Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left DrowningLeft Drowning by Jessica Park

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

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+

Publication Date: July 16, 2013

You should have a box of tissues handy when you read this emotional and powerful book. Although there was a lot of sadness in the stories of Blythe and Chris, there was love and healing too. This is the first book I read by Jessica Park and I’m certainly a new fan.
Blythe was a character I really connected with. From the beginning, you can see her struggles to feel anything since a tragedy that left her and her brother orphaned. Her relationship with her brother is strained and the only way she knows how to cope is drinking and steering clear of emotional attachments.

Blythe meets Chris and his endearing siblings and she finally starts to gain a sense of belonging. However, Chris and his family have their own dark pasts and they each have their own set of self-destructive tendencies. Chris and his family were very likable and I loved how they adopted Blythe. Sabin was a personal favorite and he added a lot of comic relief to heavier moments.

The relationship between Chris and Blythe is complicated from the get go and they go through a lot of ups and downs. I loved how their lives intersected even when they weren’t together and I really could feel the strong feelings they had for each other. They felt more like two halves of a whole than merely a pair of lovers.

My only dislike of the book was the religious debates and the disdain that the characters express over Estelle’s zealous belief in God. It’s just a personal preference for me, but I prefer books that don’t touch on religion and politics. The pacing was also just okay for me. I found some parts slow-moving and others rushed.

A very good read overall and the rave reviews are definitely deserved. It was great to read a standalone with an ending that tied up everything nicely. I’d love to see a few spin-off stories from the book especially from the siblings’ point of views.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!

View all my reviews


  1. Thanks for the warning me about the box of tissues! This book sounds pretty good, but like you I prefer books that don't touch on religion either, but that part of the book seems small enough that I will still be able to enjoy Left Drowning. Thanks for the review!

  2. A most excellent review, Heather! Sounds like a romantic whirlwind :) Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!