ARC Review: Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling by Elise Bryant

Special thanks to Grace Fell at SparkPoint Studio and Balzer + Bray for providing a digital ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Reggie & Delilah’s Year of Falling
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 31 January 2023
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)


Delilah always keeps her messy, gooey insides hidden behind a wall of shrugs and yeah, whatevers. She goes with the flow—which is how she ends up singing in her friends’ punk band as a favor, even though she’d prefer to hide at the merch table.

Reggie is a D&D Dungeon Master and self-declared Blerd. He spends his free time leading quests and writing essays critiquing the game under a pseudonym, keeping it all under wraps from his disapproving family.

These two, who have practically nothing in common, meet for the first time on New Year’s Eve. And then again on Valentine’s Day. And then again on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s almost like the universe is pushing them together for a reason.

Delilah wishes she were more like Reggie—open about what she likes and who she is, even if it’s not cool. Except… it’s all a front. Reggie is just role-playing someone confident. The kind of guy who could be with a girl like Delilah.

As their holiday meetings continue, the two begin to fall for each other. But what happens once they realize they’ve each fallen for a version of the other that doesn’t really exist?


Racsim, bullying, dyslexia, chronic migraines

TL;DR: This was a fun coming-of-age YA contemporary that was a well-balanced mix of fluffy and serious. It tackles themes of racism, identity, mental health, learning disability and bullying in a sensitive and well-rounded way. Both of the characters felt like real teenagers who are simply doing their best and despite being frustrated by their actions sometimes, it was easy to root for them to find their happiness. The romance was admittedly a bit too cheesy for me at times and I felt like the build-up of the story felt too drawn out, I still enjoyed this and I think many YA readers will too!


  • This was a great coming-of-age contemporary that was a well-balanced mix of fluffy and sweet, as well as serious. Bryant covers some important themes including racism, identity, mental health, learning disabilities, and bullying and I think the themes were handled sensitively. I enjoyed seeing how Reggie and Delilah dealt with these issues individually and how they grew from their struggles.
  • Reggie and Delilah were easy characters to root for. They both had their struggles to deal with but I liked how they supported and buoyed each other especially when they were together. I admit that the decisions these characters made were oftentimes frustrating but… Teenagers? 😂 I felt like these were very realistic portrayals of teens who are confused about who they are and where they fit in, on top of finding and embracing their passions, as well as dealing with both familial and societal expectations.
  • Of the two, I think Delilah’s personal arc had the most satisfying growth. She starts as this shy, uncertain young woman who doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence or worth. She sees herself in a very unworthy light despite her talent and she would constantly let others take advantage of her kindness and willingness to accept things as they are. It was so great to see her realise her worth and find confidence in herself, even if that growth resulted from someone being dishonest with her. I think Delilah is someone many readers will be able to relate to and it was a joy to see her find peace with her identity, embrace her talent, recognise her worth and stand up for herself!
  • Reggie experienced growth but it took slightly longer for him to get there. I kept waiting for him to embrace who he was, D&D nerd and all, and each time that didn’t happen the further the story progressed, the more I found myself feeling disappointed. I’m not a fan of lying and although he definitely didn’t have any bad intentions, he approached the whole thing very poorly. I mean, it was comical in a way and I guess somewhat (stereo)typical for a young teen wanting to very badly impress a girl with a certain level of cool. But I did like his realness when he was being himself with his friends. They were a great group of teens and I loved their delightful banter—reading about them goofing around was kinda infectious!
  • The romance, while definitely on the cheesier side of cheesy, was full of angsty teenage moments wondering whether the pining and crushing were mutual. I really liked the premise of them always ending up in the same place on holidays and it gave the story a solid timeline structure. I thought these two were perfectly cute and fit well together.


  • This was slightly instalove on both ends but most definitely for Reggie. As much as I liked their romance and the holiday meet-up premise, the nature of it meant that we didn’t get to see them spend much time together for a good portion of the book. I wished that we had more scenes with them actually hanging out and getting to know each other earlier in the story rather than leaving it all until the very end when it felt a little too late.
  • This brings me to how I felt the build-up of their story was a little too drawn out and I think the back-and-forth nature of both these characters’ thoughts made the narrative feel slightly repetitive, especially when it kept repeating. With this taking up so much space, it made it feel like Reggie’s character growth got pushed to the sideline and his arc didn’t get fully realised. I think this element is what disappointed me most because I would’ve loved to have the resolution of Reggie’s storyline with his parents and brother be more fleshed out; it was good but it could’ve been great if there was more depth!
  • I wished some of the side characters had gotten more page time. I would’ve loved to see some of these characters play more of a role but they felt pretty two-dimensional and served only to push the romance along.

Have you read Reggie & Delilah’s Year of Falling in Love or is it on your TBR?

10 thoughts on “ARC Review: Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling by Elise Bryant

  1. […] Tessa Ever After (Reluctant Hearts #2) by Brighton Walsh ★★★★☆This served everything I missed in the first book. Explosive chemistry, satisfying character growth and wonderfully heartfelt moments between Tessa and her daughter Haley, as well as with Jason (the MMC). If you love a MMC who falls first and who falls very hard for the FMC, you’ll enjoy this!(ARC) Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling by Elise Bryant ★★★½This was a cheesy but cute and realistic coming-of-age story that addresses some tough topics like racism and bullying through punk music and tabletop role-playing games (D&D). I thought it was a bit drawn out and wanted a bit more from one of the characters but overall, it was enjoyable! [Check out my review!] […]


    • Fair enough! I did enjoy her writing, too 🙂 I think maybe I also read this at such a weird time in my life, I might’ve appreciated it more when I was feeling a little more patient? But I still really enjoyed it and I’m definitely curious about her other books!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s