but instead built into the foundation of who they are as characters. They feel utterly real, acting the way that people do, even when they're obviously making the wrong choices.

It's not often that I really get so invested in a romance that's got such deep conflict at the heart of it. But again, this isn't just about arguing over the silly stuff or having some kind of semi-fantastical adventure thrown in their way. These two are faced with the real work of developing and nurturing a relationship while life goes on around them. It's not all sunsets, champagne and beach picnics!  

Bottom line:

Sideswiped is a gorgeous rendering of 'what happens next.' I believe I could meet people who are just like Talia and Bran - they are written so convincingly. 

I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

5 stars
For fans of contemporary romance, New Adult, believable romance.

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