I had Left Drowning by Jessica Park in my possession for a while, and for some reason, I kept putting it off. I loved Jessica’s quirky YA/NA Flat Out Love (my review) and Flat Out Matt (my review), but sometimes I feel like I need to work my way to a NA book like Left Drowning, and be prepared for the emotional upheaval. Well, I’m an idiot.
Because Left Drowning was one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Blythe has been drowning. Drowning in her own sadness and guilt for four long years, since her parents died. In her last year of college, she is alone, no friends, and mostly estranged from her younger brother. Until one day it all changes. She meets a charming, funny, entertaining and endearing student, Sabin. I dare you to read this without totally loving Sabin yourself. After her chance whirlwind meeting, and making a new friend, Blythe feels energized and heads to the lake for the first time.
There she sees him. A beautiful, strong guy, skipping stones into the lake. And she can’t take her eyes off of him.
When they meet and she realizes they have gone to the same school for four years, and she has never met him, or anyone else for that matter, she begins the process of healing.
“Four years. Jesus, I have been like this for four fucking years? I start to wonder what I have missed out on. Who I have missed out on.”
As they skip stones together, something happens that breaks down all of Blythe’s walls, and she has a panic attack, where memories of her parent’s death engulf her.
“Breathe into it,” he says again. His voice helps, his touch helps. “Let it happen. I’m here.”
I have spent four years without touch and affection and without wanting any, but now there is Christopher Shepherd, the boy who has changed all the rules.
They spend the whole day together, and she learns that Chris is there at school with his two brothers, one of which is her new friend Sabin, and his sister. Immediately, Blythe has 4 new BFFs.
I have to say, I just LOVED all 4 of them. They lost their mother years before, and don’t talk much about their father. Outwardly they are a happy, close-knit family who always hang out together. And as Blythe hangs out more with them, she begins to realize that they may be just as broken as she is. Blythe and Chris though are just perfect for each other.
“We both know that there is no God.”
“No,” he agrees. “There is no God. Not for us.”
Blythe and Chris want each other, and have a hard time keeping their hands off one another. Blythe, feeling alive again for the first time, touches herself thinking about him.
“I might just stay here and masturbate all the time, classes be damned”
She begins running to block out some of her thoughts, but Chris heals her.
But for him, it’s the opposite. She is just too much. She brings his emotions to the surface, emotions he just can’t handle.
“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.”
The first half the book was wonderful, a great build up, a wonderful story. We get to know and love the characters. Then BAM! Holy crap, my heart, it just totally broke.
“I want more than anything for the power of us together to be stronger than the power of the damage. If I still believed in God, in anything, I would be praying.”
I am going to fight with everything that I am to save him and to save us, but I won’t be able to do it alone.
I was so in love with the family, and how Blythe came alive with them. There were a few twists and turns that although mostly predictable, were amazing to watch unfold. There was also passionate and well written love scenes. There was so much story, so much going on, it was almost too much, but yet I couldn’t put it down, I read it holding my breath.
“I am hit with the enormity of the impact that this family is having in my life. They, and mostly Chris, are saving me. Or teaching me to save myself. “
I’m not big on twitter, but I just wanted to scream from the rooftops how much I loved this book, so I tweeted away:
Holy fuck. I have so much to do but I’m busy bawling my eyes out from Left Drowning by @jessicapark24 #icantstopreading
51% done with Left Drowning, by Jessica Park: Loving the crap out of this book!
It’s 3:36am and I’m still reading. @jessicapark24, it’s all your fucking fault. #leftdrowning is unputdownable.
94% now….omg so fucking good.
Fuck. I can’t finish reading through the tears. @jessicapark24
I promise, the tears are so worth it, good, bad, and ugly. I laughed, I cried, I swooned. Left Drowning just had everything I love in a book. The characters were awesome and I fell for each of them, there was love, angst, heartbreak, tragedy, a group of friends I wanted to hang out with, fun times, giggles, great sex, a swoonworthy hero, and healing. Lots of healing.
It took me two weeks to write this review because I just don’t feel like I can do it justice. I swear though, if I reviewed it right away I would have been gushing even more about it.
“He tastes like eternity, and healing, and completion.”
- I love all the characters, especially Sabin.
- There was so much in this book. So much of everything–love, pain, healing, forgiveness, family, tragedy, and it came together beautifully.
- Jessica has a way of writing smart, quirky, realistic characters like nobody else.
- The dialogue is rich and comes to life.
- So many great quotes it killed me not to use half of them.
- A unique story with a few twists.
- I loved how one of the characters, who was gay, was not portrayed in the stereotypical gay way, and it was never a big deal, everyone loved the couple.
- The sex was well written and hot.
- There were tons of little funny moments throughout the book.
- How all the little pieces came together in the end.
- A few too many random coincidences, but that’s actually what made the book special, so scratch that lol.
Rating: 5+++++ Stars, Heat 4 H
Left Drowning pulled every emotion possible out of me. It was so well written that I feel no review can do it justice. You can tell this one took a lot out of the author to write. Jessica Park knows how to write a unique story that is completely addicting. She took what could be depressing and made it delightful. She knows just when you’ve had too much and turns it around on you. I think the dedication of Left Drowning really speaks well for the book.
“This book is for everyone who has survived. You are not broken. You can love and be loved, despite what may feel like the eternally brutal nature of the world. Even when you’re drowning and so far under, there is always time to reach for someone who will teach you how to breathe again.”
Left Drowning is an Amazon exclusive. But I’m telling you now, download the Free kindle app for any device to read this book. It is so worth it.
Purchase Left Drowning by Jessica Park
Leslie Rodriguez says
Jodie Danowsky says
This book sounds amazing. How did I miss it?
Donna Sherritt says
I can’t wait to read Left Drowning, it looks good!
You made me want to read this right now, !!!which pushes my other books down the list
Megan Wickland says
Truth be told… I was waiting for your review before buying it. And now…well obviously I 1-clicked. 🙂
Awesome review and nice giveaway!
I can’t wait to read it
Jenn McElroy says
Sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂
Brandi Smith says
Great review!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Tatia White says
I’ve Ben wanting to read this book for a while now! I’ve heard so many great things about it.
Tatia White says
Been not Ben
Lisa Carta-Gates says
I loved this book, except that he constantly pushed her away and truly hurt her.
Nicole Huffman says
Can’t wait to read! Thanks for the giveaway!
Gail Campbell says
I really want to read this! Thank you for reviewing………
Ginnie Hutto says
This was a fantastic book.
I bought the ebook not to long ago, but just like you I’m not sure if I can handle the emotional roller coaster that it will put me through! But, even though this review was awesome and makes me want to bump it up on my TBR. I’m not sure I can handle it!
Ana's Attic says
It was so good, it never seemed like too much though, there was enough fun snarkiness to outweigh the emotions.
Jenn Jacobo says
Sounds great. Can’t wait to read it…..
Heather - Not Everyone's Mama says
It’s like it just magically found it’s way to my TBR shelf after your review. 🙂 This looks really really good. Thank you for the share!
mandy c says
Thank you for a great giveaway!! Would love it. Good luck to all.
Tamara L. says
WOW, what an amazing review! I’ve been wondering if I should buy it and you just made the decision for me. Thank You!
Awesome blog and giveaway
This sounds so good!
I, like you have been waiting, for what ever reason, to read this…..now you’ve inspired me to read it next!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Tina V. says
Great review, I LOVE this book…top 10 for sure!!
Kim M. says
Like you I’ve had this book and just keep passing it by. That will change very soon!!
Kay Tillman says
I, as usual, agree absolutely with you, Anna (even on the coincidence comment but I also agree it made the book)!! LOVED!! the book. Love Jessica Park.
Leslie T. says
I love your review, it makes me want to read Left Drowning even more than I already did! Thank you for the review and giveaway.
Jennifer Jones says
Thanks for the great giveaway!!
Megan M. says
Bought this awhile ago, but haven’t gotten to it yet. It sounds really great, so it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to reading…maybe I should bump it up on my TBR? Also, it’s a beautiful cover, so thanks a bunch for the chance to win a signed hard copy 🙂
Nichole Jordan says
I want to read Left Drowning so bad!
Sue Pfannenstiel says
Would love to read it!
Amy Pollard Woolard says
I have heard wonderful things about this book!! I have it on my TBR list & I hope to read it soon!! To have a signed copy of this book would be amazing!! Thank you for the giveaway & the chance at winning a copy!!
Casey Britton says
This sounds amazing! I really would love to win and read this one! Thanks for the chance!!
Debbie Jensen says
Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway.
Adrean Garcia says
Yay!! I can’t wait to read it!! Sounds amazing!!
Thanks – I have this one on my list!!
You have a great site. Some of the best books I have read lately have been from your recommendations. THis is another recommendation for my to read list.
Teresa Edwards says
think I am gonna have to read this one!!!!
Debra Diaz says
Love Jessica Park, I cannot wait to read this one!
Feifei Le says
Thank you for the giveaway! Loved Flat-Out Love!
Arely Z. says
I loved this book! I actually asked (and was accepted) for it on NetGalley, but it wouldn’t download so I ended up buying it anyway! Really good, was pretty much the same. Love, love, love it.
Thanks for this giveaawy. Looking forward to reading this,
Cannot wait to read. Sounds intriguing. Thank you for the giveaway.
jodi marinich says
book sounds good
Jess Watkins says
Sounds like a fantastic book!
Bobbye Booth says
I would love to win this so I can read it
thanks for the giveaway
Melissa Crisp says
I’m kinda like you when it comes to YA but I do always get around to them and usually love them.
Melissa Crisp says
sorry I wasn’t done and now I have 2 comments,
Melissa Crisp says
I’m kinda like you when it comes to YA but I do always get around to them and usually love them. But this one sounds like I will read it sooner rather than later
Kim Perry says
I’m not a big fan of YA, but I’ve heard great things about this book! Thanks for the giveaway!
denise smith says
i love to win this book sounds good thanks for the giveaway
Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂
I haven’t read Left drowning yet but I’m excited to read it.
Mick Murphy says
This is on my TBR! Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve heard SO many good things about this book! Hope to win!
I love Jessica Park! Can’t wait to read this book!
lisa w says
This has been on my wishlist– going to have to read it now!
Nicole A. says
I <3 Jessica Park. Thank you for the giveaway. =)
Yvonne C says
Thanks for the giveaway!
Hope to read this soon.
I’ve been dying to read this one! Hope to soon! Thanks for the great review and giveaway!
Jennifer M. says
Looks like a good book!
Kerry Brown says
I have this on my TBR list. Can’t wait to read it!
Can’t wait to read this!
Sabrina D. says
Really excited to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!!!
Maria Esquivel says
Thanks for the giveaway. Love Jessica’s work. Read great reviews on this book. It’s on my TBR list.
Diana Doan says
Sounds like a great book; thanks for the chance to win it 🙂
Jenny Dauksa Schaber says
Sounds fantastic…added to my TBR. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy
Brandy Gibson says
Good Luck everyone.
Karen G. says
I have been looking forward to this book for awhile, thanks for the post!
Just wow thank you
Molly F. says
I really enjoyed Flat-Out Love and can’t wait to read this!
Jessica Elizondo says
I can’t wait to read this!
Melissa B says
I woud love to win Left Drowning. I dig emotional roller coasters 🙂
Deb Liu says
Wow. can’t wait to read. Thanks for the giveaway.
I can’t wait to read this one!!
Thanks for the chance to win!
Marla Magill says
I have a Lady Boner for Jessica Park’s writing!!! She is the MFing BOMB!
Valerie Rhodes says
Just love this book and would love the paperback!! Thanks for the chance giveaway! vals_hemi at yahoo dot com
Sharilyn Dickerson says
This sounds like an amazing book! Think I better stock up on tissues!
Fantastic Giveaway 🙂
Margarita H. says
Thanks for the giveaway!
can’t wait to read this!
Awesome review! Thanks for the giveaway.
This one is at the top of my TBR list. 😀
Melissa C. says
Awesome giveaway!! 🙂
You are amazing…thank you!!!!
Vickie Milizia says
Thanks for the review! Adding this to my TBR list!
Looks good! Thanks!
Loved, loved, LOVED this book! I’m pretty sure everyone needs to read it. Your tweets pretty much summed up how I felt while reading it, and I was a mess at the end, so it’s totally okay 🙂
sandra murphy says
Tiffany Reed says
sounds like a great read 🙂 thanks for the giveaway
Anais G says
Excited to read this!!
Can’t wait to read this!
Julie Kerr says
I cant wait to read this!
Hearing so many great reviews about this book..I”d love to check it out!
Joanne Christenson says
Loved this book….I need to win a signed copy for my awesome shelf
Elizabeth Lattanzi says
I haven’t read this one yet but it sounds amazing!!!!
Jessica R says
looks like a great book !
Nichole C says
Can’t wait to read this book!
Meagan Wells says
Sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway!
Jessica Elizondo says
Want to read! thanks for the giveaway.
evelyn recinos says
I loved this book! thank your for the giveaway!