by Ilsa J Bick
Released: 1st Feb, '12.
There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)
Jenna Lord's first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.
There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)
Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain...magnetism.
And there are stories where it's hard to be sure who's a prince and who's a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)
Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.
A word about the cover: For some reason, one glance at the cover made me think this was a paranormal. Of course, I hadn't read the book description or anything then. And, well...I passed it up, because I wasn't really in the mood for a paranormal. After reading the description, though, my reaction went along the lines of Holy shit! How could I pass up THIS book? Now that I look at it, I think the cover captures the mood of the book rather well. I mean, to me, it kinda looks like the girl has just washed her face after a run and that's...significant. You know what I mean? No? Well, find out.
Drowning Instinct is one of those books that can't exactly be summed up in a review. But there are certain things I can tell you. Like,
- While the book description tells you a few things, it doesn't prepare you with expectations. At least for me, it didn't. Which means, that the experience that Drowning Instinct packs within those pages, may, in plain-speak, blow your mind.
- There's self harm and all kinds of abuse and other twisted things that will take you to dark places and make you squirm and keep you awake at night. And keep you thinking. Thinking is always a good thing, right?
- Surprises. There are lots of them. Sometimes these are small bumpy ones, sometimes they are roller-coaster-plunge worthy-ish. Either way, it's a ride.
- If you have expectations from Jenna Lord, dump them with the garbage. Jenna Lord is not a very reliable narrator. She might also be insane. Mostly though, you won't be able to forget her.
- Even before the threads of the relationship - yes, that forbidden relationship - manifest, you will be saying, oh no no no no no, don't even go there! back off! But then, long past those early scenes, somewhere in the middle of the story you will probably wonder if you said that 'back off' out of concern or jealousy.
- Oftentimes, especially in the latter half of the book, you will think how very twisted Mitch Anderson is and will want to scream What is up with that man?! Sooner or later, that might alternate with Why can't I have that man?! Oh, yes, Mitch Anderson in inexplicably swoon-worthy.
- While the rest of the book will probably keep you in page-flipping-frenzy mode, the last quarter will make you hyperventilate alongside. But be careful. If things get too serious, remember you can't really blame your medical condition on a book.
- Soon you might stop breathing.
- Then, you'll probably experience an overwhelming outpouring of emotions.
- Later, you will be wondering who was to blame. If anyone was to blame. What you condoned and what you disapproved. If you even have the right to. What was right and what went wrong. If you are even in a position to judge. If you can even point a finger at anybody. The dilemma won't really leave you with an answer.
Primarily though, Drowning Instinct is a story that weaves through the lives of broken people looking for something to grasp on to, before they drown in the desolation of their own existence. It is also incredibly brilliant.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that it somersaulted straight up my favourites list.
What upcoming release do you want to drown in?