LEFT DROWNING by Jessica Park (Review & Giveaway)
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+
Let me start off by saying I freaking LOVE Jessica Park! I loved and reviewed both Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt. So when Left Drowning was announced I marked my calendar and I anxiously waited for its release!
Blythe McGuire is a senior at Matthews College however she is not your typical carefree college age student. Blythe is socially withdrawn and is basically an empty shell. Blythe has no friends to speak of although she is know around campus as the girl who can seriously chug beer at any party. She attends these parties to drink the pain away after losing her parents in a tragic house fire when she was only fifteen.
Just as Blythe decides to turn over a new leaf and walk away from her drinking habit she meets Sabin Shepherd and then one by one she meets his siblings. They engulf her and very quickly they become a tight knit group but it is Chris that holds her heart in more ways than one.
I fell hard for every member of the Shepard family! There is Estelle who is the quirky outspoken sister that has an odd attachment to her Neon Jesus. Sabin is the eccentric brother with the theater flare working for him and an over the top (but totally lovable) attitude. Eric is the quiet brother who anchors all the high emotions together but he is not without his own insecurities. The eldest and the family leader is Chris.
Chris Shepard is deeply wounded. At first we think he is the light at the end of Blythe's long dark tunnel. As the book unfolds we learn he was terribly abused by his father and has held it all together for his siblings. You will love Chris and for a while you might hate him. Once his full story is unveiled you will feel true heartbreak for him.
"I had an amazing parents who died to soon, and he had an abusive, sick father who died to late."
Blythe and Chris have an immediate connection however neither acts on this attraction. They spend months together before it becomes and attraction they must embrace. After an amazing week together Chris breaks it off with Blythe.
"I went too far with you and I shouldn't have. I'm not really boyfriend material." …
"Did you ever consider that I'm not girlfriend material?"…
"Yes, you are. You're outstanding girlfriend material. I'm the one who's all kinds of fucked up. Trust me."
Can Blythe and Chris get over their tragic pasts in order to have a beautiful future, or has too much damage been done for them to overcome it in the name of love?
"How can I possibly say good-bye to the person I am so hopelessly, deeply, and permanently in love with? Because I love you, Chris. I do. I will always be in love with you, even though you'll never love me back. You have been my sanctuary this year. You saved me.....
You are the great love of my life that I'm never going to have."
Left Drowning will take you on an emotional roller coaster like no other. You will fall in love! You will want to throat punch someone! Finally in the end you will LOVE JESSICA PARK for taking you on the journey she has perfected. I am a lifetime fan and will stalk her if I am ever anywhere near her!
Grab Left Drowning today along with a box of tissues. This is a 5 star read!
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 with her mother, mystery author Susan Conant); 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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