Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

year we fell downReviewed by Carrie

When Mandi and Tori over at SmexyBooks both recommend a book, I usually take notice because our reading likes are very similar.  I trust even more when it’s New Adult book because those can go very wrong. I’m happy to report that they were right and this was a very enjoyable story.

Corey Callahan is excited about starting her freshman year at the prestigious Harkness College.  The move to the Connecticut college from her Wisconsin home is more about proving to herself, and her family, that Corey can move on from the freak accident during a hockey game the past January that left her with a spinal cord injury. Corey was supposed to start on the varsity hockey team. She was supposed to live in the dorms for freshman instead of the upper class dorms because they had a handicap-accessible room. She was supposed to be able to go to any building on campus without having to check the map to see if it had an elevator or ramps.

Sometimes, when life closes a window, it opens a door.  Lucky for Corey, the door happened to be directly across from her room where the delectable Adam Hartley was living while recuperating from a broken leg.  Corey and Hartley immediately bond over the shared frustrations of their injuries.  The fact that Hartley should be a star player on the college hockey team only cements their burgeoning friendship.

Corey and Hartley spend more time and really get to know each other and the easy camaraderie develops into something deeper for Corey.  Corey knows she doesn’t have a chance because Hartley is still clearly into his uber-snotty girlfriend, even if she is studying abroad for the semester.  Corey is resigned to crushing on him in her mind only because she cannot give up the person who has somewhat understood the depth of her injury.

Corey was a really well written character.  Although her injury had redefined her life, she didn’t let it redefine her.  There was a nice balance between accepting her “new normal” and being a bit discouraged by it.  What I loved most is that she was a character that kept striving for better.  Corey was confident that she would find a way through her problems, even when they felt most disheartening.  She never accepted less than what she knew she was worth and that’s a beautiful message to share.

Hartley, however, came off a little more stereotypical clueless college dude.  He treats Corey with respect (aside from one incident that may make people grumble) but a lot of times you want to hit him over the head with his obliviousness. He doesn’t do anything inherently bad to warrant redemption so when he finally pulls his head out it is sweet and gratifying.

The side characters are mostly made up of Hartley’s hockey buddies and Corey’s roommate, Dana. I’m looking forward to reading all of their stories. I recommend this book for a sentimental coming of age story with a strong heroine and all the angsty butterflies that a first love can give.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Year We Fell Down
by Sabrina Bowen
Release Date: March 24, 2014
Publisher: Rennie Road Books


  1. I just read this, too! I was not a fan of Hartley. I know we were supposed to cheer for them, so of course I did, but dang, he hung on to that girlfriend.

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