BOOK CLUB: The Upside of Over

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Author: J.D. Barrett
ISBN: 978-0-7336-3797-1
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Publisher: Hachette
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Upside of Over is the third novel by J.D. Barrett, a successful Australian television writer and script editor. I haven’t read her books, though her debut came across my desk and looked like it could be quite an entertaining read, after just reading the first couple of pages of this I think it could be a real winner too.

Olivia Law is a newsreader in her mid-40s who has always done things the right way. She was the quintessential good girl and always has been. Good grades, great career, husband, hairdo and house. She has always filled her time with great causes and kept up appearances.

It all falls apart when her fabulous husband leaves her and her drunken love letter confession goes viral. She is left with no house, husband or job.

Looking down the barrel of middle age with a reputation that’s just been totally turned upside down Olivia is left humiliated and defeated, wondering who she really is. She is faced with a  crossroad that allows her to abandon perfection and chase a new destiny.

Olivia might just get her sass back, and this time it will be of the authentic variety.

A novel about love, sex, breaking up and breaking through.

A scathingly brilliant new novel that explores sex, love and all the stuff in-between.

If the first 2 chapters are anything to go by this book is going to offer an insightful social commentary on the face of news media, an acerbic wit and more than a touch of heat.

J.D. Barrett can be found on Facebook.

The Upside of Over is published by Hachette and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Hachette 30 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Upside of Over and I look forward to hearing their thoughts. Please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

27 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Upside of Over

  1. Fabulously funny and clever!

    Olivia Law is a successful newsreader but unfortunately, her marriage is falling apart. When she tries to send her husband a raunchy video to spice up their sex lives, her private life is all of a sudden, no longer private.

    The Upside of Over offers an amusing look at what happens when things quickly spiral downhill out of control. What happens when you hit rock bottom? The only way is up. The author, J.D. Barrett, has written a very entertaining book on women’s sexual fantasies and also touches on the subject of discrimination in the workplace. The characters are mature and intelligent adults and very relatable. However, I feel I would not have been as composed as Olivia if I were in her situation!

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Hachette Australia for the opportunity to review this wonderful book. Congratulations J.D. Barrett for your clever writing. Even with a serious topic behind the story, the positive notes of humour made this book very charming and one I would thoroughly recommend.

  2. Thank you to Hachette Australia and B&L for fantastic book called “The Upside Of Over” by J.D Barrett. The minute I picked it up, I struggled to put it down.
    Olivia is a 45 year old woman who is a popular newsreader, married to David with a step son Finn. Her husband leaves her with out any indication that things are wrong.In a drunken state she films a video, a love letter to her husband, which is leaked and goes vira on you tube.. Olivia goes from reading the news to being the news.
    A story that reminds me to enjoy every part of life and not take things too seriously all the time. We all make mistakes and thats how we learn

  3. The upside of over by J D Barrett is the story of Olivia Law a TV news reader
    who lives in Sydney with her husband David. They have not been intimate for
    two years and in an attempt to win him back makes a video in a drunken state exposing their sex life and her sexual fantasies.

    The video goes viral, publicly exposing herself which leads to her losing her job and now her husband wants a divorce.

    Olivia escapes to Byron Bay to her best friend Darcy and their meets some interesting characters.

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. While this novel did address some serious, valid issues about the way women can be treated in their job and may be discriminated as they age, I felt that the story did not have much depth to it and was a little mindless.

    There were many aspects that I enjoyed such as the many likeable characters in this novel but It is not the most enjoyable book I have read.

    Many thanks to Hachette and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this book.

  4. the upside of being over was a very witty, fun, behind closed doors kind of book.
    Olivia as the main character was relatable, fun,genuine and charming. As a reader, I engaged with her dilemmas, ideas and rebellion of social norms.
    Through her hardship she rises like a Phoenix to accomplish things that pushed her out of her comfort, away from her failing marriage to David, away from her beliefs about sexuality. femininity, friends and work.
    I related to so much of this book and the way Barrett juxtaposes Byron Bay and Sydney in a way that provided stability, clarity, drama, relief and empowerment.
    The way the characters draw on each others strengths and differences allows for a deeper sense of commection and journey as you read effortlessly through he heartfelt novel.

    thank you for the wonderful read, it come while I have been cronically sick and provided much needed fodder for escape and enjoyment.

  5. The Upside of Over wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, and yet at the same time it was exactly that! A thoroughly enjoyable, amusing and heart warming tale about what happens when your life goes completely off the rails. It is a fantastic example of reinventing oneself. When Olivia’s life as it was is suddenly history, she really finds out what and who is important to her. A poignant reminder to all of us.

    Thanks for a terrific read Beauty and Lace and Hachette.

  6. The upside of over was a great read.
    Olivia is a very successful media identity who when her marriage turns sour she tries to get revenge on her husband. Oops, that backfired and now it leaves her without her life successes and subject to discrimination.
    Just when she thinks she has lost everything, she turns to her best friend and starts to find herself again.
    This book takes you on her journey of which many women I am sure can relate.
    The title of The Upside of Over rings true. When one door closes, another one opens and in this case it was a blessing. Recommended and will re-read!

  7. Absolutely loved this book, I finished it in one day.

    It was clever and funny read. I enjoyed all the characters, they were all interesting and unique in their own way.

    I loved that it tackled current issues and empowered women.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Hachette Australia for the opportunity to read this fantastic book.

    I would highly recommend it for a great piece of escapism!

  8. Well this book wasn’t at all what I expected!!!
    Olivia made a very raunchy video for her husband as she desperately attempts to win him back. This all backfires as it goes viral! She looses her job, her security and is slandered everywhere she goes. Olivia has hit rock bottom. She escapes to her best friend in Byron and her life changes for the better when she receives provocative emails from women supporters.
    This story is very easy to read and is quite entertaining! A lot of likable characters.

  9. “The Upside of Over” is awesome! I devoured this book in just two sittings.. resulting in a major reading over this morning.. but it was absolutely worth it.

    The book is easy to read, hilarious and cringe worthy in all the right ways.

    We follow the life of Olivia as she goes through a major low.. think internet humilation x 100. She escapes to her friends farm in Byron to hide and heal.. Honestly I would love to escape to Byron some days.. now if only I could find myself a rich friend lol. She deals with her issues and comes out enlightened and a much better person.

    A really fun read that offers some brilliant escapism, I would highly recommend.

  10. This book has been my favourite read so far this year. I read majority of it in one sitting and found it was just one of those stories that you’re intrigued by from page one. I loved the quirky thinkings of the main character, Olivia. This book was like a combinations of Bridget Jones’ Diary and Sex and the City. I enjoyed the supporting cast even if they were somewhat predictable and cliche. I do agree with one of the earlier reviewers about the ending feeling a little rushed. I feel like another couple of chapters would have left the book feeling more ready to be wrapped up, but overall I loved this book. The plot was otherwise well paced, interesting and topical.

    Thanks so much to Hachette and the Beauty and Lace Bookclub for the opportunity to participate.

  11. The Upside Of Over was a nice easy read, funny, witty and definitely one I would recommend. A bit rude, but not in a crude way, and reminds us that everyone has fantasies and there is nothing sting with that!
    Olivia is a lovely woman who takes a wrong turn and finds her career and life in turmoil, but her friends and new friends help her to turn her life around in a way she would never imagine!
    It was an empowering book, but I think it empowered women in a way that didn’t belittle men which is good as many books about empowerment often degrade the other side entirely.
    Really enjoyed this read!

  12. This novel gets off to quite a raunchy start and I was a bit concerned about where the story was going, but Olivia Law, a top newsreader, good wife, and some involved in community causes is someone I think most people could relate to.

    Olivia’s husband leaves her and her drunken video love letter to him goes viral, resulting in her losing her job, losing some of her social standing and her life falling apart. But, there is only way to go when you hit rock bottom, and that’s up.

    She finds solace with her best friend in Byron Bay and learns plenty about who she really is and what she wants from life. Once she meets the owner of a successful ‘marital aids’ company, her life takes a turn for the better as she learns about love… from a four-legged friend.

    The relationships in this novel and the issues that are explored are where the strengths in this story lie. A few of the storylines are a little far-fetched, but it all adds to the overall feeling of the novel.

    This may not be the book you recommend to your mum for some light bedtime reading, but then again… you just might. It’s a fun book that ties up all loose ends in a fairly convenient way – far too convenient for real life. If it’s a lighthearted book you’re after that’s going to be an easy read, this is it.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Hachette for the opportunity to read and review this novel.

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