Left Drowning

Left Drowning

by Jessica Park


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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 audiobook is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

Note: Due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477817155
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 07/16/2013
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 266,517
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jessica Park mines the territory of love’s growing pains with wit, sharp insights, and a discernible heat and heartbeat. Her previous novels include Flat-Out Love, Relatively Famous, and she authored the e-shorts What the Kid Says (Parts 1 and 2) and Facebooking Rick Springfield. Visit her at jessicapark.me.

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Left Drowning 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
miztrebor More than 1 year ago
I’ve read a few of Jessica Park’s books in recent months and they’re great. But none of them have come close to how Left Drowning has blown me away. Park has written a story that pulls at the reader’s emotions. Pulls in many different directions, and it doesn’t let go even after the story’s over. It does this by creating characters that have so many great, loveable qualities, as well as many flaws and troubled pasts. What I really felt was great about Left Drowning’s storyline is that it wasn’t just the story of Blythe coping with her tragic past and finding herself. It was also about the Shepherd family, who are in need of their own way to deal with the past. It’s a complicated journey, but that’s not a negative. It’s organized and won’t trip the reader up. There are so many different issues occurring at once that there isn’t a boring part of this book. I kept on reading and reading and becoming more emotionally invested in each character as it went along. Why is there a mention of sexual content in the description? Well, this book does get very steamy at times. And I feel like this wasn’t added in just for the sex appeal. I felt it was a great tool to show a unique bond between characters. It showed the passion, the hurt, the need for escape. I haven’t come across a book like Left Drowning in a long time. It pushes the envelope in some aspects, but with a story like this it pushed just far enough without going over-the-top. It’s realistic. The characters drew me in. The overall emotional feel throughout captured my attention early on. When the characters relived their troubling events, I felt like I was there seeing it with them. I wanted to help in some way. Park is very effective when it comes to the descriptions in this book. There won’t be many readers with dry eyes, at times. But there will also be many smiles, especially when Sabin in involved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love, loss, past, present, future and FATE. Everything about this story was amazing. I  love that people can relate to this story. Just when you stop believing someone comes into your life that will change everything.  Sometimes when you think you lost everything you just might be on your journey to finding EVERYTHING. "Does there really have to be an answer to that? Sometimes its just right. You fit. Jesus kid, cant you feel it? Don't question everything."
jumooring More than 1 year ago
This was the first book Ive read from author Jessica Park. Damn Ive missed out. Left drowning set me on a roller coaster ride and kept me up all night trying to devour this book before work in the am. I went through several emotions with this book. I got to cry and laugh my ass off and lets not forget the OH HELL NO SHE DIDNT. I loved all the characters in this book they just worked so well together and want more.I love when I read and can feel all there emotions and I feel like ive been pulled right into the book. I want to see each and everyone of them with there happy ending as well. Left Drowning was perfectly written everything just flowed. I have a book friend that Im always saying you have to read this book have I ever lead you wrong. Well I gifted her this book and I got several text from her today while she was reading it. Like I hate you...no she didn't....and I love you again cause this was an awesome book....lol Thanks for keeping me on the edge of my seat and sending me on an emotional whirlwind. If you have read this book you need to buy it and read each and every word of it....Awesome Read.
CarmenSwoonsCP More than 1 year ago
Blythe suffered a tragedy four years ago and is still reeling from its effects. She's functional enough, but uninterested and complacent (when not escaping through alcohol obliteration). When Blythe meets Chris, skipping stones at the lake, she takes what feels to be her first, profound breath; a pain relief so acute, a transformative path is paved. Left Drowning by Jessica Park was superb! A reawakening, healing, spectacularly freeing story. The chance encounter is impactful. It was beautiful to see a reinvigorated Blythe; a woman accustomed to years of self-loathing and loss. Chris' past, though sparsely detailed, is pure inspiration for Blythe. He puts his hand on my cheek. "You were left drowning." I nod again. "And you're struggling to breathe." I am. It's a constant struggle to stay near the surface. I have just enough air to stop me from totally going under, but not enough to thrive. Chris becomes her pillar of strength and encourages her to let go of the past. She knows he speaks from experience, but that knowledge isn't shared quickly or easily. Before long, Blythe's interacting with Chris' family, trying to reconnect with her own, younger brother, James and participating in life again. While thoroughly engrossed in the unfolding details and milestones being achieved, I hit an awkward stage: 250/399 pages in, things are going so well, I was going to fling this book against the wall if someone bailed or died! We had survived wrenching episodes already, Blythe's emotional outpouring in the shower, James' meltdown and revelation, etc. Odds were strong that something had to implode. The proverbial shoe did drop, effecting a screeching halt on the progress...when Chris and Blythe fell in love. This is actually not a complaint because it was an amazing journey (and there's always strength in the struggle), but we were finally privy to Chris' anguish. We've heard him declare he's not "boyfriend material", his family even alludes to it, but all the reader sees up to this point is a stand-up guy who became the head of household following his mother's death. Was Blythe's resurrection the last of Chris' purpose...and now was his chance to escape? I'd have preferred a lobotomy (or turning Team Jacob) to wipe out the memory of ever having started this book if I never learned how it all worked out. That's how serious I took this book's conclusion. :D "Being on hold is not an unhappy place to be", a hopeful Blythe mutters. What if Chris insists he's, they're, not meant to be? Kill me was my initial thought. It was agonizing to theorize where they were headed (but I'm also a sucker for soul-gutting heartache), so I inhaled Left Drowning; consumed it until I found nirvana. As if there was any other choice?! There wasn't a wasted moment or an inconsequential subplot. Jessica Park wrote a feast of the heart! I have scarcely mentioned the phenomenal, engaging secondary cast of characters. Blythe's brother, James and Chris' younger siblings, Sabin, and the twins, Eric and Estelle. They are astonishingly loyal and adept at accepting without judgment. There are stumbles, painful ones, but the family's contributions enhanced the storyline and added an extra dimension of fabulous. You know how I basically beg you to read books after I've reviewed them? It was the exact opposite with Left Drowning. I wanted to keep the brilliance all to myself! While I wanted to commiserate with someone and/or share a swoon, it was hard to let anyone else in on this slice of perfection, my own personal gem. Tell me this is a familiar feeling!? :D I will deny no one -- this book is meant to be passed around from friend to friend. There was a monumental exchange between Blythe and Chris towards the finale that sent me into a near panic (fear that the declaration would have the reverse effect), but that scenario died a grateful death. It was simply riveting. I haven't cried, sobbed like this in a long time (poor Liv came to my rescue with tissues, but was none too satisfied with my "it's too complicated" explanation). Have at it, my friends. I have checked my selfishness at the door (website). Prepare to succumb to a story about survival, faith and love. "This is all sorts of f'd up." "I know, baby. I know. But the best kind of f'd up." Chris and Blythe forever, lol!!!
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars  ~Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog LEFT DROWNING was recommended to me as an angsty read and one that would leave me thinking about it for long after I read it.  And, in a way, it delivered on the angst.  I do think I was expecting something different though. Blythe McGuire lost her parents in a fire.  The same fire that ruined her brother’s leg and his hopes of becoming an athlete.  She’s been in sort of a haze since.  Going through the motions but never really being fully happy or even there.  Now its come to the time that she has to be confronted with that house again, and while there bits and pieces of that past come back to her.  Of that night and what happened. Along the way he meets a handsome senior, Chris.  He’s hot, he’s guarded.  And she can’t stay away.  I loved the draw and chemistry between Blythe and Chris.  A little bit awkward and still you can feel a deep connection.  I suspected from early on that connection was deeper than Blythe realized. The book has a tense feeling of angst that draws the reader in throughout.  At times though, I felt as if the angst was just created superficially and I would’ve liked to see it go deeper.  It did come together nicely in the end, and this was an enjoyable read if not a favorite of mine.
Reviews-By-Ann More than 1 year ago
A deeply resonating college/coming of age love story. Every character was so fully drawn that I felt like I would recognize and like them if I ran into them in real life. I'm a huge fan of Park's writing, so huge that I chose to read it despite her warning of strong language and sexual content. So, I really shouldn't gripe about those elements.... but I can't resist. Some language and sex contributed to the overall story, but the sheer volume nearly toppled the book. Just my opinion. Even with that reservation, Left Drowning was masterfully well-written. Park delivers the whole package--plot, characterization, voice, heart. She's one of those authors whom I will probably read whatever she writes. 4.5 Stars
xxBianca More than 1 year ago
This unbelievable, breathtaking book has captured my heart. I am now forever a fan of this author. Every single word on every page was carefully thought out to be one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Blythe McGuire stopped living four years ago when her parents died. As a senior in college, she goes to class and then home. The same cycle continues daily. When Chris Shepherd comes into her life, Blythe begins to learn to breathe again. She sees that life can be worth living. As Blythe starts to live again, she sees that Chris is the one drowning, and saving him will not be as easy. Where do I even begin to explain in words how I felt about this book? It made me believe in reading again. Reading this book was a journey that I never wanted to end. I felt a part of this book as I read every single page. The supporting characters were amazing. They added so much depth and importance to Blythe and Chris’ family.  I laughed. I swooned. I cried. Happy tears. Sad tears. The connection between Chris and Blythe is deep. It is undeniable and electric. The story takes you down a path you never saw coming. It’s like a random train that hits you out of nowhere! And I mean this in the best way possible! The story makes you question faith, beliefs, and destiny. You will witness true, undeniable, deep love between two individuals. No review can do this book justice. None. I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. It deserves way more than the 5 stars I can give it. It is definitely my number one book of the year, and I have read nearly a hundred! It’s only August! No other book, in my opinion can do what Jessica Park accomplished. She took the most tortured characters I’ve ever read and turned it into something beautiful. True love always wins; it always prevails. This story is proof of that. 
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
“We don’t have to know everything. If you believe in fate and some kind of meaning and sense in this f**ked-up world, then believe with abandon, love. Enjoy it.” Left Drowning was absolutely brilliant. I was hooked from the very first page. I read it in one sitting. The story was beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful. The characters were the real stand-0ut here, though. They were complex, charming, real and flawed. Despite the flaws, I would love to be part of a family like the Shepherds. Their love for each other – and eventually Blythe – was so strong. The horrible things they went through in the past might have damaged them individually, but it strengthened them as a group. “It’s natural to want to connect with other people, I guess. Except I don’t want to. Not really. Which must be why I don’t have any real friends.” Blythe wasn’t your typical college student. Weighted down by the death of her parents, she was barely hanging on to life herself. She wasn’t involved in campus activities, she had a single room… she was just… there. Then she meets an outgoing, dramatic guy named Sabine at the cafe. He begins to draw her out of her shell. Soon after, she comes across a sexy guy, Chris, down by the lake on the Matthews College campus. She feels an undeniable pull to him – and him to her. They begin a friendship then and there, but their chemistry is such that you can’t help but root for them to have more. Both damaged by their pasts, they are very cautious. “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.” The boys Blythe meet are the Shepherd brothers. It’s fitting that each of them are responsible for drawing her out of her shell – though in completely different ways. She meets the other siblings, Estelle and Eric, as well as Eric’s partner, Zachary, and the group becomes fast friends. Suddenly, the girl who was barely hanging on is surrounded by friends and truly living. “He leans into me and kisses me again. Harder this time. He tastes like eternity, and healing, and completion. No one else could ever kiss me like this, of that I am positive. I could breathe in him forever. I could fall in love forever.” “And at least this one thing is certain: Chris and I are inextricably connected. Do I have factual reasons to know this? Proof? Assurances? No. None. Some people believe in God; I believe in Chris.” Blythe and Chris’ friendship grows into something more pretty quickly. It’s hard to fight that type of pull for someone. It’s apparent they were meant to be together, despite how they may fight it. Or how one of them fights it, anyhow. They were electric when they were together. (OMG the sexy scenes. I thought my iPad might melt.) I knew it wouldn’t be easy for the two of them, but W.O.W. Their story took me on a physically and emotionally draining ride. I felt like I had been punched, kicked and slapped. Then hugged. And punched again. I alternated between wanting to throw my iPad across the room and desperately hugging it out of sheer joy. The story absolutely gutted me and I cried buckets during this book. There’s something to be said about a book, and an author, who can bring out such strong emotions, even in an emotional person like me. It’s safe to say this book took me through every single possible emotion. “Being with you let me feel, feel everything, and I needed that. I remembered better with you, I healed better with you, and you made … you made everything real.” But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was beautiful. The connections between characters were absolute perfection. While I had figured out the ending before it happened, I was able to be surprised by the way it all came together. I loved these characters and this story. Days after I finished the book, I still can’t get these characters out of my head. I can’t possibly say all that I want to about this incredible book without ruining some portion of the story for future readers. It was wonderful and I loved every minute of it and I could gush forever. If you want a book that will make you feel all the feels, this is the one. Boy, is it ever. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version. 
Emily-SBDR More than 1 year ago
5++ Stars! I'm warning you now, I'm not sure how fruitful this review is going to be. Only because, this book did such a number on me that, I still can't even fully explain how much I am absolutely, positively in love with it. I mean, you saw my rating, right?! 5++ Stars, that's a first for Same Book, Different Review. But here it goes. "This boy makes it impossible for me to be pulled under." ~Blythe Left Drowning had everything that I look for in a book and so, SO much more. This book and its characters mesmerized me from page one and I'm pretty sure I'm still a little hazy. I have read some fantastic books, that allowed me to channel the emotions through the characters but, this was a whole new ball game for me. The emotions that I experienced while reading Left Drowning were raised to the nth degree. The highs were higher and the lows were lower than most, if not all, of the other books I have read. I can't even pinpoint one specific thing that made this book so fabulous. It just struck a chord with me and now that I'm finished reading it I feel completely bereft. Someone actually asked me today, what book caused my worst book hangover. My answer? Left Drowning. The easiest way to explain it, is that this book simply wrecked me. It's a book that, even a couple days later I can remember one part of it, and that emotion I felt still rings so clearly, and makes my heart clench. It raised the bar for all other books, in my opinion.   "The wine is out of my system, my thoughts are clear, and I am hit with the enormity of the impact this family is having in my life. They, and mostly Chris, are saving me. Or teaching me to save myself." ~Blythe Left Drowning follows the life of Blythe McGuire, told in her POV. When we meet Blythe, she is struggling through senior year at Matthews College and her life is muted. Everything to her is dull, and depressing. Until one day she meets two brothers, who will change her life forever. Sabin introduces himself to Blythe by stealing her coffee, and captivating her with his upbeat personality. Chris, on the other, is a kindred spirit. Blythe can tell he has a dark soul, just like her, but there is something more to him that pulls her. Sabin, becomes the best friend she never had, while Chris becomes her home base. Chris and Sabin, along with their twin siblings Eric and Estelle, bring Blythe into their family fold and teach her how to live again.  "You are the greatest love of my life that I'm never going to have." ~Blythe Blythe and Chris are excellent friends but, they know they could be explosive as a couple. Blythe, well on her way to healing and making peace with her tragic past, is more accepting of their relationship than Chris. He can't help but think that, he will tear her back down with his haunted past. Chris may have saved Blythe from her demons but, he hasn't found a way to save himself or his siblings, and isn't about to let Blythe return the favor. This book is a series of ups and downs. It's painful, then comical, heart-breaking, then uplifting. The rollercoaster of emotions never stops. Heck, it still hasn't stopped for me! This cast of characters has been so damaged, that I'm surprised they held together this long. With Chris as the glue, when he starts to unravel... so does everyone else. At one point, I was huddled in my bed just staring blankly ahead wondering what in the hell had just happened. Then, I finally saw things coming to a close, and my heart was stomped on once again. And even though it had a happy ending that I love and crave, every one of the characters still have a long road of recovery ahead of them! I feel like I need to have at least one book a year with this cast of characters, checking in and seeing how everyone is doing. Like a well check-up book. That can be done.. right? (Note: I have no qualms about begging). "Breathe into it." ~Chris Left Drowning is truly a masterpiece and will be re-read several times by me, and I'm sure by many others. It is a fantastic book that will leave you satisfied, and wanting more all at the same time. I ached for and with Bylthe and the Shepherd siblings. But I also laughed at their antics and swooned at the connection between Chris and Blythe. For me, this book is worthy of sitting prettily on my bookshelf with my other favorite books and not just locked in my ereader. And if you know me, that's a true testament to my love for this book. If it makes my physical book collection, it's golden. So, pretty please go 1-click this wonderful book! You won't regret it! :) Happy Reading! *Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, emotional, and downright sexy, Left Drowning by Jessica Park is a book that you will savor right to the very end.  With a plot twist that will leave your head spinning, there’s a little bit of something for fans of Contemporary reads. Blythe McGuire is still trying to get over the loss of her parents in a fire that left only her and her brother as survivors, all those years ago.  Still haunted by her past, Blythe still fights her inner demons as she lives day to day with the guilt she has over this horrific event.  With College graduation fast approaching, Blythe drowns her sorrows in alcohol and continues to reach out to her brother, who seems to want to have nothing to do with her. A chance encounter in a coffee shop with bubbly, energetic Sabin Shepherd turns Blythe’s life upside down, but in a way that she so desperately needs.  Being surrounded by the Shepherd family helps Blythe spread her wings and crawl out of the dark space that she’s been in for a while.  Blythe learns to live again, and to open her heart and soul.  Especially when it comes to the eldest of the Shepherd clan, Christopher. For reasons unknown to Blythe, she finds comfort and peace when she’s around him.  His very presence seems to calm the inner beast clawing its way out from inside of her.  But Christopher and his family have secrets of their own.  When all the skeletons in the closet come crashing down, will any of them survive the unbelievable truth that comes to the surface?  Will the truth set them free, or will it cause them to lose the very thing that has started the healing process. So, I was reading this book en route to the States for a weekend getaway.  As my husband will attest, I was the worst company ever.  I blocked out all conversations, all noise, and completely immersed myself into Left Drowning by Jessica Park.  I gasped out loud, I yelled at the characters in the book, and I bawled like an inconsolable baby… and I loved every single minutes of it. Left Drowning by Jessica Park is one of those books that will linger in your memory long after the book is done.  I found that I had a hard time even contemplating starting another book simply because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters in the book. All unique in their own way, there will be one character that readers will find themselves able to identify with.  Each character is given a personality of their very own, and it’s pretty impossible to not love each and every single one, in their own way. I loved how author, Jessica Park, incorporated the dark pasts into the present.  Whether it be by memories or dreams.  Every page and scene blended seamlessly together, and captured my attention whole heartedly.    The storyline was an emotional rollercoaster ride for me, and I truly did not want to get off. When I learned the hell that the Shepherds had gone through, my heart broke for each and every single one.  I wanted to gather them all in my arms and squeeze the crap outta them.  Yes, there were parts where I was incredibly frustrated and pissed off with Christopher’s thought process, and yet, deep down, I totally understood why he did what he did…even if it was one of those parts where I threw the book at the windshield of our car, which potentially, could have caused an accident because I startled my hubs.  See what I mean!  I was so emotionally invested in everything about this book.  And when the big “holy crap” moment at the end of the book fast approaches… argh!  Read.This.Book. I really can’t disclose more details for you, as it will definitely ruin the beauty of reading this book.  Fans of emotional contemporary reads that will leave you breathless (in more ways than one) will completely devour Left Drowning by Jessica Park.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down!! Beautiful story
sugarpine721 More than 1 year ago
I had to buy the Kindle version since there wasn't a NOOK book...but it was well worth it! I don't even know what to say about this book but it took my heart apart and put it back together. It is so amazing that I think I highlighted the entire book. The writing is gripping and will hold you engrossed in the story ... even after it has ended. The characters are real, rich and damaged. You will love them, hurt with them and cheer for them throughout the book. The secondary characters are just as strong as the primary characters and you just want more of them. This book will touch you...so be ready. One of my favorite quotes: "There is no set pattern to grief, despite what every stupid psych text has told me. There is no time frame that dictates when and how you’ll feel what you feel. You just get to deal with hell however, and whenever, it hits you." This book is going on my all time favorites list...it is a must read for 2013! The heartache, romance, love, and a HEA is what makes this book! I will leave you with a great quote: "Together we kick heartbreak’s ...!"
Another_World_Of_Books More than 1 year ago
From the very first page I was hooked. I couldn't put it down, I just kept on reading and reading it! The last time I felt such a strong emotions was after reading Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. Left Drowning was just an amazing read, it was brilliant and full of emotions. Left Drowning is just the type of book that has so much to it, the kind you can read and read with the loss of time.      "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."   The story line in Left Drowning is just beautiful. It not only focuses on romance but also on friendships. It is a heartwarming and also heartbreaking. It tells a story of loss and pain and guilt, also forgiveness,  and finding something to live for. Left Drowning has so many moments that just make you cry and laugh with the characters. I loved how in this book not only the boy comes to rescue but also the girl. This book is literally what you call an emotional ride. One moment it feels like everything is alright and the next you feel devastated. Blythe and Chris really showed me what true pain is. Jessica Park just describes everything so clear and so natural in a way that you felt it, like their pain was your own. That is one of the reasons I couldn't stop reading, I just wanted to keep on feeling and see what is going to come out out of this beautiful tragic like story.   "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."   The character in this book were amazing. Every single character felt so real, and it made you wish they really existed. Blythe, she is depressed, lonely and numb. She thinks she deserves the pain, she blames everything that happened on herself. Everything in her life shattered and even when she tries to pick out the pieces, she just starts to bleed again....until Chris, he is someone who she sees as her savior, he is someone who teaches her to live and breath again. But Chris is drowning himself, and Blythe doesn't know if she can save her savior the way he saved her. I loved Blythe, even tho she was broken, she tried to live. Her development as a character and a person were just wonderful. Chris, I really really loved him, he was the one who put his loved ones before himself. But sometimes he was an idiot...but even though he made some stupid mistakes, I just couldn't help but understand him. Also how could I not love Shepherd's, I mean I wish I was in that family. There just so true to one another, their relationships was just something you don't see often. The personalities of each character were so different but that's what made them so lovable.   "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."   The relationship between Chris and Blythe was just something extraordinary. Both in pain because of their past and both afraid to live. The kind of relationship that you just want to work.   "Some people describe certain physical connections as being like electricity. Sparks flying. When Chris and I touch, it’s different. I think of the feel of water. The way it is when you wade into the ocean and a small wave cascades against you, swirling sand over you and awakening every pour." Honestly for me the story was not that unpredictable, there were some things that I didn't see coming but there were little of them. Even thought I knew how it all will connect in the end, I still kept reading the book, because I just couldn't stop. I would highly recommend to read it. For everyone who love new adult genre, and it is not for people under 17, because it does have some really hot and steamy scenes.
Ashley-at-Nook-of-Books More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 I had a love hate relationship with this book. I was in love with the writing and the whole story about 70/80% of it's entirety. The ending 20/30% killed it for me. The beginning of the story is written beautifully. I love how our MC, Blythe thinks and how her feelings are describe. I love the scene where she meet Chris Shepherd. The middle was not as good, but the characters are ones you can't help but love. You become involved with each one's story and pull for them all. I fell in love with Blythe and Chris, and really loved them together. Well I loved everything but how creepy quick they loved each other. That was a little much for my tastes. Besides that, they really help make each stronger, and I love how their stories fit together, even it was a bit over the top and predictable. They are both very relate able characters, and you want to cry, laugh, and even hug them at times. The ending of the book to me, felt like it was written by a completely different person. Some of the events that occur were a little too soap opera like for me to enjoy or believe. It went from a very beautifully written story to a rushed one and like that of most new adult books. There is just so much drama that it gets old. Some of the scenes and lines were so corny I just wanted to DNF it right there because of it! It bothered me so bad that I couldn't give it more then a 3.5. If you like New Adult, this is one to check out. I now plan on reading other books written by Jessica Park because of how much I loved the first 2/3ish of the book. I am curious to read more of what others thought as well. I have read a lot of mixed reviews, so you might just be another person who loves it. It just ended up falling way short for me.
BookFanatic132 More than 1 year ago
This book… this book is one of those books that will stay with you for a long, long time. Blythe is a girl who’s been through a lot. More than I can possibly imagine—more than I could handle, I’m sure. The book starts out with Blythe drunk and stumbling into her apartment, alone. It was amusing and yet only a few pages later, incredibly sad. Blythe has been through too much, and then she meets Sabin. And after that, Chris. She feels an attraction to Chris—not only a physical one, but more than that (I have no idea how to describe their relationship and it’s driving me nuts). And Chris slowly begins to help her heal. But Chris is also broken, and Blythe has absolutely no clue just how much. I loved this book. I loved how the main characters were not the only focus. Estelle, Eric, Sabin, James and even Zach were big parts of this book, and they were what made this book even more amazing than it already was. They weren’t just 2D characters, they were deep, incredible characters with flaws and everything. Blythe and Chris’s relationship was something of a puzzle to me in the beginning. I kept thinking, How can they have a relationship so quickly after meeting each other? But their relationship was one that made sense. After finishing the book—and, to be totally honest, I got glimpses while reading—it made sense. Though it might have been a bit too quickly for another person, for me it worked. Maybe it was the writing. Okay, scratch that. It definitely was the writing. I hate to sound cheesy, but the writing truly sucked me in. I felt like I was living their story right along with them. While I was reading about Blythe and what happened to her, I found myself curled up into a protective ball on the couch. I didn’t realize it until later, but I had stopped breathing too. It felt so real and so heartbreakingly sad that I almost cried. I did cry when Chris told his story. And then I cried again when Blythe finally remembered. There were things I suspected. Little details I found a little too random to be just left there without a purpose. I loved that. I loved how there were details that were foreshadowing and interconnecting the story. But I wasn’t 100% sure. You never can be, I suppose. The story did surprise me, and I wasn’t always sure it was going to end happily. Normally I don’t like those sorts of stories. Those that you aren’t sure are going to end happily. Heck, once I got to the middle (after they were on winter break) I was pretty darn sure that Blythe (and me) was going to get more heartbreak. And I was right. But the heartbreak is what made it all real. And it’s also what made this story so good. The ending, however, left me smiling. After so much heartbreak and devastation (so damn much) it was nice to see it end like it did. It was a bit open-ended, but that’s how this story was meant to end. This story is one that I recommend to read when you are on break or don’t have any obligations, because you won’t be able to stop. You might have to take a few breaks in between to process everything that you’ve read, but they’re small and you’ll be eagerly opening that book again really soon.
Sgriffin2382 More than 1 year ago
The title of this book couldn't be more perfect because that is exactly how I feel right now. Left drowning....in my emotions. From start to finish, this books slowly heals you, only to deliver a swift blow to knock you back down. But don't fret. Then you are right back up again to start the cycle all over. There are so many depths to this story, from Blythe and Chris, to Sabin, Eric, Estelle, Zack and James. Blythe and Chris may be the main characters, but my heart belonged to Sabin. He is the first of the four siblings you meet, and I just LOVE the relationship that he and Blythe have <3 Such a phenomenal story, from the way everything weaves in and out, to the love, triumph over adversity, strength of character, to redemption.  Above all, I believe this story is about family. Not just the ones that you are born with, but the ones that are brought into your life, and you are lucky enough to join. Make this your next book to be read. You will NOT be sorry.....
preppea More than 1 year ago
Stunning read - empowering, impactful and meaningful LEFT DROWNING was a stunning read about overcoming the worst life can throw at you and rising from the ashes. From the title, picture, and summary I imagined a book that would leave me a sobbing mess but it was actually extremely empowering - it was about the trip back up. At the beginning of LEFT DROWNING, Blythe is in the pits of (and 4 years into) her depression. She drinks to oblivion but can't form a single relationship because she's so comatose and empty inside. Her brother is the only person she has left that means something to her but even that relationship she sabotages - speaking to him only when she's drunk and usually ending up making things worse rather than better. I never post pictures in my reviews, but that's in part due to the fact that I rarely visualize a particular actor or actress when I'm reading a story--but Blythe's "voice" was so rare and unique (honest and raw while simultaneously witty and off the beaten path)--I couldn't help but picture Ellen Page (think Juno or Whip It) when I imagined Blythe. God knows it wouldn't be fun for me anyway, considering I have the arousal level of a rock. So I add frigid to the list. To that stupid mental inventory I try so hard not to keep. But every time that he laughs at a line from the play or mutters to himself--or, for Christ's sakes, sniffs--I practically shudder with lust. If I believed in God or was religious to any degree, I might argue that these crazy physical sensations are punishment for masturbating. For masturbating a lot. I think that I may have an addiction. A sex-maniac beast has awoken, and I am a horny mess nearly all the time. I almost feel surprised that I haven't yet grabbed Estelle and shoved my tongue down that beautiful girl's throat. I'd probably get further with Estelle than I did with her brother. Oh my God. What is wrong with me? After our first encounter in his room, which was just kissing and minor groping, Chris made himself pretty scarce. Once he'd [finger-f@cked] me up against the door of my room, he became almost invisible. Christ, if I'd [f@cked] him, he probably would've just vaporized. Blythe is in the midst of her solitary life when the Shepherd family bursts into her life in all levels of color and energy. Sabin becomes a friend she can't deny and Chris helps her to breathe, to experience, to live again--when she's known only numbness for so long. Through her friendships with all four of the Shepherd siblings, she is able to experience a sense of belonging she'd forgotten and comradery where she'd had none since her family fell apart. Chris Shepherd is the real catalyst though; he helps her remember her traumatizing past in order to move past it. "Your parents died. Your world fell apart." I nod. He puts his hand on my cheek. "You were left drowning." I nod again. "And you're struggling to breathe." She feels a comfort with him I almost questioned in its immediateness, but as we read about Blythe and Chris in current time, the author slowly allows glimpses of the past that explain why Chris and Blaire feel such a comfort with each other and we begin to realize that their lives are even more interwoven than they know. Blythe throughout the story believes that Chris is her future and she loves him in a forever kind of way. But Chris has his own dark past and it's deeply entwined into every part of him. He feels more with Blythe, and feeling is the last thing he wants because his past isn't one that he can recover from. I wish that I could be somebody else, but what's happened to me is inextricably part of who I am. Who I will always be. It made me the person who you think you love. And so you love me either because of that or in spite of it. Both of which are unbearable. Blythe knows that the only way that Chris will ever risk a future with her is for him to be able to remember his past--and she has an amazingly mature way of knowing when to push him and when to let him be. LEFT DROWNING was a book that I found myself highlighting whole paragraphs out of--honestly I think I highlighted at least a quarter of the book. Every part of the story was impactful and meaningful--it made me feel! Sometimes I was sad, sometimes I was angry (so angry I wanted Blythe to go out and have a revenge fuck just to spite Chris, so angry I hated him even when Blythe couldn't), and sometimes my whole body erupted in goosebumps from how crazily intricate and fateful life can be. But mostly? Mostly I felt hope--because that's what the book really embodied--that Blythe once again had a reason to hope, a reason to believe in herself and in the relationships she valued. LEFT DROWNING was 4.5 stars for me and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a book that will make them feel a wide spectrum of emotions. **I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
TheAutumnReview More than 1 year ago
LEFT DROWNING made a strong impact on me. I'll admit, I braced myself for reading this one, because I knew it would be emotional and intense. And it was, but what I also found was an absolutely gorgeous story about becoming open to love,  suffering loss, gaining lasting friendships, and finding a new family. Blythe McGuire is a sad person. She has reason to be sad, but it was almost overwhelming to me at first. I felt for her and I could also relate in some ways. Not that I've had the same kind of experiences that she's had, but there have been times in my life that I've felt somewhat lost, tortured, and alone. But, Blythe knows she's not in a good place. She recognizes that she needs to make some changes. Then, she meets Sabin....then Chris....and everything does change. This isn't a love triangle, they're brothers. Sabin and Blythe develop a truly fantastic friendship. I'll get back to that later though. Another thing Blythe does, is she starts running. Again, here is something I could relate with. As I started thinking about Blythe and her complexities, I realized that she has used her body to feel. When she started running, the pain was nearly unbearable. She pushed herself beyond limits to dull and ignore the pain in her heart. Thankfully, the running became a healthy obsession for her, but still...I found that interesting.  Chris Shepherd. Umph. There were times that I adored him and times I hated him. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that Chris is just as complicated as Blythe. Chris can be hard to read. He has a protective shield surrounding him, because when he feels too much, it hurts. Letting people get to close is more than he can handle. That is, anyone other than his siblings. Chris is a protector, driven, and ultimately melted me completely. Chris and Blythe's relationship wasn't easy. There was an undeniable connection when they first met, but their relationship, their love, developed over time. Neither of them was expecting it or knowingly looking for love. Oh, and the steam level between Chris and Blythe was off the charts hot! I was a bit taken by surprise by it, but certainly welcomed it. Without ruining the story, just know that these two truly are meant to be together. They're connected in more ways than one. I felt it building, but it still made my heart skip a beat when all is revealed.  The Shepherd family is awesome. In fact, I think each one of them could carry a book on their own. Sabin is boisterous and a big teddy bear. Estelle made me laugh, but there is also a mysterious aire to her character that kept me intrigued. And Eric, he was sweet, solid, and quiet. They welcomed Blythe with open arms. She needed that comfort and support. With the help of Chris and his siblings and finally finding peace with her brother, James, Blythe was able to slowly let herself heal.  Overall, I absolutely loved this book. LEFT DROWNING is the kind of book that lingers on your mind.  I won't forget this story or these characters. This isn't a fast read; it's a layered story that I had to take time to process bit by bit. That said, I still read it over two days. I didn't want to read it fast, I wanted to savor the story and the feelings I had while reading this book. If you're looking for a sexy, captivating, emotional story, LEFT DROWNING must be on your list!  Quotes: ~Reality is not necessarily my friend- then again, neither are dreams-but this moment, this reality, is beautiful.-pg 19/ARC ~"You were left drowning." I nod again. "And you're struggling to breathe." I am. It's a constant struggle to stay near the surface. I have just enough air to stop me from totally going under, but not enough to thrive.-pg 60/ARC ~Right now, I embody failure and surrender, but I see in him the possibility of what I could have.-pg 62/ARC ~Overwhelmed. I am entirely overwhelmed by him and by being with him.-pg 219/ARC ~And then I realized what has happened between us tonight. We just fell in love.-pg 245/ARC ~"You are the great love of my life that I'm never going to have."-pg 280/ARC ~"We'll make it to that finish line, won't we Blythe?" "Always." We run through the remnants of our pain, and more importantly, we run for our present and for our future.-pg 399/ARC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved loved loved :)
Book_Crazy02 More than 1 year ago
Rating: * * * * *                               Blythe lost her parents and still hasn’t recovered. She and her brother are estranged and their relationship doesn’t seem like it’s going to get any better soon. She tries to drown out her sorrow in parties and beer, but it doesn’t work very well. Then she meets Chris, a guy who seems to understand her perfectly. He makes her feel things that she has never felt before and the comfort she gets from his presence amazes her. Soon Blythe is involved in not only his life but also his family. When Chris’s own dark past comes forth Blythe has to fight to stay in the relationships she has built with his family and him. Blythe was an amazing character because of her strength and her will to survive. I love the way her character changes throughout the book and how her strength grows. She has so much will power but doesn’t seem to realize it. I loved how her character was presented in the beginning as weak and broken but her inner strength shines through as the book continued. I thought that the author created her as the perfect compliment to the story. Chris and his family were characters that makes the reader fall in love with them. Their background is so heartbreaking I cried frequently throughout the book and felt that the author did a wonderful job in conveying emotion. I loved each of their characters and I know that future readers will too. I loved the storyline and how the author presented the book. I liked that the book was from Blythe’s perspective and how some parts of the book kept me guessing. This story was definitely drama filled and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to anyone and feel that anyone can enjoy this book.  I hope to read more by this author and publisher in the future and will be adding more books by them into my personal library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my top favorite books of 2013!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent!!!! I have no words. P.S. If you bothered to read Jessica Park's blog, the book is a Kindle exclusive. Don't give it one star because you made the AWFUL decision to buy a nook instead of a kindle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well guess i will never buy a book from this author ,,,,, to have kindle only books avail in digital format is WRONG!  also to those of you saying we Nook owners were dumb to by them ,,, some of us got them as a gift and who are you to judge anyway,,, and why are you on this page????? again I WILL NEVER BUY from this Author.