Sunday, July 7, 2013

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning
Good Reads Summary
Left Drowning by Jessica Park

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
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Another slow starter, it’s with patience that things pay off. Sure, there are random ‘this is me now’ sob-sob-sobs going on that went on a smidge too long; and sure, there are those random sexy moments too that got stretched beyond what’s needed to get the story going; but both those are balanced out by the tales they’re both telling: Him, in his pushing her away, and her, in needing this guy or that guy or some other person in the story.

My initial reaction to more than one thing in this one? PUT OFF, by how easily they fell into each other’s lives. (Sure it’s all sexy, interesting and all that… but really would you say such things to persons you’d just met? I think not). by Sabin and his “I have no shame” feels, or by Chris and his too-perfect entry into the story (Skipping stones. Shirtless?! *Pinch her… she’s got to be dreaming!*)  Simply: everything felt too perfect. Too convenient. Too something.

Now, what saves this are the secondary characters, each flawed one way or another. In FLAT OUT LOVE, it’s the secondary characters that made up for what Julie lacked. And like those ones, the set here could have been too much, too. BUT, and here’s the clincher: together, they made a weird sort of sense. HOW’s THAT? It’s their flaws, a consequence of what they’ve come from; plus me, unraveling the mystery behind that that makes LEFT DROWNING take so long. Except, while I’m piecing their past together, I’m wondering what they’re doing and why… SO THAT in the end, I’d find myself attached to them (though not all of them)!

So this is me: CONFLICTED. LOVING the patchwork way they complimented each other; then LOVING AND HATING their flaws. At times, they should felt too textbook damaged in what they were doing (not doing)! (Or should I say, they read too “New Adult.” Flawed: Dark and Damaged?) Just take Sabin and his emotional front. Then Chris and his control issues. Or Eric and his non-commitment. Or even the sister and her foul mouth tough girl schtick. And let me not forget Blythe and her “drowning” in her own brand of drama.

Is Left Drowning an almost case of sink and everything else? Well, frankly… it was. Take them individually, they read too much of something. The shocker here is that they actually work. Him, with this big dark past he’s running away from; and her, with her sad, sad past that she’s drowning in (hence the title).

So… everything, but the sink, plus them being almost too matchy-matchy. Oddly enough: I found myself wondering about what was to follow at the most inconvenient of times. I’d been drawn in despite what I perceived as ‘no way-no how!’ They’d all grown on me: the sweet over the top heart on sleeve guy; the controlling directed type who’s not that bad actually: the sweet quiet one in Eric; and the bitch ‘get outa- my-face’ doubling up on the different on the count of the strength of her faith. There’s one of everything in them, yes? Except they made a weird sort of sense… and they’re what made this work for me.

This is one of the better told NA’s I’ve read. 

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