The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

The Upside of Falling by Alex LightThe Upside of Falling by Alex Light
Published by HarperTeen
Published on 18 February 2020
Genres: Contemporary, United States, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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RRP: $34.99
4 Stars

It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca impulsively pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.
Brett Wells has it all. Being captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be her mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not dating and she can keep up the ruse.
Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy though, especially when you barely know the other person. But with Becca still picking up the pieces from when her world was blown apart years ago and Brett just barely holding his together now, they begin to realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. When the line between real and pretend begins to blur, they are forced to answer the question: is this fake romance the realest thing in either of their lives?

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

If you’re looking for a quick, fluffy romance book with little emotional investment, filled with cute moments, delicious bakery treats, and two lead characters who aren’t complete nincompoops and both going through their own emotional journeys, then this is the book for you.

Seriously, if anyone ever asks me to recommend them a YA romance, this will probably be my go-to from now on.

It was just so CUTE. That cover completely does this book justice. And it’s totally safe for the younger YA audience it is clearly written and marketed to.

This is probably the fluffiest romance I’ve ever read. Becca the wallflower bookworm and Brett the popular jock were just so into each other without making it obvious and without making me scream at them for contrived reasons to not jump each other’s bones. I loved watching them get to know each other, lean on each other. They legit became best friends, which is just so cute I can’t even. I love it when teenage lovers can rely on each other. Real teens are so flaky and unreliable, that’s why I love YA books like this, especially contemporary. Honestly, Brett’s just so unbelievable, and not at all like a real teenage boy, but I loved him – probably because of that. Did I mention teen boys are trash?

The focus on family and healing was beautiful, too. Both teens were going through some emotional journeys with their families, and we saw a lot of Brett’s parents and Becca’s mother, as well as a bit of Becca’s father, although he abandoned his family some years before. Brett legit loves his parents and they are the whole package. Becca loves her mother, even though she’s crazy, and secretly spies on her dad who left them some years before.

I really didn’t like Becca’s mother Amy. She put way too much pressure on her 17 year old daughter to date and be happy in a relationship. I’m so against that! Teenage girls CANNOT rely on teenage boys. Most of them are trash. She could have been pushing Becca’s education to get a scholarship so she could go to college, but instead she’s swooning and gossiping and hassling her daughter over finding a boyfriend. And then when she does, she lets the boy sleep in Becca’s bed, but makes them keep the door open? I can’t even with that. It’s so hypocritical, the priorities are all wrong. Like, what do you think teenagers are going to do? What makes matters worse is that Becca’s mother is divorced and single, so she’s living vicariously through her daughter. Find your own date, you crazy lady! That’s probably why Becca’s dad left them, because Amy is a lunatic!

I also thought it was really weird how whipped Brett’s super powerful CFO dad was. View Spoiler »

The only thing that I would probably have liked to have seen explored and expanded a bit more were the main characters’ best friends, Cassie and Jeff. They barely had any page time, they weren’t really confidants, they had no motivation or character arcs of their own, and they just seemed like extra superfluous characters, bit parts to add in there so Becca and Brett had ‘best friends’ apart from each other. Cassie didn’t even go to school, and Jeff didn’t even know about the fake romance, so they both seemed really pointless, and added absolutely nothing to the plot. Jenny on the other hand helped out in the bakery and apologised to Becca not once but twice (which did seem a bit excessive) but had her own interesting character arc.

I wouldn’t say this was a ‘phenomenal’ book, but for a 21 year old debut author, it is pretty good, and adorably fluffy. If Alex Light keeps writing she’ll only get better, and I look forward to other publications from her because the future for this young woman is looking LIGHT.


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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