Finding the Upside of Down by Dionie McNair

Finding the Upside of Down by Dionie McNair
Publisher: Finch Books
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full length (161 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Broken by bullying, Tabitha volunteers and finds just what she needs to mend her life.

Being bullied has always been part of Tabitha Cockell’s life. Since first grade her tormentor, Amelia, has hounded her with cruel taunts, name-calling and nasty rumors both face to face and online. She attempts suicide, but is saved in the nick of time by the guy she has just started dating after he reads her suicide note on Facebook.

Survival means she has to face life, but she doesn’t know how until she sees a crew of State Emergency Service volunteers at work. She finds the courage to join, and her decision soon has her seeing and understanding life from a whole new perspective.

When everyone has an idea about what you should do, but no one goes out of their way to stand with you, what do you do? Tabitha Cockell has been harassed and bullied since first grade. Her tormentor has always been there, lurking in the shadows and assaulting her verbally and physically whenever the chance arises.

Finding the Upside of Down is a story of hope and inspiration, of fear, distance and the struggle that pushing forward each day brings. Tabitha is a character that resonates with the reader. After years of torment and years of adult intervention which have failed to change the situation, Tabitha is tired and emotionally exhausted. When her childhood bully returns to torment her further in college and at her work, Tabitha feels she cannot continue on.

The author is amazing at portraying the painful suffering that Tabitha endures. The constant frustration of failed interventions, the constant worry that something will happen and the frustrating feeling that “if something did not happen this time, it will be twice as bad next time,” always weighs in the reader’s mind. The author realistically lays out a support network for Tabitha, one that is real in every sense of the word, yet seems to crumble when put to the test.

Finding the Upside of Down will be difficult for some readers who have experienced severe bulling harassment in the past. The realistic descriptions, the painful struggle and the constant checking over the shoulder fear that victims have felt in the past come to the forefront while reading this book.

Finding the Upside of Down is just that, finding positivity in the harrowing darkness of feeling as though you have failed everyone. I believe that every reader can identify with the struggles that Tabitha has encountered. Finding the Upside of Down is one book that can engage the reader and help break the feeling of isolation that is so common in victims of bullying.

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