Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Review: "Drowning Instinct" by Ilsa J. Bick

There is SO MUCH going on in this book that I just don't even know where to start.  This is almost like multiple YA contemporary books rolled into one - but I'm not sure if it would be possible to successfully tear one of the pieces away...  You can't just say that this is about an inappropriate relationship, or that it is about surviving abuse, or finding your inner strength or anything like that - it is all of that and more.  I'm still a little muddled in the head over this one, please forgive me.

This is sixteen year old Jenna Lord's story.  It is the story that she is telling for the police, and she's telling what she wants to tell, the way she wants to tell.  She has earned that right - she has suffered and survived so much already.  The fire that almost killed her, her alcoholic mother, her abusive father, the brother that went off to war, her stint in the psych ward...   moving and starting over in a brand new high school and not fitting in - constantly battling her demons, and Mr. Anderson the chemistry teacher and track coach.

Is this a love story?  Survival?  Who is the victim here?  Is there a victim?  Man..  I just don't know what to do with this. It is so intense, so in your face - that your gut reaction is one thing but then you want to re-evaluate and see it another way.  The ending made me want to scream.  I give the author credit though - it is not at all what I expected (and done so creatively) - but so much is just left there in the open!  I want to know what happened, even just the next day.  Please? PLEASE???

This was really an incredible book - it is quick only because you get so wrapped up in Jenna that you can't break away - but it is most certainly not a light read.  It is going to tear your heart out and mess with your mind.  You'll pause to think on this a bit... because there is a lot to think about, there are the lies and the truths and you'll have to determine which is which, and I'm not finding that to be easy at all.  Read this with your friends - bring this up at your next book club meeting - you will thank me to have someone to discuss this with when you've finished!

Drowning Instinct
by Ilsa J. Bick
Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publishing, 2012
343 pages
Source:  Library



Annette Mills said...

I kind of forgot about this one. How could I? So intense! I think it deserves more readers...Excellent review. Thanks for the reminder. Happy New Year!

ChristasBooks said...

I actually didn't love this one because like you mentioned there is a lot going on and at times it felt like too much. I think I would have liked it better if the author had just picked a couple of issues to focus on rather than roll all of them in together

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