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Book Review – The Upside of Over by JD Barrett

The Upside of Over

JD Barrett


RRP: $34.99

This book was a little odd. Lightly enjoyable, but despite the reference to “batteries not included” on the cover it was a little ‘saucier’ than I was expecting.

There were some bits I really liked – for example the relatable “Aussie”-ness of the characters and the settings. Given that many New Zealanders will have spent some time in Australia I’m sure many other readers will also find they’re able to picture quite clearly the characters and locations in this novel. For me this adds a real pleasure to a book – especially as I read it in the middle of winter and was taken away to (slightly) warmer climates.

There are also some really funny parts in this novel…think Bridget Jones Diary; highly unlikely, a bit awkward but funny nonetheless.

The novel’s main focus is Olivia – who turns 45 and finds her marriage is falling apart. She makes a drunken sexy message to her hubby which goes viral. This of course results in her losing her high-profile job and an enforced period of soul searching.

This novel really is a bit of the ‘once over lightly’ and doesn’t really delve into some of the deeper issues that this novel could have explored, but it doesn’t feel like a missed opportunity – more like if another author had been given this novel’s premise they would have seen other opportunities – but the light treatment given by Barrett is consistent so doesn’t feel like it falls short, just that it could have been more (but it’s not). If you get what I mean…

The odd bit was the ‘adult’ bits…which once again weren’t out of place, but just weren’t expected. These bits added some real humour and colour to the characters, however the once over lightly treatment (again) made me feel as though I was reading a Cleo or Cosmo magazine.

And that’s who I think would really enjoy this novel – it’s certainly not a ‘thinking woman’s’ read and not something you’d find much to discuss at book club, but it’s light and fluffy and if woman’s magazine are your preferred genre then this novel will be an enjoyable step up!

About the Author

J.D. Barrett is an Australian television writer and script editor. She has worked on the writing teams for Love My WayEast of EverythingBed of RosesWonderlandLove Child and The Secret DaughterThe Secret Recipe for Second Chances was her bestselling debut novel. The Song of Us was her second book and The Upside of Overis her third work of fiction. J.D. lives between Sydney, Byron Bay and Los Angeles.

About Esther Perriam

Esther Perriam
Esther Perriam is the General Manager at Eldernet. She’s worked in the business for over 10 years and has been lucky to visit many of the older person’s services around the country. She’s never short of an opinion on…pretty much anything. Esther really loves reading and you’ll see plenty of book reviews authored by her. As a mother of two small children there’s not much free time but if there is she also enjoys cooking (for grown-ups, not the kids!) and anything beach related in her spare time. Esther has presented at conferences around New Zealand and is happy to be contacted in regards to speaking or presenting at your event.

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