ARC Review of “Left Drowning” by Jessica Park

So I was super exicted to read this –  I hope you all enjoy my review and most importantly – READ this wonderful book!

Title: “Left Drowning”

Author: Jessica Park

Published by: Amazon Children’s Publishing

Publish Date: July 16, 2013

Left Drowning

Overview of Story Thanks to GoodReads:

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.

My Thoughts:

If you can’t already tell – I’m in love with this. When I got the ARC – I was one day into reading before I realized that it was a book by Jessica Park ( I know – you are thinking – Doesn’t she pay attention to this? But really I don’t – If the story sounds great, then I go with it and look at the author later or when I write the review – I try to really read based on the merit of the story and then of course known books I see coming out by my favorites I will check out) and when I realized that she wrote this I was SUPER excited. The writing in the story seemed familiar to me – and then it all made sense. So – the book. I really loved it. The story was intense, the feelings so real I could feel them sometimes with the characters.  I laughed, I cried, and I cheered the characters on at certain points. This is the first time in awhile where I was literally brought to tears by a book and laughed within the same amount of time – and this has it all! I remembered reading “Flat Out Love” and loving the humor in the story, even amoungts such a heartbreaking story, and this one had that same aspect. You would feel intense sorrow for the characters but then something light would ha.ppen and you would laugh. It’s a great combination.  The storyline and message was absolutely powerful and intense.  It was a page turner and a book where I was also sad to see it end, I could definetly read more about these characters.  I liked that the storyline felt real, that is always important to me too.  My best summation of what I felt like the book portrayed was that it showed how much strengh it takes to let go and trust someone, and learn how to love, learn how to allow yourself to be loved.  Now, the romance was of course super intese, hot, romantic, and sexy.  It was..a leap from the “sexy scenes” in “Flat Out Love” but I’m a big girl and I enjoyed it!! I loved the title because most of us have had tough times in one way or another, but difficult times and I personally can understand what she said when she felt like she was drowning.  I thought the story was about more than drowning though, because the characters do learn to swim, to survive in the end. You see all of their strengths and their weaknesses, but strength prevails and leaves the characters stronger than the start of the story.

Characters:

I’ve already  gushed more than necessary, but I really loved the characters, even the ones in the circle around the main characters. Blythe and Chris were amazing, real, and I felt their feelings like they were mine. I could relate to them and I think that made the story that intense and “feelable.”  Estelle and Eric and Zack you didn’t see or hear as much, but when you did, it was rememberable. I did wish we got to know them more, and would love to see a second story following any of their storylines.  Now Sabin – awww – I loved him. What a great character and how I felt for him at the end, he broke my heart in many ways. I was cheering for him, and for him to find his own happiness, and I especially loved the last chapter and his part in that (don’t want to give anything away).  Sabin is someone I would love to have as my brother. Something else i loved that Park did was bring the characters together, I love how she met Sabin and Chris in the same day but different ways and these ways showed the difference in their character.  I love that when she realized who they were to each other, it fit. Her family unit sort of found her and then James at the end. When Chris and Blythe were not together, when she found out he was with someone else – I cannot even tell you how hard my heart broke, I literally had a tear in my eye for Blythe. Her sense of rightness above all and that they would be together in the end honestly soothed me even, allowed me to continue reading. Now the ride to the house in the summer with her and James when I wasn’t sure if she would go to Chris’s big event or NOT – killed me, when she told James to pull off and then saw the siblings running across a parking lot – I had butterflies in my stomach. I was cheering for them all. And I loved knowing them all. Park builds beautiful characters and family units, I read “Flat Out Love”, “Flat Out Matt” and also “Relatively Famous” and in every story I loved the characters and most of all their connections – to their loves and to their families and friends. She is able to write beautiful connections and create a beautiful story with real/full characters.

Overall Rating:

Now, I haven’t gotten my rating system 100% defined yet but this book is a 5 THUMBS up! Buy it, read it, keep it, read it again! This is something I could really see myself reading again, and again. I am kind of cheesy with books like this – I will read books over but more than that I read parts of books over and over.  If there is a part I love, I flag it and sometimes when I need it, I’ll just flip to that section and read it again..

In the end, read this and you will love it!  I just cannot tell everyone enough. It comes out on July 16th, across all media forms.  I am super thankful to Netgalley who gave me the ARC so I could review it. So, please pick it up. “Left Drowning” is a beautiful, intense, romantic story with amazing depth and breadth…the story is about drowning, but also about learning to swim again.

Quotes I adored in this story:

“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.” He turns up the volume and strokes my hair.

“You have the here and the now, ” Chris says.  “You have a future.  Deal with the past so you can stop looking back.  It’s just pain.”

“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.”

“I am overwhelmingly in love with you,” Chris says as he matches my steps. **GUSH**

“We run through the remnants of our pain, and more importantly, we run for our present and for our future.  Together we kick heartbreak’s ass.”

So if you love that, get the book and read it! And tell me what you think!!

Happy Reading!

Kelley

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “ARC Review of “Left Drowning” by Jessica Park

  1. Pingback: Left Drowning by Jessica Park | Barefoot Dokusha

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