Book Review – Left Drowning by Jessica Park

by Maryse on July 17, 2013 · 29 comments

in My Book Reviews

Left Drowning
<—- This book. THIS BOOOOOOOK!!!! I am on a 5-star roll lately, and this just got added to the bunch! I just had a chat with Autumn (one of my book buddies) and we couldn’t stop raving together. I pretty much reviewed the book “at her”. She pulled out all of the BEST quotes, and I swear, this book touched me… (us) deeply.

I fell in love, and I got to experience alllllll that went along with that. The fun “beginning”, the getting to know the entourage, that friend/family feel <— one of the BEST parts of this book.

Blythe is a lonely girl. Devastated and sees no real hope for the future. Not really. She’s surviving, but she’s not living. She’s going through the motions, for a semblance of “normalcy”. College, phone calls to her brother, and the coping mechanisms that get her by.

Then she meets the best group I could ever hope to meet one day. And THEY are family. And then…. so is she.

And the romantic intensity?

“It’s too much. You’re too much.”

OMG the intensity!!!!! You guys. Gut-wrenching in a goooooood delicious way (oooohhh so steeeeamy!!!!), and in a bad way. The best kind of read, if you ask me.

Maryse: OMG when she found out *spoiler*. KILLED ME!!!!

Autumn: I was physically ill.

Maryse: So many other parts killed me too, like *spoiler*, but on a romantic level – I was *spoiler* I mean they were SO FREAKING *spoiler*. When she realized that they *spoiler*… ahhhhhhhhh

Autumn: It truly was a gorgeous book.

Maryse: and THEN!!! GRRRRRRRRRR! Yes it was amazing.

Autumn: ”You are the great love of my life that I’m never going to have.”

Maryse: AH!!! YES! Or when she thought to herself that she knew all the things not to say but she didn’t know any of the things TO say. How many times have we thought that exact thing? Just so real.

Autumn: YES! and this: “Overwhelmed. I am entirely overwhelmed by him and by being with him.”

Maryse: *sigh*

Autumn: “Right now, I embody failure and surrender, but I see in him the possibility of what I could have.” I could relate to her in so many ways.

Maryse: Now… I knew *spoiler* was coming. BUT!!!! even if I knew I still totally indulged in it.

Autumn: I felt raw.

Maryse: Yep. Boy, can she write. Jessica Park blew me away.

(lots of spoilers here so…. *spoiler* *spoiler* *spoiler* *spoiler*) ;)

Maryse: Alright time to buck up and create words to describe my love…

Do you guys get the picture? This is another one of those.

Claudia: I read “Left Drowning” yesterday , and i don’t know how to tell you ladies how much I loved! This is not your everyday love story, you are going to suffer with the characters, so prepare yourself ;-) I would give 1000 stars if i could.

Sadie: Me too – so good!! It sure was hearbreaking and so intense at points. Quite a departure from FOL, which I also loved.

Kristi: Claudia, I could not agree more. This was heartbreakingly beautiful story. I loved it. Written so well and told in such a way that gave me chills!! READ THIS BOOK!!!

Oh right. What’s it about? Well I’m so happy to tell you (I haven’t been able to get this book off of my mind all day, and I don’t want to. I’m happy with it right where it is. Front row and center)!

Blythe is in college but barely “there”. She drinks, she parties, she copes. But she isn’t connecting.

So I add frigid to the list. To that stupid mental inventory I try so hard not to keep. An increasingly large list of all my flaws. My inadequacies. My failures.

Having lost her parents as a teenager to incredibly tragic circumstances, she and her brother have absolutely NOT gotten over it. Years later, and they are hurting each other, and hurting themselves. A wonderful childhood, turned into a nightmare in the last stages of their young adult lives.

And by chance, she meets the quirkiest cute guy in a coffee shop.Well, he meets her. Forces her, really. ;)

I blink a few times and wait to see if his one-man show is over. He tips his head to the side and continues looking at me while I try to figure out what to do next.

He leans forward. “Too much?”

Yes, you weirdo, just a bit. But I say nothing.

*giggle* I loved… all of this.

And then she meets another less quirky, but seriously cute guy, and soon connects the dots that this duo are part of a dynamic, effervescent group of siblings that she’s about to become a HUGE part of.

And I’m going to stop it there. ‘Cause while this IS a love story of epic proportions, there is so much more than that. Every character adds to…. NO…. creates this story, the love angle, the angst. The past. The present. And maybe even the future. I’ll let you all find out where it’s going.

This will not break you. This will not break you.

Well. Yes. It just may, but it is so worth the pain.

Deep, eloquently written, quirky as heck (I mean, wow, these characters are kind of out there, but so dynamic. ALIVE). While at first I was ping-ponging with them (maybe even against them in the very beginning because of a few… “eccentricities” or bold, self-confident… “inclinations”), I eventually found the rhythm and I matched mine to theirs. Like heartbeats. I was in sync with who they were, and I felt every moment thereafter. I would give anything to truly know them. To be in that family. And not everyone was eccentric. Some just felt… like… me. Or maybe I felt just like them? But either way, I truly lived in this book for an entire reading session, and I miss them all terribly right now.

And I’m hoping the author has plans for more, because I believe there is so much more to know. To grow with. To love with. To ache for.

5 stars!!

P.S. Thank you to the publisher for sending a review copy my way. And a *giggle* to the author for that little surprise. I laughed out loud, and couldn’t believe my eyes, eek and after backtracking and reading again, I realized that …. apparently, in the “book-world” I experimented a little in college. LOL!!!! Well. A girl’s gotta “live” somewhere, right? But that stays between us!!! (thanks for the opportunity, Jessica!).

Now… *skip this little piece of personal introspection right below* if you’re one who TRULY doesn’t want to know anymore about the story. Its not that it’s a spoiler per se, but if you’re like me and like having no real clue, skip this one last line below, and go in “blinder”. It’ll be even more fun!

But I just needed to say…

P.P.S.  Just know that even when you insist to yourself that you don’t believe in “fate”, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. And I dunno? If you ask me, there’s nothing better than knowing that fate has your back, no matter what. ;)

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

BEpps July 17, 2013 at 7:08 PM

I absolutely lived in this book too! I have so many questions I still want answered and would love more on the whole family! Bit my biggest one and this is a spoiler *** how could he let the *spoiler* and *spoiler*? Uhh broke me !

Maryse July 17, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I know, right?!!! Like I said to Autumn… “Why *spoiler* me!?

Sadie July 17, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Awesome review!! It had everything I love in a book, dealt with complicated issues (life and death, love, fate, religion, depression, family, etc. etc.) and somehow it wasn’t too much, you know? It was beautifully written and had be flipping pages into the early morning. I love how you said the characters felt alive…I miss them too! I agree with you that there are other stories to be told (fingers crossed!). And BTW – the steam in this one – WHOA *fans self*. Now, what to read next?!!!

Lise July 17, 2013 at 7:38 PM

WEEEEEE… so excited to read this ONE!!!!

Kristen July 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The eternal question: Did it end on a cliffhanger?!

Maryse July 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM

I can’t wait to hear what you think, Lise!

Jen July 17, 2013 at 8:04 PM

This book just broke me. I may never recover. Lol! I read it down the shore. I certainly wouldn’t recommend reading it in public like I did! How embarrassing!

Maryse July 17, 2013 at 8:06 PM

No cliffhanger!! BUT!!! Potential for MUCH more. This should be a series.

Toski July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Bumped this to next. I’m sold!!! So many spoilers spoilers. It has to be amazing!

Claudia July 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Jessica Park rocks!!!!!!! I just can’t stop thinking about this book all day!!!!

Hazel July 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Man…………B&N doesn’t have it for my nook. AHHHHHHHHHHHH

Hazel July 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

This is not the first time B&N has let me down.

Lizzy S July 18, 2013 at 3:16 PM

This book wasn’t next on my TBR list but after all the great reviews I pushed it up! To say that I loved this book is an UNDERSTATEMENT! I made the horrible mistake of starting this book late in the evening, now I have a book hangover! You know the whole…”Just 1 more chapter.” Lets just say going to sleep at 4:30 a.m. has done a number on me. I just couldn’t put it down. Its gonna be hard to find a book to top this one!!!

Rosemarie July 18, 2013 at 9:57 PM

This was fantastic!!! *sigh*

keri July 19, 2013 at 1:44 PM

You are killing me! Just bought this one, Me Before You, one of the Rockstar books listed under “You May Also Like”. etc. Cant wait to read all of these! Thanks

Tammie July 20, 2013 at 8:19 AM

WOWZEEEERS! What an awesome awesomely fantastic book! Be sure you have nothing to do once you start, screw the laundry, dinner, housework and work for this book! It had me hooked at the start I loved the quirky characters! Really a 5+ star read from beginning to end, I do hope there is a lot more to come from these characters in the very near future. Thank you Jessica Park and everyone for the great suggestion on this one worth every penny!

Kim July 20, 2013 at 5:22 PM

OMG loved it! It had that Beautiful Disaster feel to me and it made me cry just like it too! Not cry – really actually sobbing. The scene where she is running with his truck??!! Killed me! Brilliant writing.

Kristina July 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Holy smokes!, what an amazing, beautiful story. Thank you for the recommendation.

Marlene July 20, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I think I might have to graduate to the world of commenting for this one. I loved it! Maryse, I may be a silent follower, but you have never let me down. Left Drowning might be on my top 10 ever list. Definitely, top summer read so far. Thank you!

LeeAnn July 26, 2013 at 7:09 AM

I loved this book so much…..I actually cried , cried and cried.. I had to comment, because I was not expecting too much from this book…Top read for me!!!

holly tilling July 27, 2013 at 2:28 PM

This book really touched me. I looooooved it! Fell in love with all of the characters for all their quirks and how they each coped with their trauma. 5 stars plus!! Thank you for recommending!!

Lauren July 27, 2013 at 5:54 PM

I just finished….10 stars, I LOVED it. Thx so much for the recommendation!

Patty August 12, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I can’t thank you enough for your rating that drew me in to read this amazing story. Has anyone read J. Park’s relatively famous…I have. To look at that one since I absolutely loved this one and flat out love. Thank you again for the review it wad spot on a definite 5!

Jaymi December 9, 2013 at 10:08 PM

OMG!!! Just finished this book. I was a wreck over it. Loved the group….loved Blythe and Chris. Wow…. That’s all I can say. Well, except I loved Sabin too. Oh.. I want more of them. LOVE THEM!

Natalie Gerber December 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM

This book touched me and made me cry so many times. I am so glad that you liked it. I was looking to use my PRIME membership for the month and picked this one up thinking it may be a quick read. I read so many serial books and wanted something that was just one book. I had no idea what was in store for me. I read this right after beta reading “Fighting Redemption” by Kate McCarthy. Fighting Redemption was so emotional I wanted something lighter. Well I picked the wrong book. Those 2 books next to each other killed me. I read it again because I needed it again. **** I had no idea how it was going to get there. How creative was that?

Marina December 21, 2013 at 10:17 AM

This book is definitely one that has made a mark on me from 2013. I reflect on it a lot. Jessica Park’s writing is amazing!

Erika December 29, 2013 at 12:43 AM

I have about 100 pages left and it has really gotten me already! I am sure I’ll be crying at some time soon. Already shed a few tears on this one. Thanks for the review:)

Antonella January 1, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Finished this last night (or really this morning) at 2.30am as I could not put it down. This was an excellent read, so beautifully written and emotional. I laughed and cried and had a lump in my throat for quite a few chapters. I wondered if the character Maryse was named after you, sounds like Sabin was fun, LOL.

Val January 14, 2014 at 10:31 PM

I just finished reading this and I don’t even know if I can recover. The intensity of it all. Of the relationships, some of the subject matter, the hot freakin’ sex scenes. And then it was sweet, funny and I loved all of the characters. It was so good. It broke my heart, made me laugh and just all around was a great book.


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