Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review: Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning
Left Drowning by Jessica Park
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication date: July 16th 2013
My rating:  5 stars


 What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

Note: due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+


Left Drowning started off harmlessly enough and then ripped through ALL of my emotions, bringing me to soaring heights only to crash me down to earth shattering lows!!  Jessica Park thankfully left me on a blissful high.  Ms. Park, you have done a number on me, and I’m still recovering from the rollercoaster ride my heart and mind rode!!  

When we first meet Blythe, she’s not putting her best foot forward.  She’s coming home, after some college party, in a drunken stupor and barely makes it into her dorm room.  She’s been drifting along like this for much of her college years, numb to everything around her.  Blythe hasn’t dealt with her past and so it still cripples her.  But then a change starts to take place when she meets a brood of siblings, quirky, loud, and lovable, and she starts to slowly come out of her fog.  There’s Estelle and Eric, the twins, and Sabin the outgoing, flirt, and then there’s Chris, the oldest sibling and thief of Blythe’s heart. 

Chris feels safe and in control to Blythe and so she starts to reconcile her past a little more and more with his support.  The brothers and sisters help as well, and Blythe the connection she makes with each of them heals her just a little more. With every passing day, though, Blythe is falling harder and harder for Chris, even with his warnings that she’s too good for him, she’s too much for him, and more than he can take.

On closer inspection it becomes apparent that the siblings are not the perfect fun loving group shown to the outside.  Blythe knows a dark cloud hangs over them but doesn’t push.  She knows the need for privacy and the desire to pretend everything is okay can be necessary to survive.  She hopes that the connection she shares with Chris will turn into something more when they both can handle it.  She’s willing to wait for it, it’s everything to her.

Like I said in the beginning, Jessica Park took me on one hell of a rollercoaster ride.  I was climbing up a slow hill creaking along, getting higher and higher, my heart and hopes in a crescendo at the top.  Happy, happy, joy, joy, wonderful highs!! Delicious, steamy, OH-MY-STARS-STEAMY-SCENES!!  Then without warning I’m crashing down the other side down, heart dumped somewhere at the bottom.  I CRIED angry tears, sad tears, and I was generally sort of raging for a good 20% of this book!  My poor husband.  Even a couple of my friends were not spared and got some ranty texts from me.  There may or may not have been cursing involved (there was, lots of words beginning with the letter F!!!).  I didn’t know if I could forgive or forget.  But then the miracle that is Jessica Park’s writing, she turned it all around.  I got answers, and reasons, and I’m almost ashamed at how much I wanted to murder a certain character knowing what I now know.  My heart breaks for everything that was endured and so I can forgive, and I understand.  Plus, things were not all that they seemed….

I loved the final revelations, and how Ms. Park brilliantly put this whole story together.  I figured out a few things in the beginning, but didn’t have the full scope until the end.  I’m still so emotional and so affected from this read, my feelings are still very much at the surface, but I completely LOVED it!!  I’ve been a big fan of Jessica Park since Flat-Out Love, and she did not disappoint with Left Drowning!

 





28 comments:

  1. I love when a book makes you go through ALL THE FEELS! Honestly, after reading a couple of very descriptive negative review, I didn't think Left Drowning would be the right book for me and I never gave it a second thought. But there you go making me change my mind! Awesome review, Rachel!

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    1. Uh oh. I hope you like it now that I've changed your mind! Remember to keep an open mind for like 20%! That 20% is truly PAINFUL!

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  2. I saw your updates on Goodreads and I'm really interested in this book. I enjoyed Jessica's Flat-Out Love but this one sounds even better. I love it when I can feel the book. Great review Rachel :)

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  3. Wow, the reviews of this book are all over the place- I know I won't be reading it due to my age but you make this book sound sweet and enjoyable.

    Lovely review, Rach! <33

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    1. Yes, I'd probably wait on this one, Melanie. It's more adult than even new adult.

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  4. Uh oh Rachel. Just how ranty and ragey did this book make you? 20% is a long time to be feeling all ragey, so that worries me a bit, but given how much you clearly adored this book, I'm thinking things turn out okay in the end. RIGHT? This is a book that might require an email. As long as there's no cheating, I'm all for having my heart ripped out and stomped on!

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    1. I've sent the email, Jenny. :)

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  5. Oh wow! You're the first person I have in friends list who has given it such a high rating, Rachel. Everyone else gave it such low ratings that I wasn't sure.
    I do get the feeling that I wouldn't enjoy it that much because of how you raged for 20% of the book. I can feel that it would bother me. Still, I'm happy that this took you on an emotional ride, Rachel!
    Lovely review! :)

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    1. I totally respect that, Nick. After reading reviews sometimes I just know a book is not for me, I won't pick it up. Thanks! :)

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  6. Wow. Rachel, this must be good if it could invoke such reaction from you although at the same time it kinda scare me a little bit. Haha. But I think I'm pretty willing to take a dive on this one since it seems like everything worked out okay in the end? Right? Haha. Wonderful review, Rachel. I'm glad all the tears and raging emotions turned out to be worth it in the end. :)

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  7. WOW, I think I need to read some books by this author. This one sounds fantastic. I like that the MC gets to know the siblings as well as Chris...that's something different from most novels.

    -Lauren

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  8. I'm laughing at your review since I love all the feels--angry, sad, happy etc. I just want all of these feelings and I'm so glad this one gave them to you:) I can't wait to read this baby. Jessica is so fun and andorable to talk to on twitter and I can't believe Flat-Out Love is still sitting on my shelf untouched. It has that Christmas-sy vibe though. I want to read it during holidays this year lol. Hopefully I won't forget;) This one I'll pick up sooner though, hopefully by the end of summer:)

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Siiri. If you want a read with all the "feels" this is definitely for you! Let me know when/if you pick it up! :)

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  9. That was an incredible review and now I'm searching for my copy... What made the rollcoaster go down, I hope it had nothing to do with Chris... That sounded like the perfect relation. Blythe sounds like such a down to earth character that I can wait to meet her. Brilliant review, Rachel! :)

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    1. Blythe was amazing as was Chris. I'm taking the 5th as far as telling who's responsible for the roller coaster's downward ride, but it's a sharp and steep drop! I hope you love this as much as I did, Emma. :)

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  10. Oh gosh, this sounds like one crazy emotional ride! Can't wait to see if your next-read is as adventurous as this one :)

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  11. Wow! Amazing job showing all the feelings you went through. Now I need to read left drowning! I'm glad you were pleased withthe revelations. I love books that leave feels and explore characters complicated histories. Fablulous review Rachel! :)

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  12. OH YAY! I am so happy that I have a copy of this one now. At first it looked like the typical NA read of a broken girl meeting a guy who helps her heal, but from your review it OF COURSE is another surprising read from this author. I love that there is a group of siblings involved and I'm very curious about this story. Of course a 20% rate of stress is worrisome, but THANK YOU for telling me that that this ends on a high. I will try to remember that in the darkness ;). Great review!

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    1. I hope you like it, Lauren. It had me all over the place, but I loved it! :)

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  13. I am so glad you loved this Rachel. I have this for review and I am such a big fan of Flat out Love. I am not looking forward to the emotional roller coaster, but I am thankful it all ends well. Lovely review!

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  14. Wow! What a rave review! I've seen this book around but hadn't heard too much about it and now it's going on the wishlist! Angry tears? I have to know why! Thanks for another amazing review, Rachel!

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    1. Thanks Jess. I'd love to know what you think of this read. It definitely does a number on your emotions! :)

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  15. Left Drowning sounds soooo intense! I almost feel, based on the reactions, that it may be too much for me. I'm just wondering what could make readers so upset at that character, and then for it to be turned around and made sense of. But any book that brings those reactions must be worthwhile.
    Great review, Rachel!

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  16. I actually think this is one of the few positive reviews I've read for this novel, which surprised me because I remember Flat-Out Love received a lot of positive reviews. I'm glad you enjoyed this so much, though, Rachel. I really need to sample this author's work and see if it's for me since her novels always receive mixed reviews. Lovely review, dear! :)

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    1. I think that's a great idea, Keertana. She may not work for you. I think Flat-Out Love might be a better fit at any rate. :)

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  17. I just read another 5 star review of this one and she also mentioned her emotions and the steamy scenes! I have definitely got to check this one out!

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  18. This book was a pleasant surprise for me! I never imagined it would make me feel SO MUCH. And I got so absorbed in the story while reading. I agree that it was VERY well done. Great review!

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  19. I just saw an add for this one on my kindle. I was curious about it. So glad to hear you liked it. Looks it really tugged on the emotions. Great review and thanks for sharing!

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