Erryn reviews ‘Upside Down’ by N.R. Walker. Self-published on March 19, 2019, 251 pgs. The audio was released November 7, 2019, was narrated by Glen Lloyd and is 6hrs and 17mins.
Why I read this book: I loved the book and couldn’t wait for the audio.
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But he when he realizes adding the label “asexual” might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.
Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.
A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now – for the first time in his life – the right way up.
***warning, this review uses strong language…but what else would you expect from Jordan O’Neill (and N.R. Walker)?
“I tend to babble a lot when I’m nervous. And swear. Well, I say fuck a lot even when I’m not nervous. I don’t have Tourette’s or anything, I just like the word fuck. The noun and adverb, even the adjective, not the verb obviously because I’m asexual. Apparently. So there is definitely no actioning of the word.”
After just a moment, he continues after Hennessy asks him how he’s feeling:
“A little weirded out…not gonna lie. I didn’t want to admit the asexual thing to myself for a long time, and I’m thinking it will take some getting used to. Like breaking in a pair of Doc Martens, ya know? Like they’re uncomfortable and tight and basically kill your feet until they’re the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear. They become like a second skin, and I’m pretty sure this whole asexual thing will be like that.”
So that’s Jordan. His chapter is the first and at times I felt he was the central character as opposed to the book being split between himself and Hennessy. As I got further into the book, though, things evened out. Hennessy runs the support group for asexuals and Jordan’s appearance catches him off guard. Not just because the man is emotional, but because they discover they have a passing knowledge of each other. They take the same bus every afternoon.
Now, I took public transit for years and there were certain people I saw every day. I would passingly wonder who they were or what lives they lived, but I never reached out. Had Jordan not shown up at the meeting, he and Hennessy would never have talked. Would never have discovered how much they have in common. Discovered they’re meant for each other. And they would never have met the Soup Crew.
Although I know people who are asexual, I hadn’t given it much thought. This book is perfect for the uninitiated or those looking to learn more. It’s presented in a perfect package of humor, fun, and plenty of laughs. Maybe a few sniffles as well, but that’s to be expected with an N.R. Walker book. I love books and listen to almost two hundred a year. That means I’m picky about books that I actually buy in softcover. To let you in on a little secret, I bought this book.
Needless to say, I’m happy to recommend it to anyone. I’ve read it, I’ve listened to it, I’ve loved it. I also want to give a shout out to Glen Lloyd. This is the first book I’ve listened to narrated by him and I’ll be happy to listen to more. He and Ms. Walker were a match made in audio heaven. Looking forward to more books in the future and if Jordan and Hennessy ever poke Ms. Walker’s muse, I’ll be happy to read about more of their antics. God, I loved those two.
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…
Get in touch with N.R.