Book review: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

Title: The Upside Of Falling Down
Author: Rebekah Crane
Daniela’s rating: 2 stars

Daniela’s review


For Clementine Haas, finding herself is more than a nice idea. Ever since she woke up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia, self-discovery has become her mission.

They tell her she’s the lone survivor of a plane crash. They tell her she’s lucky to be alive. But she doesn’t feel lucky. She feels…lost.

With the relentless Irish press bearing down on her, and a father she may not even recognize on his way from America to take her home, Clementine assumes a new identity and enlists a blue-eyed Irish stranger, Kieran O’Connell, to help her escape her forgotten life…and start a new one.

Hiding out in the sleepy town of Waterville, Ireland, Clementine discovers there’s an upside to a life that’s fallen apart. But as her lies grow, so does her affection for Kieran, and the truth about her identity becomes harder and harder to reveal, forcing Clementine to decide: Can she leave her past behind for a new love she’ll never forget?

**Arc provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Well, this was… something.

This is the story of Clementine Haas and how she was <i>reborn</i>. She wakes up in a hospital in Ireland, with no idea of who she is and how she got there. They say she survived an plane crash, that she’s a miracle, but how can that be, when she’s completely lost? It feels more like a nightmare to her. She can’t remember anything, not her dad, who’s on his way to get her back home, not her name, nothing. But the sound of going back, to a life that doesn’t feel like hers, is worse than having no recollection of what happened to her, so she manages to convince an Irish guy to take her away without telling her who she was and what happened to her. She needs time to figure out who she is, and she can’t do that in a hospital, even less on a plane back home. So the lies she tells Kieran are justified, right? Except her guilt starts eating her up, when she realizes she’s falling for him. What would he say if he knew the truth? Would he take her back? She can’t put that to test, not until she finds herself.

When I first read the blurb it sounded really, really good, like something I would like. A girl with amnesia, a cute guy, a cottage in Ireland… yeah, it sounds GOOD. It had all the potential for a great story, but it didn’t really meet my expectations. At times it felt unbelievable and unrealistic, and it just made me lose my interest the more I read.

At first, I was looking forward in seeing how everything would go, how she would find herself and get around who she once was and who she is now, and ultimately find a way to live with both sides of her. It can’t be easy to lose your memories, everything you once knew, and add waking up in another country to that, yeah… it must be completely terrifying. This is definitely a new chance in life, and we can’t say no to second chances, right? The thing was that, it felt like there were too many scattered things, like, the more you read, the more questions came up and nothing got answered.

Yes, it’s a cute story, but there just were things I couldn’t get my mind around of. We’re given close to nothing when it comes to certain information. Her memories are gone, yes, but nothing was adding up or leading up to something real. Also, I couldn’t really feel the chemistry between Clementine and Kieran. It felt like there wasn’t very much to grasp from, their conversations were kind of dull and lacking something, maybe some kind of depth. It’s hard to fall for someone when you know absolutely nothing about him, and that’s what it felt like for me with Kieran. He gave way too little for me to actually feel something for him. So, when the love actually came, it felt way too forced and awkward.

If I’m being honest, the whole narrative focused on meaningless things of the story and it didn’t feel like it was growing or adding to it. It felt stuck, and I guess that’s kind of the issue with Clementine, she’s stuck, but I couldn’t see her development as the story grew. She acted the same way from the beginning to the end.

I believe both characters had the potential to become something awesome. The story itself had the potential to be something I would love, but it was lacking something for me. I loved that it was set in Ireland. I think it’s such a romantic setting… but other than that, I couldn’t really connect with it.

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