Tuesday, July 30, 2013

[Review] Left Drowning - Jessica Park

Released: July 9th, 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 meetings ends Blythe crashing into something she doesn't expect – an undeniable attraction 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.

"We don't have to know everything. If you believe in fate and some kind of meaning and sense in this fucked-up world, then believe it with abandon, love. Enjoy it."

Intense and emotional. A story not only about the connection and relationship between two broken people, but also about loyalty and trust. How the past can fully well affect our future. It's about moving on and letting go. It's about having to pull yourself out of rocky waters to avoid drowning everyone else along with you. Not only about saving the people around you but also about finding yourself.
"So I have spent four years without touch and affection and without wanting any. But now there is Christopher Shepherd, the boy who changed all the rules."  
Jessica Park has blew me away once again. FUCK! I mean, really, who can write such beautiful books? Flat-Out Love was absolutely ah-may-zing! I freaking loved it. And now there's Left Drowning. This book just grabbed me by the shirt, tore me to pieces and threw me to the flames. Wow, that sounded brutal but it's true. My God, I cried so many times reading this book.

This book was honestly draining me emotionally. It was so fucking intense and tiring. All the drama and all the problems. Jesus. But that's what made it so damn good. I've never read another book as intense as this one. Nada. Zero. Zilch. But after I read this, even though I was so empty in a way, I also felt a sense of freedom. And I think that's exactly how Blythe felt with Chris. She was exhausted and just so drained with having to deal with him but he set her free. He had set her free from the moment he met her. No, it wasn't the cheesy love at first sight kind of thing but it was the kind of relationship that changed you. The kind of connection that bounds you together as if it was by fate.

It began really slowly as the author set an easy, relaxing pace. They meet, they became friends. Blythe meets the whole Shepherd clan. The whole family is so freaking perfect. I love the whole Shepherd family.
"I am hit with the enormity of the impact that this family is having in my life. They, and mostly Chris, are saving me. Or teaching me to save myself."
The whole damn family saved her. It wasn't only Chris, which shows that the novel didn't merely focus on their romance. It shows how the greatest group of people can pull you out of the waters and onto the land.

It started with Sabin when he stole Blythe's coffee one morning. God, Sabin is just this giant ball of energy. He is so damn hyper all the freaking time. He's enthusiastic, exciting and hilarious as fuck! He's probably my favorite Shepherd. Blythe wasn't only close to one of the Shepherds, but she loved all of them. This I really loved. Sabin was her safe haven. Her sanctuary. Her rock. She went to him whenever she's upset or angry.
"I feel grateful, though, that Sabin was my home base tonight. He let me come back to him as often as I needed to ground myself. When the noise was too much or the social interaction felt overwhelming, he remained my rock."

And then Estelle. This girl is just awesome. Freaking Neon Jesus. She's absolutely lovely and hilarious, just like the whole Shepherd clan. Although she is usually so honest, she gives out a certain mysterious aura, especially when she keeps leaving at night to meet God-knows-who.

Eric. Eric is just so adorable. Him and Zach are the cutest. The fact that Blythe and Eric can hang out – and it's just the two of them – is perfect. I'm glad that it isn't awkward between Blythe and the other family members to hang out together. It shows how they have REAL friendship instead of bonding through Chris.

And then there's Chris.

*really deep, long sigh*

I had mixed feelings about his character. At times, I want to just pull him into a huge hug and thank God for his existence. Other times, I want to smack him on the head with a baseball bat and scream out: "GET A GRIP AND PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS!" Because this was actually him most of the time:

Chris is so focused on teaching Blythe how to survive that he becomes blind to his own situation. He doesn't realized how his family trauma has created such an impact on him.

That's the whole family. Although they have this outgoing, fun, exciting exterior, they are slowly breaking apart on the inside. You realize that once Sabin starts to get drunk and reveal his truthful thoughts. My heart was aching the whole time for this family because they went through so much shit in life and the fact that no one – not one single damn person – was there to save them fucking sucked. 

The way the whole story unravels and comes together is fucking brilliant. CLAPS FOR JESSICA PARK. Because this woman is a story writing genius. The clusterfuck is all over this book and you can see it through the characters, but when we come to the ending/conclusion, it all makes sense and every issue is resolved.

P.S. The sex was bloody-motherfucking HOT! It was sexy and intense and my God, Jessica Park sure as hell can write a sex scene. Wait, scratch that, sex scenes

"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, this is always time to reach for someone who will teach you how to breathe again."

Minor Faults:



About The Author:

Jessica Park grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College. After spending four years in the frigid north, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dog named Fritzy, and two selfish cats. When not writing, Jessica indulges her healthy addictions to Facebook, Rick Springfield, and super-sweet coffee beverages.

Check her out in these sites:

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