The Upside of Falling by Alex Light is a light-hearted YA rom-com about a girl who doesn’t believe in true love and the boy who just might change her mind…if they can separate fact from fiction.
Seventeen-year-old Becca stopped believing in love after her parents’ divorce. Dating? Not for her. In fact, she avoids even trying to find love at all costs. It’s only in books that she finds any reprise where the ending is always happy and she knows exactly what to expect. If only real life was that simple. But when her ex-best friend teases her about her lack of a boyfriend, she does the one thing she knows she shouldn’t do—lies about having one.
In steps Brett Wells. Brett is captain of the football team. He’s popular, sweet—and single. He’ll do anything to impress the dad he’s grown up idolizing, but there’s one thing his dad thinks he’s missing: a girlfriend. So when Brett overhears Becca’s lie, he steps in as Becca’s surprise boyfriend. Dating Becca is just supposed to be another way to get his dad’s approval. But when his picture perfect family starts unraveling, and Becca is the only one there for him, his feelings for Becca start to grow real. And all of Becca’s books never prepared her for what it’s like to really fall in love.
I’m a sucker for a good romance. After reading Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas, I decided to shift gears and read something less dark and twisty. The Upside of Falling promised to be a feel-good, sweet romance and it delivered on that front. However, it was underwhelming in some aspects which we’ll get to shortly.
The Upside of Falling was originally a Wattpad book called Rivals. As someone who used to read fanfiction all the time, I have no problem with picking up something that was once published on the internet. However, Light’s writing did feel underdeveloped as did the plot. It was almost too easy to guess at what was going to happen. The “fake dating” aspect of the romance didn’t last long at all and it turned into near-instalove. The subplots overtook the main plot and, while the subplots were fantastic and so important, the story flowed in a way that felt too formulated and disingenuous.
But there was so much I enjoyed while reading this too. The one character who didn’t get enough praise was Jenny. I think I might’ve enjoyed reading her arc more than the main storyline. I sincerely wish she would’ve played a bigger role, but the scenes we got with her were crucial. Brett was also the sweetest character (even if he did make mistakes at times). Becca and Brett definitely cared about each other deeply even if they did start falling in love rather quickly. While not particularly memorable, The Upside of Falling was still a fun read and it had so many cute moments. It’s good for those days you just want to read something light. I’ll be on the lookout for any future books from Alex Light.
If you’ve read The Upside of Falling, let me know what you think!