Thursday, June 13, 2013

Left Drowning by Jessica Park - Review

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+


Holy mother of got dammit all to freaking gah!  This freaking, ridiculously amazing book had me laughing, crying, screaming, crying, swooning and then ugly crying the entire time.  I finished reading it 2 days ago and I had to collect my thoughts and try to think coherently before I wrote my review.  No words can describe how much I adore this book, but I'm definitely going to try and find them.

I fell in love with Jessica Park's writing when I read Flat Out Love...then again with Flat Out Matt.  I was so excited to find out she was coming out with another book, I couldn't wait to get my greedy little hands on it.  While Flat Out Love got mixed reviews from my friends, I loved everything about that book.  I understood, why it wasn't everyone's.  Now this book, if you don't like this book, I don't know how you and I can be friends.  Because this book is everything!  Have you ever read a story and just sat in awe like no human possible could write something so brilliant and at the same time so emotional?

This book will gut you.  Absolutely tear you apart.  It will cut you to pieces, but then it will eventually try and put you back together.  This book shows you that pain, no matter how horrible and traumatic can be thought of as beautiful because it can shape the person that you become.

"This book is for everyone who has survived.  You are not broken.  You can love and be loved, despite what may feel like the eternally brutal nature of the world."

Blythe is in her senior year of college and is basically goes from point a to point b on a daily basis and on some occasions, getting piss drunk.  Calling her depressed would be an understatement.  She doesn't feel her emotions.  She avoids them at all costs.  It is too difficult to face her pain so she tries to ignore it.  Unfortunately, she cannot truly move forward in her life.  She's emotionally stunted and has no one that can pull her out of the abyss that she's climbed into.  Blythe doesn't let anyone in and feels it is better that way.

"Even if I never speak to him again, I am grateful for this day, this one day when my misery lifted, even if just for a little while."

Walking on campus one day, she meets Chris.  She sees him as he's skipping stones in a lake.  She gravitates towards him and doesn't really understand why.  She opens up to him like she's never opened up to anyone since both of her parents died, not even her brother.  Blythe cannot explain why it's so easy to let Chris in, but she does and he awakens her. 

"What's a little risk now and then, huh?  It makes you feel alive.  It brings you crashing into the here and now.  Keeps you alert and grounded."

Because of Chris, Blythe finds herself doing things she never thought she'd be capable of doing again.  Being in social situations with other people, having friendships and letting people in.  He gives her the strength to climb out of her self inflicted black hole.  Chris is loyal to his family, and will do anything and everything for them.  Chris is the perfect guy, funny, witty and hot.  Chris is also fucking confusing and frustrating.  Chris is damaged just like Blythe, if not more.

"He is telling me to protect my heart, but to love.  He is telling me about timing, and dreaming, and surviving.  And mostly, he is telling me to abandon my worry.  To find joy and to live again."

I fell in love with everyone in this story.  I have a thing for damaged characters.  A big part of me wants to take them home and nurse them back to happiness.  Blythe and Chris are definitely damaged.  You want nothing more that they will find their happily ever after.  The supporting cast surrounding these two are just as gravitating and you will be pulled in by them.

"I feel it brewing furiously beneath the surface of our love:  the looming promise of an inevitable, destructive storm."

As Blythe begins to find her old self, thanks to Chris and some new friends she's made along the way, Chris becomes more distant.  A part of you wants to climb into your Kindle and smack him upside the head and scream at him, "What the hell is wrong with you!"  He gets very frustrating and you want to walk away from him but you can't.  You know something is wrong and you want to help him fix it.  Look at me!  Talking like I'm a character in the book!

This is a story about love, pain, and pushing through that pain to find love.

I have no better way to describe this book as an emotional roller coaster.  Not even that, more like the Giant Drop at Six Flags.  You are taken up to what feels like heaven, then dropped back down to earth.  Over and over again.  Your heart will break when you read this book, but it's totally worth it.  I promise!

Oh and P.S. the sex scenes in this book are scorching.  The book isn't about sex, but hey, it doesn't hurt either!

My rating:
Drop Everything and Read!

Source:  ARC provided by publisher for honest review
Release date:  July 16, 2013

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