2013 #Review Recap – Left Drowning, by @JessicaPark24

2013 Recap

I don’t often pre-order books, but there were a few this year that I just NEEDED to get my hands on. Once I got word that Jessica Park, author of Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt, was planning to release Left Drowning back in July, I got it ordered right away.

Was I right in getting this book? Hell yea! Left Drowning turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year and one that’ll stay with me for a long time. In 2013 alone, I’ve read most of Park’s books, and I think it goes to show that she’s talented no matter what she writes. (Her little short non-fiction books are great too, it’s not just her fiction).

I only hope that we’ll see another book from Park that has this much of an impact on its readers, in 2014. For now, here’s what I thought of Left Drowning. And don’t worry, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more on Park later in this Recap series.

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Left Drowning

Original post

Title: Left DrowningLeft Drowning
Author: Jessica Park
Rating: 5/5 Stars

“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+” (description from Goodreads)

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I’ve read a few of Jessica Park’s books in recent months and they’re great. But none of them have come close to how Left Drowning has blown me away.

Park has written a story that pulls at the reader’s emotions. Pulls in many different directions, and it doesn’t let go even after the story’s over. It does this by creating characters that have so many great, loveable qualities, as well as many flaws and troubled pasts.

What I really felt was great about Left Drowning’s storyline is that it wasn’t just the story of Blythe coping with her tragic past and finding herself. It was also about the Shepherd family, who are in need of their own way to deal with the past. It’s a complicated journey, but that’s not a negative. It’s organized and won’t trip the reader up. There are so many different issues occurring at once that there isn’t a boring part of this book. I kept on reading and reading and becoming more emotionally invested in each character as it went along.

Why is there a mention of sexual content in the description? Well, this book does get very steamy at times. And I feel like this wasn’t added in just for the sex appeal. I felt it was a great tool to show a unique bond between characters. It showed the passion, the hurt, the need for escape.

I haven’t come across a book like Left Drowning in a long time. It pushes the envelope in some aspects, but with a story like this it pushed just far enough without going over-the-top. It’s realistic. The characters drew me in. The overall emotional feel throughout captured my attention early on. When the characters relived their troubling events, I felt like I was there seeing it with them. I wanted to help in some way. Park is very effective when it comes to the descriptions in this book. There won’t be many readers with dry eyes, at times. But there will also be many smiles, especially when Sabin in involved.

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You can a copy of Left Drowning from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Jessica Park is the author of the young adult novels FLAT-OUT LOVE and RELATIVELY FAMOUS; five Gourmet Girl mysteries (written as Jessica Conant-Park); and the e-shorts FACEBOOKING RICK SPRINGFIELD and WHAT THE KID SAYS (Parts 1 & 2).

Jessica grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years in the frigid north, including suffering through one memorable Halloween blizzard, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in (relatively balmy) 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.

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