This novel The Year We Fell Down has left me back with mixed feelings. And I didn´t know for quite some time what to write about it or how to express what I thought and felt. Well, I am still not sure, if this review will turn out the way I feel about this book. And considering that I had read some of the author´s other books first, made things complicated too. And no, The Year Well Fell Down isn´t what I call a great novel. My expectations for it were too high and it couldn´t live up to it. But it wasn´t bad either.

The Ivy Years-Bevor Wir Fallen*
by Sarina Bowen
The Ivy Years Series #1
Translation Ralf Schmitz
Original Title The Year We Fell Down
Publisher LYX on March 29, 2018
Genre Novel
Pages 311
Format Paperback
Source Publisher


Corey Callahan has been wheelchair dependent since a sports accident, but she does not want to give up her place at the prestigious Harkness College! In the dorm, she meets Adam Hartley – from the room directly across the floor. Corey knows right away she´s going to get in trouble: Even though Corey does not feel better understood by anyone than Adam and she´s sure he´s the same – there´s no chance for them both …(personal translation ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Corey is bound to a wheelchair after her accident, and life has turned in some ways his back on her. With an overprotective mother and a father who can´t look his daughter in the eyes anymore, she wants to go to college as far away from home as possible. And there it is, that she starts to feel like a normal human, though she has to face some challenges along the way. Her feelings for Adam are one of the things that show her, that life can sometimes be a real bitch.

There is no question, that this novel is easy to read and a fast-paced story. I read it within a couple of hours once I got started – and it was in some ways a wonderful read. But I do have some things I didn´t like. Sarin Bowen shows everything Corey has to deal with, with style, grace, and in a very sensitive way. You always get the feeling as if she knows what she´s writing about. There is hope, a strong will, and determination to get the best out of life and as much as possible. And in combination with some hilarious scenes and the witty dialogues, you get a wonderful insight into Corey´s mind and thoughts. Her sarcasm, her irony, and her humor are fantastic. I was laying flat while reading the scene where she gives Adam his birthday present right in front of his girlfriend Stacia – a real bitch if you ask me. On the other hand, the scene where Corey and Adam share his present he gave her earlier in the story in a way, that left me speechless. But not in a good way. I mean it was for sure a nice gesture, but why on earth would he want to be the one who tries it with her? That guy has a girlfriend for crying out loud. The moment, when Corey decides to try a new way of training, and a few pages later you get to know what she´s up to, I was again laughing and had my fun while reading the scene where she is in her element and shows that boy what she is capable of. That moment was brilliant!

And yet I missed something. Despite the light writing style and the great moments, The Year We Fell Down has, you won´t find much profoundness. Whether in the story nor in the characters. Oh yes, you get to know Adam´s sad story too, but sometimes it felt a bit too much. And the confusion I had while reading about Corey´s condition, didn´t make it better.

Corey is a girl who wants to live her life as normal as possible. And the only way to achieve that is to go away from home. She knows by instinct, that she has to make a change otherwise she´d go nuts in every aspect of the word. You can see her struggle with things that are for most human´s routine. I was impressed to see how she deals with all that, how she is fighting to gain back as much mobility as possible. And that she at some point decided that she no longer wanted to be at the sideline while others have relationships or live life to its fullest. That girl rocks.

Adam, on the other hand, is a figure I couldn´t really get access to. A handsome looking guy, who knows always what Corey needs by instinct, who does everything to comfort her and who seems to be always there when she´s in trouble of some kind. And yet he does everything in his power to keep his girlfriend Stacia close and happy.

Writing this review was not easy. There are many positive things in this novel, and I liked the fast pace while reading. But maybe it was exactly that, what became part of my problem with this book. Some things should have been more profound and given time to be told. Not rushed over and then up to the next thing. Though I enjoyed many things, in the end, I was left with not only mixed feelings but also with a huge question mark in my head. And to be honest, I am still not sure, if I will continue reading this series. Sad, but that´s how I feel.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by LYX in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

*The title was originally published The Year We Fell Down by Rennie Road Books on March 21, 2014

Sarina Bowen
Sarina Bowen ©private

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives with her family in Vermont´s Green Mountains. In 2016, she became a Rita Award winner. 


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