Title: Sideswiped (Off The Map #02)
Author: Lia Riley
Thanks to NetGallery and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.
Love is uncharted territory...
Sometimes in order to find yourself, you need to venture off the map.
Talia and Bran broke all the rules and navigated dark and stormy emotional waters to be together and now that they finally seem to have found their way back to each other, the winds of change threaten to blow their love off course yet again...
Lia Riley kidnapped us. Well, not really, but she made us dive into the story of Talia and Bran again. I really liked the first book in this series, Upside Down (review can be found on my blog, too), and I was relieved when I received an ARC of Sideswiped as well.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to read it before the official publication date, which I am so sorry for. But I read it now, and so let's start with the actual review...
While the first book focused on the basics of a relationship, such as first meeting, first (wrong) impressions and all that stuff, Sideswiped felt more mature to me. To me, it felt like getting to know Bran better and see things from his point of view. A relationship is great as long as you block out the problems, and that's what both characters had to face in this story.
They had a long-distance relationship for a short while and then Talia came back to Bran, but she wasn't allowed to stay with him forever. Her visa lasted for a limited time. In the beginning, only Talia seems worried about what will happen to them and their relationship after that time, but then you get to see how Bran thinks about it, and it may seem to be such a small problem, but it leads to bigger problems and worries and struggles and doubts and, and, and... I think the author captured that perfectly.
It's not all smiling teddy bears and beautiful colored butterflies anymore. It's real life.
Real life also means Talia's former mental situation is still a recent subject. Though I think it got worse comparing Sideswiped to Upside Down. We all knew she wasn't well in the first book, but now... I don't even know how to put it...
If you think it's all about their relationship only, yes of course it focuses on that, but I like hearing the characters talking and thinking about what they want to do with their lives too. All this "rescue the oceans" stuff is impressive, and I secretly wonder if Lia Riley is an expert or if she had to do some serious hard research in order to get all these informations.
At first, I was worried I wouldn't like this book. And yeah, I liked Upside Down better, because who doesn't like the idea of a happily ever after and forever sunny sunshine?! However, it's a very good sequel.
Also, I was surprised by how much I liked Bran's friend/mate/whatever Karma. Talia was so annoyed by him, and maybe that's part of the reason why I liked him. Will he get his own story? Please tell me he will get his own story!
As already mentioned, Lia Riley captured the emotions in this book great. And if you worry her jokes might be missing - they aren't. Her funny way of talking about things is still involved, so there are still lots of parts to laugh about.
If you liked the first book in the series, I suggest you read this one too. I can't add that much more (probably also because I am not that creative). Just read it and see for yourself.