Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

"Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own." -Goodreads synopsis

From the synopsis we hear that Blythe is struggling with her parents death and is trying to get back on track. When the book starts with her falling into her dorm room drunk I thought this novel was going to start out a little on the dark side. We have our lead being a hot mess, then something sweet would happen, and then after several shenanigans she would snap out of it... This is not the case for Left Drowning.

Blythe is a mess for all of, I don't know, two chapters. When she sobers up that quickly I oddly found myself being rather disappointed. I didn't get all the deep struggles I was hoping for. This made it a little difficult for me to connect with her on a personal level. Blythe is constantly describing herself as boring and generic and I think she might be right. Nothing about her was sparkling. She just wasn't the leading female I was wanting. Now on to Chris, clearly our love interest. At first I really liked him. I thought he was charming and seemed sweet enough. The fact that he is so involved family wise was a big plus for me. However, the further the story went the more I found myself slowly falling out of lust with him. By the middle of this book I was completely over him. Things with Chris and Blythe just started being goodish when Chris goes off and does one of my biggest bookish pet peeves ever! I'M TALKING ONE OF THE BIGGEST NOPES! This one thing is what completely broke any connection I might have had with the characters and their story. Almost anything else could have happened and I wouldn't have complained. I might have even kept the book at a higher rating. Seriously getting re-mad just thinking about it. For spoiler reasons I can't say what it is, but yall it's bad. I almost set the book down after it occurred. If it wasn't for the well written smutty scenes I probably would. Complete deal breaker. Another character problem was I ended up finding myself more interested in the side characters then I was with Chris and Blythe. I love when I fall for a side character, but I don't like when I'm secretly wishing the book was about them instead.

In my opinion there are two major plot problems. First Left Drowning feels like something I've read oh so many times before. It's just nothing new. The entire story was just event after event of things I completely saw coming. Right when the flashbacks start happening I knew how this book would end. There's no way you'll miss it. Park does mix it up a tiny bit with some small shock, but it was still something I suspected might happen. The second biggest problem was how convenient things were. Blythe stays in a fancy hotel, is walking down the hall, and then bam Chris is there. So you're telling me not only did you both book the same hotel, but you're on the same freaking floor. Ha, nope. Then Chris's fathers profession isn't mentioned till towards the end of the book, but all of a sudden he has this never before mentioned or hinted at part time job. Again, no. These are only two examples of events thrown together to try and make things more dramatic. It ends up just making everything messy. The story went from somewhat strong to a completely cluster F.

I heard Left Drowning listed as one of the biggest NA tear jerkers out there... I have no clue how or why it is on that list. I didn't fall in love with Left Drowning's characters. I didn't fall in love with it's plot. And most importantly I didn't fall in love with it's love story. Something was just missing and I was expecting more.

2/10 Stars