January 11, 2015

Book Review: Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!


Ahem. Okay. I’m done warning everybody. Then I guess I can start my review now.

Left Drowning is the latest Jessica Park’s book that I read. I love Jessica Park, I do. I love every single book that she wrote, I really do. Flat-out series has been haunting every corner of my heart for like months after I read it (they still are…) in a sweet, sweet way. That’s why I did not even a bit of hesitating to pick up this book to my tbr list this January. But what I didn’t expect was… THIS SHOULD NOT BE THIS HEARTBREAKING I SWEAR I WAS THE ONE LEFT DROWNING INSTEAD OF BLYTHE MCGUIRE!!!!!

Blythe McGuire never thought she would be this crushed, flawed, and unsociable girl for four straight years. Well, she didn’t even think she would be healed for the next year or the next one or forever. Losing both parents in a tragic fire accident and having a brother who blamed her for things that she’d done for them had shaped Blythe into loneliest and most messed-up person ever be. Blythe never had any answers for her future, she lost hope, lost everything, hell, she lost almost everyone she loved! Could life be any crueler? Apparently, no.

Miracle called ‘Shepherds’ came along to her life in one fine day. Sabin, Christopher, Estelle, and Eric. They were all siblings who soon became a group of people that Blythe was finally brave to call ‘family’. She felt loved, she felt secured, and she felt real being with them. No one had ever understood her fully like they had. Even her brother never treated her the way Sabin pampered her like fragile porcelain doll. Soon, Blythe became part of them as they became part of her life. But however she could not deny that there was one of them who outshone the others and was actually the one who had lifted her from the drowning she’s in for years.
As the oldest, Christopher Shepherds always managed to take care of his younger siblings in every way. It was always like that ever since they were still kids. Even more when their mother died from cancer long time ago. Shepherds siblings might look just like other normal siblings. Solid group, tight chemistry, little brother’s problems. Well, they’re just like the other teenagers their ages. Blythe saw it too that even though she adored them, she couldn’t help but feel jealous over their deep relationship. Something that she lost somewhere with James, her only sibling, along with the death of their parents. But something beautiful outside is not always beautiful in the inside too. Chris could not deny that fact. As hard as he tried and shook it off, the dark ghost would just come back around and haunting his future. That’s why when the attraction happening between him and Blythe became stronger and deeper, he felt scared he had to restrain. Blythe didn’t think so, though. She recovered well enough, thanks to Chris. Surely, she could help him back with whatever he’s been dealing with, right? But what they might not know that whatever he dealt with could be something that break them apart more fiercely or might be something that could bond them tighter than before.

God, this story is so intense in every way. I would not dwell into the heartbreaking parts (I had enough, surely, you could see my intro? Yes, I definitely had enough). Instead I’ll talk about the other things. The characters are all amazing! Blythe is really tough girl. Truthfully, I was a bit indifferent to her in the beginning. I just thought like, ‘wow, what a really messed-up girl she is’. But slowly, Jessica Park made me love her by peeling the layers covering her inner identity. The tough, loyal, and caring girl. And as for Chris, *sigh*, Oh Chris… I kind of have a hate/love relationship with him. I loved him, I do. But every time I was reminded of his high level insecurity, I just felt bad, angry, crushed, stepped-under-iron-boots-crushed for him. I give thousand stars in the sky and sea to Blythe for her constant understanding and undying love for Chris. Chris was appeared strong and brave in the beginning, but as his dark past slowly revealed, he was shown a bit confusing I feel like banging my head to his so it could knocked some senses into his mind that he was the most adorable person who deserved loves from the whole world for his sacrifice, then I would (no doubt) kiss him better forever. Yes, that maybe could show much how I feel about Chris. And Sabin, oh God, Sabin!!!

The other characters are all adorable. Estelle is funny as hell. Together with her siblings they made the most wanted siblings in the world!
Even though the heart-crushing scenes were everywhere, okay, I repeat it, EVERYWHERE, I found some dang funny scenes as well. This is what I love from Jessica’s books! Her jokes are so natural; it is just flowing in every corner. So, even when I had the ugliest tear-streaked face I ever had, I could still laugh and grin at some silly scenes. And the secrets and revelations, Jessica made a wonderful job putting all the scenes clicked in the right places!

I raised both my hands in the air and literally yelled in victory once I reached the ending. BECAUSE IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL I FELT LIKE KISSING SOMEONE’S FOREHEAD LIKE THOSE FOOTBALL PLAYERS DID WHEN THEY WON! No cliffhanger, I assure you. So, go ahead pick the book, box of tissues, and pom-poms for celebrating the ending. It’s just simple like that.

Anyway, while reading this I couldn’t help but making a mental playlist for Left Drowning. And I am surprised that all of them was Relient K’s songs. But when I listened to them again, yes, definitely, they really suit Blythe and Chris’s story so much! Here are some lines from one of the songs that really suits what Chris has in mind for Blythe in the end:
“And sometimes I think that I’m not any good at all
And sometimes I wonder why, why I’m even here at all
But then you assure me,
And when I think that I can’t do this
I’m a little more than useless.
And do something right
You promise me that I’ll get through this
Do something right for once”
More Than Useless, Relient K (Album: MmHmm, 2004)

The whole playlist is here (I know maybe it was just me who think this playlist suits the book perfectly but I can’t help putting it here. I just feel like sharing… *curling up in bed*):

  • Forward Motion
  • Curl Up and Die (Oh God, this really suits the intense heartbreaking scenes!)
  • Be My Escape (Somehow I feel like this is Chris’s song in his every despairs but he wasn’t religious, so yeah…)
  • There Was No Thief (Chris’s song omg when he messed up a bit)
  • At Least We Made It This Far (Blythe’s song for rooting her love for Chris)
  • You’ll Always Be My Best Friend
  • More than Useless
  • I’m Taking You with Me
  • The Best Thing 

So, yeah, no doubt, five stars for Left Drowning

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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