Stop what you’re doing. I mean it. Right now. Go to Amazon and pre-order Left Drowning. Don’t stop, don’t pass GO and collect your $200. Just click that button, so your kindle won’t be pissed at you for missing out on this insanely awesome book! I promise you, you won’t be sorry for doing it. I have been racking my brain for the right words to clearly describe my love for this gut-wrenching, amazing, brilliant novel. I’ve looked up words in the Thesaurus and still, nothing can quite fit the bill. I can only compare it to the feelings I had when I read Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. I was left feeling overwhelmed by the tragedy these characters faced. My chest ached (I caught myself rubbing my chest to try to alleviate the discomfort quite a few times), my heart hurt and my brain was buzzing with all kinds of emotions. I had this crazy urge to flag people down on the street and tell them to mark their calendars for July 16, 2013 so they can buy this book, because it’s going to rock their world. Left Drowning is the perfect combination of angst and sex with a storyline that is gripping, thought-provoking, tortured and dark.
Blythe McGuire breaks my heart. To say she is an emotional wreck is an understatement. Her life was changed forever when a fire took half of her family. I can’t even imagine how one would live with a tragedy like that. She drinks to numb herself from the emotional pain she carries around. She’s haunted by a brother, who she was once extremely close to, and now isn’t. You can feel her desperation in wanting to be forgiven for her actions the night of the fire. Blythe is closed off, shut down and barely functioning when she meets Chris Shepherd. Almost instantly, Blythe feels a connection to Chris that leaves her reeling, wanting more, and suddenly… hopeful. Hopeful that she can pull out of her despair and be normal again. Hopeful that she and Chris can become something more.
Blythe becomes close to Chris and his siblings, since they all attend the same college together. As they become their own little family, Blythe finds herself coming to terms with her past and finally allows herself to begin the grieving process and heal. Chris is instrumental with the healing. He knows just the things to say to allow her to cope and keep moving –
“Blythe.” Chris looks around the room as if trying to find a way to convince me. He thinks for a minute. “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.” 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.
“So do it. Breathe. Just Breathe.”
But Chris Shepherd is just as screwed up as Blythe is, he’s just better at hiding it. He’s built walls so high even his feelings for Blythe can’t get past them. Blythe makes him feel something real, too real. Chris can’t deal with anything other than being numb, so he closes himself off from Blythe. Even after a weekend of letting their guards down and really getting to know each other, Chris can’t cope. So he runs. And he hides. And he gives Blythe the ultimate slap in the face.
I think it was at this point in the story where the tears flowed almost constantly. I was overcome with such a deep sadness for what Blythe had been through, and yet, I admired her strength and determination to become a new version of herself. Blythe and Chris have a connection that sizzles off the page. You can feel it in your fingertips as you turn the pages. This is one of those books that will stick with you. You’ll be talking about it months later and recommending to your friends as a “must read”. This book satisfies all your senses and leaves you wanting more. I hope we’ll see more of Chris and Blythe.
My rating: 5 heart stopping, gut wrenching, mind-blown stars!
Left Drowning will be published on July 16, 2013
About the Author:
Jen loves to read. She can’t stop herself. It’s become an obsession. She is in love with her husband, kids, iced coffee and books. Jen lives in beautiful Colorado but is originally from the West Coast.