“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.
I finally read my ARC yesterday and I definitely put my entire life on hold just to finish this book. I COULD NOT put it down. It was 100% worth it! I walked to the store, I was reading, I went to the mall, I was reading, I ate lunch, I was reading…..I COULD NOT stop. I read so much my kindle and iphone batteries died. I finally put the book down at about 88% because I was afraid to finish. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it to be over. I wanted to live in that world for just a bit longer.
I really honestly and truly loved them all. Jessica Park has a way of making you love her characters as though they are your extended family. She managed it again with Left Drowning but I must say my three favorite people were Sabin, Christopher and of course Blythe.
Sabin, Sabin, Sabin oh how I loved Sabin! If I could wrap him up and put him on display for all the world to see, I would. He was one of my favorites. Ok, I think he is my favorite as much as I loved Blythe and Christopher, there was just something so special about Sabin. He held everyone together even when they wanted to fall apart. He had his issues but he loved fiercely. He was the funny, animated one that made everyone crazy but he was also their glue.
Chris, as much as I loved him I wanted to strangle him…and often. He broke my heart…repeatedly dragging it through the mud and stomping on it until I was sure it wouldn’t beat again. But somehow, I still rooted for him! What a past he ran from. His running caused me great pains but I understood. I really did. Chris was intense and ridiculously patient even when he was boiling inside. There was something very noble about that but again I had my moments where I wanted to ring his neck.
Blythe…what a journey she had! I admired the woman she became even through all the pain she persevered. She was a shell of a person when the book began. She’s alive but not really living…inside she’s unfeeling, cold and completely void of emotion. By the end of the book she came out of her shell, opened up, accepted the many faults and losses she’s incurred. Finally, she thought, she felt, she loved. She was truly an inspiration. I rooted for her from start to finish.
This was an amazingly beautiful book. I went through a plethora of emotions while reading it. I laughed, I cried, I was heartbroken, enraged and somehow I continued to root for a HEA!!! What I loved the most about this book were the relationships. The love story is only one aspect of this book. One tragically beautiful aspect, but there is a camaraderie that is seen throughout this book that simply amazed me. I wanted to be a part of this unconventional family. Through their troubled pasts they all hold onto one another for the strength to continue…to continue breathing in a world where they “were left drowning.” Their fights are deeply emotional, as their battle scars run deeper than merely the physical. They’re all seeking a way to somehow just breathe again. Even through the pain they’d all experienced they made the best of what they had…each other!
Here is one of my favorite parts…
Chris looks around the room as if trying to find a way to convince me.
He thinks for a minute. “Your parents died. Your world fell apart.”
He puts his hand on my cheek.
“You were left drowning.”
I nod again.
“And you’re struggling to breathe.”
I am. It’s a constant struggle to stay near the surface. I have just enough air to stop me from totally going under, but not enough to thrive.
“So do it. Breathe. Just breathe.”
This is part of what makes Jessica Park’s writing so wonderful. I connected with these characters, each and every one of them. I truly connected with them. I wanted things to work out for them. I laughed at their joys, cried during their sorrows, and felt how much love they had for one another. I was angry when they were and I wanted so very much for things to work out in their favor. This book was an incredible journey that I urge you all to take. You won’t be sorry!
Left Drowning is slated for release on July 16, 2013