Finding the Upside of Down by Dionie McNair #mf #YA @DionieMcNair @FinchBooks

Finding the Upside of Down

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.

Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been published elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Finch Books.addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16Triple ThreatTAG Tbird_s ThoughtsTAG

My teenage girls were offered the chance to read this book for a review.  Since my youngest is 13 I decided to read it myself first to make sure it was age appropriate for her.  What I found was it is written for any age as far as content and it should be mandatory for all teenagers and adults to experience this story through the eyes of Tabitha.


I have watched both of my daughters come home in tears, and as their mother wondering what I could do to make it better for them.  I have felt the anguish of seeing the person I would give my life for, being disrespected and treated with such evilness. I was ready to lose my mind at times, lost in the emotions of Tabitha and feeling lost like her parents were.  So with that said, yes this book evoke a wave of emotions from me as I watched Tabitha put her new freedom on the shelf because the girl who had tormented her showed up in her college class.  The saving grace was Alex, who had been a long time crush for her, was there as well.


I do disagree with my daughters regarding the last part of the book.  At about midway in the book, the tables turn for Tabitha and she begins to find her purpose in life and what direction she wanted to go.  She reclaimed her confidence and passion yet that didn’t stop Amelia from trying to break her down.  They enjoyed seeing this transition and I did as well, but I was still under the influence of a provoked momma bear and wanted more angst than the author gave us.  Now after some time, I really respect how the story was written. This plot goes beyond entertaining me and poses the chance for a survivor of bullying to find comfort and encouragement.


I am very pleased that my girls have had the chance to read this book, I strongly suggest parents and kids who are dealing with the issue of bullying grab their copy as well.  It won’t tell you how to solve it, but it sure makes you not feel alone any longer.  Knowing this gives a person strength to continue to the fight to survive as Tabitha shows.



tbird - faith - tag

My mom had to read this first to make sure it wasn’t too old for me. I am 13 and didn’t have any problems understanding the story or read it but I did have to look up a few words.

This book has so much emotion. Alex was always supportive of Tabitha. Alex was my favorite character. Having went through this myself I felt exactly what she felt, hopeless. I think parents and teachers should read this because most teens are currently go through or have been through this. People can make a big impact on what happens in a person’s life and this book shows that.

Kids who are bullied should read it to show them that other people understand how you feel or felt. I would really want teachers to read this so they would understand that just waiting for it to be over doesn’t help. This book proves that sometimes waiting makes things worse. I did learn that bullying is hard on the parents too. I think us kids forget that when we are being hurt. I understand why my mom cried a lot now. Bullying is a family problem and pain.

I thought this was a really good book.


tbird - sarah - tag

As a young adult reader, currently I’m 17, I really loved this book and the people inside of it, expect for a few but I’m not supposed to like them. This story is about a girl named Tabitha who is going to college to get a degree to be a veterinarian nurse. But when she gets there, she finds out that not only is her long time crush, Alex, is in the same class as her, but also her old bully, Amelia, are both in the same class as her. Amelia had been bullying Tabitha since they were little kids in elementary school and has not lightened up in all that time.


The book is very emotional and actually made me cry at some points (which is actually really hard for a book to do for me). Every character, even Amelia, seemed to be real to me and made parts of the book stick even more. It kept me interested throughout the story, but near the end, it didn’t end how I thought it would. Which is good in a way but in another, it felt strange. Like it was incomplete personally for me, and that is the best way I can describe it without giving it away.


Even though I hated Amelia, I didn’t feel like she got the ending she deserved. My mom has also read the book and we both had a different feeling how Amelia’s story should have ended. We also had different perspectives of the character itself, so take that how you will. In the end, I would recommend this to anyone who is wanting an emotional roller coaster of a book and hope I could read more from this author.


Purchase LinksTAGKindle | Nook | Finch Books