Turn the World Upside Down by Nyrae Dawn ~ Book Review by Caroline

29856877Title: Turn the World Upside Down

Author: Nyrae Dawn

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 10/20/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Gay Fiction, Young Adult

Blurb:

They’d have to turn the whole world upside down to understand us…

Hunter Donovan’s temper never used to be a problem. He lived the perfect life with the perfect family before the dark truth came spilling out. Now his dad’s in prison, and after Hunter explodes at school, accidentally hitting a teacher, his mom has him committed.

Hunter doesn’t belong at Better Days. He needs to be stronger, not sent to a well-dressed loony bin. If he’d been better, less selfish, he would have realized something was going on under his own roof. No amount of psychoanalyzing and group therapy can change the past.

But among the bullies, fights, and bad cafeteria food, Hunter meets a group of friends: anxiety-ridden Casey, wild and exciting Rosie, recovering bulimic Bethany, and Stray, a self-harmer who doesn’t think he belongs anywhere. Around this group of misfits, Hunter doesn’t feel so alone and angry anymore.

Still, as he’s making friends and falling in love with Stray, the guilt is always there. If Hunter can’t open up and find a way to deal with what happened, he might fall victim to his mental illness—and he won’t be the only casualty.

My View:

Young Adult is something I tend to avoid when it comes to my books but I can’t seem to resist anything that Nyrae puts out there. Turn the World Upside Down covers a lot of emotional topics and I think this is probably the biggest reason I tend not to read them – I have my own young adults still living at home and I can’t even begin to imagine my boys having to go through half this stuff – I am lucky they never have and I keep my fingers crossed that they never will.

When we meet Hunter Donovan he is not in a good place. Guilt ridden over events that involve his sister his temper is getting the better of him and putting others in danger. His mother makes the decision to get him help before he is completely out of control but having him committed only adds to Hunters hurt and confusion and doesn’t leave him open to accepting the help that is offered.

As Hunter begins his healing journey he makes friends with a group of people who are all clinging to the hope that they can get better. Their problems and illnesses cover a pretty varied and wide spectrum but every single one of them becomes relevant to the story and not all of them get the happy ending they are fighting for. His best friend, the one that makes his heart beat a bit faster and finally kisses him is Stray, a young man with his own sadness and demons to beat, this pair help each other, understand each other and maybe by the end want to heal for each other.

I liked that this story wasn’t a fix for everyone involved and that their problems were made believable. It’s a sad story and one that doesn’t give everyone a HEA. There was no easy way out for any of the kids involved and the author didn’t take the easy route by fixing them all – in fact she did quite the opposite. A thought provoking read with a HFN ending.

Links

Turn the World Upside Down on Goodreads
Harmony Ink Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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