Title: Turn the World Upside Down
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: October 20th 2016
Genre(s): Young Adult
Page Count: 200 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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.
Turn the World Upside Down by Nyrae Down is the story of a young man named Hunter who is admitted into Better Days. Hunter is carrying around anger and misplaced guilt after finding out a horrific family secret his sister was hiding. The subject matter is dark and sometimes difficult to read, but I felt Nyrae Dawn handled it expertly.
-The plot. Although I wouldn’t categorize this under romance, there is a lovely romance that blossoms on the way towards healing between Hunter and Stray. What this story is about is family, friendships, healing, and trust. It’s a story that will make you think about how mental illness affects not only the person living it but those around them.
-Hunter. I can’t imagine learning what he did. Despite everything he was going through his strength and heart shone through.
-Stray. So much love for him, and if I’m honest he took stole the book from Hunter a teensy bit. There were parts of him that I identified with, and there was something about his quiet strength that I found comfort in.
-The supporting cast. Their little group of friends was great. They way that they supported each other was equal parts inspiring and heartbreaking.
The end of the story. I won’t lie and say I didn’t want a little more. While the end alludes to a happy ending, we are also left knowing that more healing is left to come because- well- life isn’t easy. For me- I like knowing for sure my characters will live HEA. I wanted an epilogue with a glimpse into Hunter and Stray’s future, BUT- on the other hand, I do have to point out the way the story finished stayed true to the characters and their story. I’m PRAYING to the book gods we get a follow up for Hunter and Stray.
I’m going to give this moving book 4.5 Stars because it’s beautifully written, and a story that needs to be told.