The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
Recommended: not really
for a simple teen fake-dating story, not for much memorable, for vague teenage lessons
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?
Well it’s been almost six months since I finished this in June, which isn’t great as far as review-writing-memory goes. I’ll keep this one short, because I didn’t take great notes and I don’t remember it well. Honestly though, that to me is usually all the review I need: if I don’t remember anything about it six months later, it probably wasn’t that great.
What I do remember about this is being pretty skeptical early on of the way they start their fake-dating ruse. While I often love a fake dating trope, the entry point into it almost always requires me to suspend some serious disbelief, because the whole premise is so colossally stupid and unthought out and obviously doomed to fail. The entry point in this book was especially bad. I guess this is a mild spoiler so I’ll lock it, but if you don’t read the spoiler just know it’s very bland and uninteresting to start the premise of the story.
► View spoilers about how they start fake-dating and why it actually kind of also pissed me off
It’s literally just him walking up to her in the hallway one day when he hears someone asking her who she’s dating (which she lied about in a fit of pride) and is like “It’s me!” Now remember that she didn’t ask for this, he just comes up and touches her intimately and I believe then kisses her and I know that’s meant to be romantic and all but imagine some guy just walks up to you and kisses you like EXCUSE ME NOPE. I don’t care if they’re attractive or anything else, if I’m not looking for that it’s not happening. Ugh okay got a little fuming there with feminism. So not only was this a daft and dull start, but it also kind of pissed me off.
That set the tone for the rest of the story. I do remember it had some nice sentiments about friendship that were tenuous and scant. It was a lovely thought, but it was so minor it was like it just had to have some kind of Teenage Message of Goodness.
So overall, this book was okay. I wouldn’t especially recommend it, but if you just want a simple teenage fake-dating story, this could be it. I read it in two days so it was a quick one. And it fulfilled my U-title part of my alphabet challenge, so that’s always appreciated.
5 thoughts on “Review: The Upside of Falling by Alex Light”
Oh, what a bummer! I’m glad that I didn’t pick this one up. Great review!
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Thanks! Yeah it was a little bit of a blah read but oh well!