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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 NR Walker (P)2019 NR Walker

What listeners say about Upside Down

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Heartwarming and necessary

This is not your typical romance. The MCs are both on the asexual spectrum and Jordan struggled with being labeled for it. Even though Jordan and Hennessy are attracted to one another, they don’t want or need sex to express their feelings. In true N.R. Walker fashion, I was entertained and charmed from the first chapter. Relevant and necessary for today, this book tackles a tough issue and makes you look at societal “norms” and what they really mean. I believe my husband is asexual. It’s something we struggle with, not because I need him to meet my sexual needs, but because I don’t think he’s come to terms with it for himself. He’s my Jordan and I love him no matter what. I’m going to give him this book as a gift. I truly think it’s enlightening and therapeutic. Love is love is love. And no one expression of it is more right than the other. Thank you N.R. Walker. We need more representation like this.

4 people found this helpful

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OMG! That voice, and those words!

Another book that left me smiling. It’s very well written. I loved it! You will, too!

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful and heartwarming

Labels. We all have them. The world is built on them. Good and bad. Big and small. Some labels make us fit in, other set us apart. Many are chosen for us, some are chosen by us. No matter how much we try we can never run away from them, outrun them. And some have the power to change our world. Jordan recently found a new label. One he wished desperately not to fit, but one that explained so much about himself and all his past relationship failures; asexual. But he had enough labels already and didn’t want to add a new one to the collection. He was perfectly content with his life as a librarian, his two best friends and to stare and daydream about Headphones Guy on the bus. He really didn’t need anything else. His best friend Merry didn’t agree with him and dragged him to a support group for asexuals. A meeting that had him confront some truths and realise that maybe one more label wasn’t the end of the world. This is my kind of book. I loved the sweetness, the slow-burn; or rather the building of a relationship. Letting it grow over time. And doing it on a bus ride with the Soup Crew cheering made it much more special and fun. I’m loving this new narrator; Glen Lloyd. His Aussie accent had me melting. It made me realise how much I’d missed when listening to books set in Australia but narrated by non-native Aussie speakers. Upside Down might be Lloyd’s first foray into audiobook narration, but if I hadn’t looked that fact up I wouldn’t have known it from listening to this book. He was that good, not flawless but nothing that labelled him as a novice either. Glen Lloyd captured the heart and essence of Jordan. His nervousness and verbal diarrhea was spot on. But more than that, he really made the listener feel him questioning himself, trying to find answers, a place and people to belong with. At the same time he was also desperately trying to avoid another label. It all shone through in Lloyd’s words. He made you ride the bus with the Soup Crew, cheering Jordan on, offering suggestions, helpful and otherwise. In short, he made you a part of Jordan’s journey. There was only one thing that I wished for with Lloyd’s narration, and that was different voices for Hennessy and Jordan. At times it was difficult to keep track of who was speaking. This was especially true during the rapid fire exchanges that Walker does so brilliantly. Lloyd does distinguish between male and female characters, but when the two main characters are male, you – or at least I – need some difference between them. I mean their personalities were vastly different, but still it wasn’t always clear who was who. And then there was a re-take that wasn’t ideal, where the same sentence was repeated twice. But you know what, those are all minor things in the whole of it. Because, I still loved every second of this book, and will more than gladly listen to more books by Lloyd. I hope there he’ll produce many more to come. For me it’s rare to find books about ace people. Even more rare to find really good books with ace people, with a lot of intimacy, and not the sexual kind. Walker gave me that with this book. And so much more. It celebrated love in all shapes and forms. It celebrated diversity and acceptance and that no matter how or who you loved it was all love. At its core, this book was all about finding and accepting yourself. About love in all shapes and forms. It was a sweet slow-burn love story filled with the humour and fun characters that Walker is known and loved for. She also showed us that some labels can make the world turn right way up. A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

1 person found this helpful

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Omg this is the sweetest thing ever!

Wow! This book was so freaking sweet! ❤️ I absolutely loved it! Jordan and Hennessey are the cutest couple I've ever read. I definitely recommend this audio!

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loved it

I enjoyed this audiobook immensely!! It was engaging and funny and surprisingly sweet. I loved Jordan’s personality and the way his mind worked. I must admit that I enjoyed the chapter’s that were in his point of view versus the chapters in Hennessy’s. Not that his chapters were boring or anything, but Jordan is just hilarious, and Hennessy is a bit more sedate, although he has his moments. This is an amazingly sweet and fluffy love story that I cannot recommend enough! Narration by Glen Lloyd was great. He really brought Jordan and Hennessy to life.

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Smiling so hard right now

Oh my GOD! Jordan and Hennessy were AMAZING! Jordan a rambling, adorable mess. Hennessy a patient adorable rock. This book worked in so many levels. How being ace was explained and all it’s spectrums, the support, the friendship, the obstacles and finally finding the perfect that’s perfect for you in every way. Amazing. NR never ever disappoints and always delivers.

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Perfect ace rep, super adorable

The fact that both characters are asexual and their relationship explained asexuality so well and was absolutely well developed in such a cute way is godsend! Jordan was the best, he was so adorably awkward and funny. Hennessy was so patient and adorable. There is little to no angst, which could be a disadvantage in most stories but not this one. It might be cheesy how everything wrapped up and was tied together but I loved it.

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Snarky and heart-warming

I love the two main characters of this book. Jordan made me snort laugh more than once. The side characters are also great. I adore Angus. This is also one of very few books that I've seen that addresses Asexuality. As always, I love the way NR Walker makes you connect with characters and how the story just flows. As much as I loved the story, I will re-read it, not re-listen. I did not like the way the narrator voiced Jordan and Angus.

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Wonderful Story!!

Jordan's anxiety fuelled cursing is immediately endearing, or at least it was to me. He's such a sweet person, and it becomes clear early on that he's on a reluctant journey of self discovery; falling in love along the way is a nice bonus. Hennessy brings calm and self assured energy that complements Jordan nicely. I'm an especially big fan of the soup crew ( you must read too understand, but you will love them too!). I mean, a good love story is worth getting excited about, right? I'm also a very big fan of positive polyamorus representation, and the feeling of found family and community that permeates this story. I highly recomend Upside Down; especially for anyone thar ever felt like they were struggling to find their place or themselves.

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Intense, playful, and completely unexpected!

N. R. Walker - I am hooked. You write the most captivating and thoughtfully crafted Love stories that just happen to be about men who love men. I've been searching forever for believable realistic novels about gay male romance that are not just page after page of porn. This is the second novel I have read of yours and they are absolute treasures. The performance was very good, great narrator -- the only thing that would have made this even more perfect was if the parts of Hennessy and Jacob were performed by two different male narrators. This is definitely a "must listen to" novel of surprising and unexpected depth and significance. Is it even possible for these two men to find a way to each other when to do so will require navigating the delicate and seemingly impossible complexities of their deep seeded core identities--truths that imply an even deeper and conflicting commonality. This is unlike any love story I have ever experienced.

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  • Book addict
  • 08-29-20

3.5 stars nice story

This was a nice story, though it read a bit like an educational guide to identifying as asexual at times. Some very sweet moments, but the tale doesn’t grab you as much as it could because the educational times pull you out of the moment. As far as a way to learn about asexuality goes, and what people may face or experience in life and relationships because of their preferences, this book is fantastic and is an engaging way to learn. The narrator is ok, but they don’t have enough variety in voices to let you really sink into the story.

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  • P. S. Johnson
  • 01-01-20

Funny and touching

As usual NR Walker fails to disappoint. Her characters are well drawn so I soon felt I knew them. I want to travel the bus to work with them every day. They have both suffered in previous relationships but travelling on the same bus route to work opens up new horizons for them and their fellow travellers. Jordan suffers from an inability to avoid using bad language so if that is something you can’t live then this won’t be for you. The two main characters are asexual so again if you like your romance filled with sex then you’ll need to avoid this one but if you like a good chuckle and your heart strings pulled then this definitely should be in your library. Glen Lloyd is the perfect narrator for this. He gives each character their own voice with ease and handles both male and female voices believably. Add this one to your library now.

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  • Claudia CG Lezár
  • 12-20-19

as great as the ebook

The story is always 4 or 5 stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook. The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. It took me a little bit, to come into the narrator, but at the end, it worked. I only have to take a few breaks between. I'm just not yet finish with the book, but I listen enough to give a review. PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!! To my ratings: 5* - very very good it's like an A+ 4* - very good and will be often re-listening it's like an A 3* - it's more then a one-time-listening. it's like a B

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  • Lisa Hughes
  • 12-14-19

One of my favourite books of 2019

I loved this book, so as soon as it came out on audible I leapt on it. I read and listen to a lot of books and after a while, they all start to merge into one but this book is so memorable. I read it over and over and listened to it from start to finished it in one go. It's fast becoming my go to book on a bad day. The characters are so engaging, I really want the best for them all. I love that all the drama comes from inside the characters. The side characters are also wonderful and I hope that we see more from this world. NR Walker has taken a subject that can be confusing for some and explained it beautifully, with humour and heart. I am, and shall always be, a proud member of the Soup Crew. #SwoonMotherFudger

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  • BevS
  • 11-16-19

Jordan...you are a star!!

4 stars, maybe 4.25 for this audio version of one of my fave stories of 2019. I loved Jordan to bits, potty-mouth and all, and Hennessey, Merry and Angus were also good. I can't say that I've heard of the narrator Glen Lloyd before...but as his name didn't turn up any other results on Audible, I suspect he's either new or hiding behind another name. His take on Jordan was great, I'm more or less certain that he is Australian thank goodness, and if he isn't, he does a bloody good impersonation of being one, BUT there were a few niggles [Oedipus has a silent O, chaste is like waist and it's assume, not ashume]. I have to say the production of the narration was a little weird...they kept cutting the word chapter off so we got 'ter 11' or whichever number it was, hardly ever chapter but ter. Strange. Still, I really enjoyed it and the last chapter was lovely. ***Book Review*** I adored the hell out of this...especially Jordan [💜] and Hennessey [what can you do with parents that give you stupid names??] the 2 MC's, and yes, there is definitely NO sex!! Heartwarming, an utter joy to read, so many laughs and happy tears...what more could you ask for from a story?? Brilliant friends, fellow passengers on the 353 bus - the Soup Crew [read the story, you'll get the comment], poetry and art references...I also loved the little mentions of Alexa and Siri...as if they were real people 😉. An entertaining, charming and heartfelt read from Nic. Loved it to bits, and VERY highly recommended!! 💜🧡💚💛💙

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  • Pat Johnson
  • 03-26-20

Magnificent

Perfect words by N.R. Walker this audiobook came to life it’s absolutely wonderful. Wonderful narration by Glen Lloyd - thank you Glen .

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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 02-27-20

LOVED IT

Glen is a new to me narrator who did a great job at narrating this fantatic story. Jordan is an awkward man who loves to say Motherf*cker all the time, and has a crush on the headphone guy who is on his afternoon bus. Hennessy runs Asexual meetings and Jordan turns up to see his Headphone guy is the person running the meeting. This book is hilarious, wonderful and 100% perfect. N.R Walker has out done herself

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  • Ev
  • 12-05-19

Wonderful

This was charming, funny delightful and positive. I really enjoyed this narration. Excellent performance Glen Lloyd. One of Walker's best.

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  • P D
  • 11-20-19

Highly recommended

Such a wonderful story by NR Walker and the narration by Glen Lloyd is absolutely perfect. I can’t imagine any other narrator who could have been a better choice. Excellent!!!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 11-20-19

A much needed exploration of Asexuality

This is a much needed exploration of asexuality. Jordan is an insecure gay man coming terms with his lack of sexual desire. He is romantically attracted to Hennessy who he sees on the bus each day. I gained some insight into the elusive nature of asexuality and liked most characters, but found Jordan’s self-centred ramblings harder to love. Was it the result of immaturity or narcissism? Either way, it got in the road. I also felt the coincidences were a little too unrealistic.