The Upside Down of Nora Gaines

Young Adult

PARANORMAL MYSTERY: A rough divorce sends Clare and her daughter Nora Gaines to live in an old farmhouse in the small town of Walnut Grove. Little does this pair know, there seems to be darker forces tampering with their future. Nora has dreams of a beast that hides in the day and feasts on the souls of humans at night, only to discover it could be a reality as she uncovers a secret journal with a sinister warning relating to her dreams. Nora handles the paranormalities of her new home while trying to co-exist in her new high school life. Rebel, a local teen with a dark past is there to help her adjust to the hauntings of the house the town warns about. Rebel and Nora must stick together to battle the difficulties of ancient curses, petrifying ghosts, and teen drama.

This mind-bending original piece of art hooks one in for an action-packed, phenomenal story, only to have one’s jaw dropped on the floor by its merciless plot twists. Cathrina Constantine’s beautiful writing has an abundance of capturing descriptions, keeping the reader attuned to the story’s imagery. The author provides a perfect balance between a paranormal world setting, a mystery mission, and realities of a teen’s world. The bonds between characters, especially Clare and Nora, make you fall in love with each of them and their personalities. One troubling thing about this novel was the feeling of loose ends. Parts of Rebel’s life story, and a few of the teen scenes in the story seemed to go unresolved, leaving the reader feeling empty-handed. Nonetheless, the “open to interpretation” resolution continues the mystery while also creating a satisfying ending.  

Austen Grace