Title – Left Drowning
Author – Jessica Park
Publication Date – July 16, 2013
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 is one of those hidden gems that I have heard buzz about, but just didn’t have time in my schedule to read. Man, am I kicking myself for that now! This book sunk its teeth into me, gripped every nerve and fiber of my being, and never relented. I was instantly hooked and found myself sneaking away to read at every chance I could.
“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. Even when you’re drowning and so far under, there is always time to reach for someone who will teach you how to breathe again.”
This is honestly one of those books that is extremely difficult to review because I feel that readers just need to experience it in its entirety. It follows the journey of two broken characters, but I didn’t feel like I was reading the same story that I’ve read countless times before. It evoked raw and poignant emotions through every crack of armor, and subsequently the rebuilding, in both Chris and Blythe and their pasts. From early on, I did guess the connection between the main characters. However, I think that it’s done fairly obvious because that’s not what the core of the story really is. It’s about overcoming what we have no control over; about finding something to believe in even in the face of the unimaginable. I felt every single emotion – in my gut and in my heart. There were several times where I got choked up and could just feel a blockage in my throat. Jessica Park writes in such a beautiful way that you can’t help but just stop and pause a moment to really feel sympathetic toward these characters, resulting in just being moved.
“You need songs that make you feel. Some make you strong, some make you weak. Some build determination, some tear you apart. But you need all of those”
If you take one thing away from this review…it’s to go read this book! You’ll fall in love with each and every character. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry. And if you’re a water girl, like myself, every metaphor will just hold that much more weight. AMAZING job to Jessica Park, and if the rest of her books are anything similar to this one, I can’t wait to get my hands on them!
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Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.