Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Published by: Lerner Publishing Group
Release Date: February 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 352
How I got this book: e-ARC from Netgalley
My rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"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."

My review:

Wow. Just wow. I was sucked into this book from page 1. I was reading another book at the same time (which was also very good) and meant to alternate chapters - but this one was soooooooo good, I could not put it down. There were twists to the story all over the place and it just kept me wanting to keep reading to find out more...

Jenna comes from a highly dysfunctional family. Her dad is a workaholic plastic surgeon who is sleeping with his nurse, and has a very bad temper, her mom is a drunk who is having an affair with one of her clients, her brother was deployed to Afghanistan, and her grandfather molested her. Jenna experienced severe burns in a horrible fire and almost died. And she has recently been released from psychiatric care because she she cut herself as a way of coping with all the stress in her life.

Jenna's parents put her in a new school where they feel that Jenna will better "fit in." It is here that Jenna meets Mr. Anderson - chemistry teacher and track coach. Mr. Anderson is there for her when her own parents are not - like when one of her father's partners attempts to rape her - her own father tries to deny it even happened. Things between Jenna and Mr. Anderson, or Mitch, quickly develop into something much more than what a teacher/student relationship should be. But, exactly who is Mitch Anderson? How much of what he has told Jenna is truth? What are his motives? Is he a predator?

The way things unravelled throughout the book kept me riveted. And I have to point out that I found it really interesting the way the book opened and ended - Jenna is recording her story on cassette to a detective. I kind of found this to be similar to how Holden recorded his story in a kind of journal form in Catcher in the Rye (not to mention that he was in a mental institution at the end), and how Charlie recorded his story in letter format in Perks of Being a Wallflower (and he also had mental issues as well).

I thought Bick did a fabulous job with this book, and I would definitely recommend this book - I will also be on the lookout for more from her!!!


Melissa said...

I'll definitely have to check this one out. Thanks for the great review.

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