Title: Restless Waters
Author: Jessica Park
Series: Left Drowning #2
A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.
Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.
With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass.
With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.
Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be Blythe’s biggest challenge ever.
Wow…Jessica Park sure knows how to write a pull at your heartstrings, emotionally charged, banging story. If you’ve ever read something by this wonderful author, you will know that you should always expect the unexpected. I’m not sure if I could put into words what I thought I would get in Restless Waters, but I can guarantee that what is contained within the pages isn’t something I could have dreamt of myself. It was raw, painstakingly heartbreaking and emotional, yet somehow a journey that will leave readers better for absorbing the words on the pages.
“I see perfection in things that are likely considered imperfections by others.”
Similar to Left Drowning, this novel is told from Blythe’s point of view. At first I was hesitant because based on the synopsis, I thought it would be a similar storyline but with a new character. I’ll admit that I was initially disappointed we wouldn’t be getting Sabin’s thoughts and inner turmoil. However, I actually think that having it from her feelings and vantage point made the story that much more impactful. She’s such an empathic character so rather than feeling the numbness we experienced in the first book, as readers, we got to feel so much deeper. I loved feeling the pain, anguish, and confusion through her because it put a fresh twist on them. It wasn’t always accurate, but it was her interpretation, which made it all the more interesting.
“Love doesn’t fix everything, but it helps.”
Blythe’s character is still one that has stayed with me from reading Left Drowning a year ago. The journey to the woman she became in Restless Waters was tumultuous and rough, but so relatable in some ways. I appreciated seeing her strength shine through here, but also knowing that she has her vulnerabilities and triggers. To me, she isn’t a character in a book; she was often the me I see in the mirror. Sabin has been a favorite of mine since the moment he was introduced. He has a presence about him that commands attention, even through the printed words. It made my heart heavy with hurt to see him struggling and experiencing the difficulty to stay afloat. I so badly wanted to hug him and rock him, and give him everything that he needed to know he’d be okay. The relationship he has with Blythe and their unspoken communication was so so special. All I kept thinking was “may we all have a Blythe or Sabin in our life”. It’s real and beautiful and such an experience to read. It’s so hard to describe because I could simply never do Jessica Park justice.
“We were going to come out damaged in one way or another, no matter what, and we were all in an impossible situation.”
This insanely talented author has a clear knack for pulling at readers’ heartstrings and forcing them to feel something. There were so many moments that I felt like she was singing to the depths of my soul and describing my deepest, inner most feelings. Sabin’s path is so different than Blythe’s was, yet haunted by a past he couldn’t escape. I just simply love these characters and the mix of emotional turmoil Park puts me through. I can’t sing enough praise for Restless Waters, and if you were a fan of Left Drowning, I highly suggest you pick it up. The storyline, the emotions, the transformations and back story all come together in one beautiful package that is not to be missed!
Buy on Audible
Listen to a sample from the audiobook with a scene that features Blythe and Sabin… and also an exclusive first listen to Sabin (well, Troy) singing “City Lights.” Enjoy!
Buy Left Drowning on Audible
from author Jessica Park
Gah! I am so excited for the release of the Restless Waters audiobook! It’s always exciting when a book I’ve written comes to life in a new form, but this project snowballed into something more beautiful than I could have imagined. I wasn’t sure I was even going to do an audiobook, but then I reconnected with my fabulous Left Drowning narrator, Arielle DeLisle. Once she was on board, my enthusiasm for creating this version of my book soared. She understands my characters as well as I do, and she’s the only person in the world I would entrust to deliver their voices.
So, as thrilled as I was to have her attached to this project, there was one idea I had to present, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over with her…
Restless Waters includes lyrics from my friend and phenomenally talented musician, Troy. Beyond that, he actually wrote a song for me! Er, well, for the book. “Coward” is the powerful single he created, and everything about it reaches into my heart. More music from the book is available on his recently released EP, When The Lights Came, and he’ll also be releasing more music from the book soon!
So, I couldn’t imagine having these lyrics narrated… I mean, it’s one thing to read the lyrics in the context of the book, because it’s sort of the equivalent of poetry, but I felt sure something would really be lost if they were read aloud. More than that, we had an opportunity to do something incredibly unique and dynamic.
Because Arielle is a sassy rule breaker and a rebel, like I am, she agreed: We would ask Troy to record acoustic versions of his music to incorporate into the audiobook.
And then Troy agreed.
And then suddenly the three of us were working together seamlessly on this production! An indie trifecta, each of us bringing something different to this work, and all of us supporting and cheering on the other. It was an extraordinary experience.
Troy and I have been trying to work together for years (his former band, In Like Lions, is mentioned in Flat-Out Love!), and we finally got our chance. Troy is, without a doubt, the voice of Sabin. Nobody sings with Troy’s level of passion, emotion, depth, soul, and beauty. It was an honor to use his lyrics in the text of the book, but hearing his voice as Sabin’s in the audiobook is phenomenally moving, and I am so grateful for all the work he put in. Troy also narrates the chapter titles and opening lyrics, and I think it’s just perfect having him as Sabin doing those introductory pieces.
As far as the three of us know, an audiobook that incorporates music as the Restless Waters one does hasn’t been done before, so that’s another thrill for us! Listeners not only get to savor Arielle’s perfect narration (Man, does she capture these characters and all the ups and downs of the story!), but they get to hear what it would be like to be right there with Sabin as he sings and plays guitar.
We are so proud of this audiobook and terribly excited for fans of the Left Drowning series to take a listen!
from narrator Arielle DeLisle
Restless Waters was a project I held very close to my heart. The timing of how it came together for me — as a narrator and collaborator and fan of the prequel I’d recorded 2 years ago — was truly a beautiful experience for me. It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve worked on, ever. To say this was an intense recording experience would be an understatement! Not only was this thick with emotion and depth, which required a lot from me as a narrator, a challenge I absolutely loved, but it also is an exceptionally unique multimedia audiobook. I could not imagine a better suited team, all of us with our own personal connections to the work, and all driven toward the end-product being as great as we could make it.
Working with Troy and his producer, Dante, to get just the right feel and timing to allow the story to unfold around and on top of the music was a beautiful enhancement to this already moving story. I have a background in commercial production and was able to facilitate this collaboration, and Jessica and I were on the same page — if we break the rules of how audiobooks are produced, it has to have meaning and it has to be perfect. The script informs the narration, introducing the music adds dimension to the tone, and the blend of narration and music work together to create an atmosphere that you just don’t get when it’s only one piece or the other. I love what we’ve done and couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.
Add to Goodreads
Read Chapters 1 & 2 HERE
Don’t miss the first novel in the series:
Left Drowning (Left Drowning #1)
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.