• Upside Down

  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Glen Lloyd
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (228 ratings)

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Upside Down  By  cover art

Upside Down

By: N.R. Walker
Narrated by: Glen Lloyd
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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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Upside Down

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

OMG! That voice, and those words!

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

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This made me cry (in the absolute best way)

I’m ace and to read a story like this literally brought tears to my eyes. I’ve never seen this good of representation and it made me understand even more about myself while the characters did the same. This is such a feel-good book and I will recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants to know more about asexuality. Thank you for this story, it means the world!!!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

5++ stars

I like that’s so sweet and uncomplicated - it was exactly what I needed. And it didn’t detract from the book that there was no big drama or enemy or what’s normally used to make a story more interesting. Jordan’s character was so compelling in itself that this story is totally different, yet unique and awesome.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So sweet!

Just the sweetest book. It’s a lovely take on the connection found in an asexual relationship. It makes me smile.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent - 5 stars

This was my first romance dealing with asexuality and I found it informative without being overwhelming. The developing romance between these two young men was a perfect example of why I love to read books about people falling in love. Also, it is HILARIOUS! One of the gentlemen drops MF-bombs like I say "whoops!" and he's a librarian! I had to stop reading it late at night, because I kept bursting out laughing, loudly! The supporting characters are entertaining enough that I would read their stories if they had their own books. Narration was excellent! Characters were Australian, so expect the accent.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Best Of All Worlds

As someone who loves romance novels but hates the throbbing members and quivering flesh parts, this was the romance novel I never knew I needed. I laughed out loud and awwed at all the sweet romantic bits. I got butterflies and smiled so much my face hurt. Absolute perfection and I need more!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Because. YOU. Left. ME. Unsupervised.

I love this book and I absolutely adore Jordan. I want to frame most of his words. And Agnus is such an unassuming sweetheart, always ready to help J find his dignity. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments you should never listen to this book where you would be chastised for disturbing the peace. I need Merry to be my best friend and Hennessey is perfect for Jordan. NR Walker does an awesome job of fleshing out these characters and I would love riding the bus, becoming part of the Soup Crew. Glenn Lloyd does a great job with all the voices but needed to make more of a distinction between Jordan and Hennessey. When they banter, it is a bit hard to determine who is talking but it is a small complaint. While texting, Glenn Lloyd is good at delivering the acronyms: "Jay" "es" "why" "kay" for just so you know or "eye" "dee" "kay" for I don't know but then says "lol" like my Alexa might instead of "el" "oh" "el" for laughing out loud. If you don't like cursing, pass on this book. The book is fantastic; the characters are phenomenal; the story, the love and the friendships are so well-written that I don't think Jordan's love of the f-word (as an adverb, adjective, noun but there is "no action-ing of the word") takes away from the story but some might. This is my go-to listen when I have had a bad day. Thank you NR Walker and Glen Lloyd.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A fun, informative read

There's not much of a plot, but the characters are endearing (especially Jordan and Angus, each of whom is adorably hot in his own way). At times it sounds more like a thinly dramatized lesson about asexuality than a novel, but the banter is fun enough to make up for that. Overall, I'd definitely look for more books fr the same author to enjoy!

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