This book is for everyone who has survived. You are not broken. You can love and be loved, despite what may feel like the eternally brutal nature of the world. Even when you’re drowning and so far under, there is always time to reach for someone who will teach you how to breathe again.
From the first few pages I knew this book was going to have feeling in it. And I mean real deep feelings that were going to get to me in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I knew I was going to love this book probably from page three. I just KNEW that I was going to connect to it.
Good people have bad things happen to them, and sometimes it isn’t there fault. From the beginning you know something really bad happened in Blythe McGuire’s past. Something big, something life changing. Four years after her parents’ death hasn’t done anything to ease her pain. But she decides to try to change herself during her final year in college. To try and be better. In that attempt she meets Christopher Sheppard and his family. As Blythe grows into herself again she realizes that she’s changed, but Chris hasn’t, he’s hiding something. He and his family have also suffered a loss. But there’s more to the story than Blythe knows. Little does she know that uncovering it will change all their lives forever.
There are times where I feel like Jessica literally crept into my mind and stole my thoughts and feelings, things that I couldn’t say out loud or put on paper. Though I guess that I would be me admitting to being depressed and mildly psychotic…WHICH I won’t do publically anyway >>…. But the book really speaks to those who are hurting, or who have hurt, who have gone to the bottom and are trying to find some solace, some way to stop the hurt. My biggest question has always been, “How do you let go? How do you stop everything from hurting?”
Sunshine is supposed to help depression, after all. Not that I would classify myself as depressed. Sure, I have numerous symptoms, but I think that I have good reason. Anyone in my situation would be depressed, right? And the whole concept of depression is … well, depressing. It doesn’t some to take into account that I may damn well be justified in feeling how I do. So what if I’m often in an apathetic haze and spend half my time drinking until I feel numb? It’s not like I cry all the time. I think back to my psych textbook and grimace as I think how clearly my symptoms match up to the clinical definition.
Fine, fine. I’m depressed. There. I said it.
The book is slow paced, easy to follow, and I feel, is a very calming and mellow read. A book you read in private and quiet. AND NOT before work. Especially when you’re at an emotional part. I was reading it on the train in, and almost cried in public. That would have been embarrassing. But the book was just THAT GOOD. Needless to say I was emotionally handicapped that morning.
There is something beautiful and magical about this book. Something I just can’t place. Maybe I just love it THAT MUCH. But I feel so at ease and calm reading this it. And just in the middle of it all Blythe drops a A BOMB. I mean literally out of nowhere. I was like “what just happened…” I’m wondering if I’ve ever done that. Just dropped a bomb in the middle of a pleasant conversation. I wonder if telling someone you think you’re crazy counts… Because you really want to tell someone you just met your parents died in a fire four years ago when you just meet them. Kinda depressing…
Maybe it’s bad to say that I think everyone deserves their own Chris or even their own Sabin (Chris’ brother). And I don’t mean it necessarily in a romantic sense, but just like early in the beginning of the book it would be nice just to have someone to relate to, and not to judge you when you’re down. It’s important to have friends like that. To guide you through the mess you’re dealing with, someone to help make the burden easier. I’m not saying to lean against them and use them as your personal cloud of sunshine, but use them to help you get better. Let them accept you, and let them help you. Chris is like Blythe’s wall, or rock, or tree. He doesn’t push her or force her to do anything she’s uncomfortable with, but he’s there to support her, he’s there to lean on her if she wants to. I know it sounds the same but it’s the motives behind what you do with that person. I know I would kill to have friends like the Shepards, they just sound like the best group of people to be around.While you’re reading the story you figure there’s something about Chris that doesn’t sit right. Definitely something he’s not fessing up to yet and won’t fess up to for a while. I can’t tell you what it is but it is big. Monumentally big, and it does change everything. Chris is a very interesting character. Not your typical fictional boyfriend at first glimpse. Sure he’s good looking, considerate, takes care of his family even though he’s still young, but the maturity is all there, the feelings, the sensitivity and this compassion…behind him.
Chris takes an eternity to respond. “I can’t stop thinking about you, and I don’t know what to do about it.”
Jessica has this wonderfully magical way with words that I can’t begin to describe. Her words are so fluently translated to pure raw emotion. I’ve never felt so awkward and scared reading a book in all my life. Everything just feels so real, like I’m there, like she knows what I’ve been through and knows exactly what I need to keep afloat.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t be fooled by the story and the summary. This book may be deep and heavy on your emotions but there are some PREEEETTTTTYYYYY steamy scenes in it. This book really has everything. I’ve felt dirty reading this book at work and on the train home. Stupid grins on my face, my heart pounding, laughing to myself I swear everyone is staring at me when I’m reading these scenes. It’s embarrassing but I LOVE IT!
If I believed in God or was religious to any degree, I might argue that these crazy physical sensations are punishment for masturbating. For masturbating a lot. I think that I may have an addiction. A sex-maniac beast has awoken, and I am a horny mess nearly all the time. I almost feel surprised that I haven’t yet grabbed Estelle and shoved my tongue down that beautiful girl’s throat.
And as he talks to me, I start to come. “You feel so fucking good. Do you know how many times I’ve thought about this? The way you would feel, the way you would make me feel… What it would do to me to be inside you? How you would move against me.”
I close my eyes and drift.
“Yes, there you go.” The seductive edge in his voice rocks me. “I can feel how tight your pussy is now. How close you are. Come, on, Blythe, let me hear you…”
I pull his briefs all the way down and start to sweep my tongue slowly over him. Fuck, he feels so good on my lips. Every taste of him makes me want more. When I move up a bit and then wrap my lips around him, Chris groans loudly. Now I know why he wanted to hear me, to know what I sound like, because listening to him is incredible. I take him deeper into my mouth and then pull back again. Slowly I find a rhythm that seems to work for both of us. I have a moment of wondering if I’m doing this right, and then I let that worry fall away. It’s a blow job, not rocket science. I could care less about rocket science.
So remember how I said Blythe had dropped some bombs earlier on. Well…I take that back. There aren’t bombs. There are FREAKING GRENADES. She throws grenades, at your face! and you just have to deal with it. But you don’t know how because everything sucks and everything hurts, and you feel just as helpless as Blythe does. You really don’t see any of this coming. I was shocked if not mortally wounded at the turning point between Blythe and Chris. At that point I really just wanted to punch Chris in the face for being such a pussy! (am I allowed to say that?) But Blythe, I think is so much stronger than she may give herself credit for. Because she doesn’t give in to more pain and hurt, she’s learned to tread water, now she’s got to continue swimming.
With life comes a lot of ups and downs. Some people have it harder than others. Left Drowning is a beautifully written book about pushing yourself to get back from all the downs in life, to remember that there’s more, to remember to breathe, and to remind us to open ourselves up to the possibilities of love, fun, and to let ourselves be happy and free again.
Note: I was so close to giving this book A BILLION HEARTS OF LOVE but there was something that didn’t float my boat. I know why it had to happen and it was justified and warranted in happening and yes it is a HEA, but this book was PERFECT. It didn’t need that tiny bit of corniness or cliché to bring it together and I know you can’t be TOO CLICHÉ but I thought this book could do without it. And I’m referring to the way Chris and Blythe’s fates intertwine. Maybe other people will enjoy it but to me it wasn’t necessary.
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Going on my favourite books of all time shelf! And gosh! After reading all these Indie books I think Indie Authors are a lot better writers than mainstream writers. But more support to them when they do make it big! ALL MY LOVE JESSICA! Thank you for writing such an emotionally and thrilling book! ❤
6/5 Hearts of Love