Left Drowning by Jessica Park Review
I have a very specific book genre that I tend to go after, and this book definitely doesn't fit in to it. I like paranormal, romance, some mystery, and humor usually goes a long way with me. While this book is a romance it has far more drama and much less things that go bump in the night than I'm usually in to. However I was looking for something a little different to read and I just could not ignore the dazzling reviews.
I kept seeing words like "compelling" and "beautiful" and "sexy" so I ended up giving it a try. I was right on my first instinct that it was definitely not my usual cup of tea but it broadened my horizons and I loved it. Here is the back of the book description so you can start to make your own first impression:
"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 about water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn't expect - and 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 downing."
Okay so slight warning here. This book does contain more graphic scenes than in many of the tamer romance novels. This book is intended for mature audiences due to having strong language and sexual content. If you're someone who may be offended or uncomfortable with some of the more graphic scenes then I'm giving you a warning here.
Alright so like I mentioned before, I don't usually go for this kind of book. I like romances with a bit of comedy and usually some sort of other over arcing story other then the two character getting together. I'm also a huge fan of some sort of supernatural elements. I like reading about the lore and world the authors come up with and I find it usually adds another conflict or element in the story that usually adds to it. This book has none of that in here.
However, that's not to say I didn't enjoy this book. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I think this book opened my eyes up to trying more books out in this genre. Much like the reviews I read, I found the book beautiful and breathtaking. The story really draws you in and maintains a good pace throughout the entire story. It builds the drama and keeps you hooked to find out what's next.
The rough story is that Blythe is living in a fog, depressed, and trying to get though her last year of school. She's really just going through the motions of regular life, but doesn't feel part of it or connected. One day she happens to meets this quirky guy, Sabin, at a coffee shop. They don't so much as meet as he sits with her and starts to talk with her, by the end of the conversation basically forcing his friendship and simply talking with her. After her coffee meeting she meets another guy, Chris, who she finds to be seriously hot, though perhaps not as charismatic. She learns that the two are brothers and she is quickly taken to meet the third brother and sister. Immediately they take her in as part of their family and she starts to feel whole again.
I loved how alive the characters were, they all seemed to jump off the page. Without actually giving away any spoilers, the love story between Blythe and Chris is absolutely breathtaking and keeps you on edge and addicted the whole way through. The story is simply so personal and touching.
While the characters did seem a bit eccentric at times, they were so dynamic and fleshed out that I truly cared about what was going to happen them next. I find it rare that side characters are so well developed that you feel just as attached to them as you do the main characters. This was the first book in a long time that nearly brought me to tears with how wrapped up I was in the story.
I think if you have an interest in romance or drama this is a great book to pick up. In fact, even if this isn't exactly your cup of tea (like I thought it wasn't mine) I would still recommend you give it a try. The story telling and characters are fantastic and I couldn't put the book down.