Title: The Upside of Falling
Author: Alex Light
Pub. Date: February 18, 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
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?
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible and I loved it. I inhaled this absolutely adorable book in one sitting – legit started it at work and finished it at work in the span of less than 8 hours. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I’m absolute trash for fake dating books and this one delivers.
I just want to squeal because I think that accurately describes my feelings for this book, but then this review would be incredibly short.
I’m going to start this with my two complaints – and neither are bad. Firstly, I just wanted more. I wish the book were longer. I wasn’t ready to stop reading it, stop being with the characters yet. Did I love the fact that it was short, cute and super enjoyable yes! but I’m selfish and I just want more!
Secondly, I really didn’t like how the male narrator voiced Becca. This doesn’t have anything to do with the book/story itself, just a thing that irritated me about the audiobook. He made her sound whiny and bitchy and that’s not the vibe she gives off at all. I loved him for Brett’s voice, I just wish he hadn’t chosen that voice for Becca.
While I can’t relate to everything Becca goes through, I did find her to be really relatable. More than once I felt called out – lol I read to escape just like Becca. Some of the commentary surrounding this fact hit a little close to home. I loved her though – her personality shines through as she becomes more comfortable. I really liked her journey in this book – and not just the one she goes on with Brett. But with her father as well. I won’t go into details because spoilers, but when she confronts him finally, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Watching her go from someone who thinks love is a waste of time and just not worth it because it’ll end in heartbreak, to someone who is looking forward to the future, sharing it with someone and figuring out what they want – it was wonderful, sweet and endearing. And the way she is with Brett…ugh, I want myself a Brett.
His journey was just as important as Becca’s – and I loved that she was there to help him through it. Their whole relationship was amazing. I loved it. But that’s not shocking, because Fake Dating is always going to end up with the characters falling in love, shit hitting the fan and then amends – and this book doesn’t disappoint.
The way they got to know each other through little events and activities and how you could see the walls and barriers breaking down and them actually falling for each other. I loved the way their fake relationship started – I was legit so giddy sitting at work while listening. Like, what a way to do it.
This was just such a fun read and I’m so happy that I read it. It’s been on my TBR for about a year now, and I should’ve picked it up so much sooner. These are the kind of contemporary reads that I legit cannot get enough of and will always love no matter what. I can’t wait to see what Alex writes next, and I’m sure I’m going to love it too.
If you’re looking for a quick, adorable YA contemporary romance, with fake dating, humor and dealing with the trauma of people leaving and letting you down – then you’re going to want this book. You’ll go through a range of emotions, but you’ll come out the end grinning ear to ear and gushing about how good this book is.