Left Drowning by Jessica Park

LD

~~Ena’s There aren’t enough stars in the sky thoughts~~

 

Have you ever come across a book that is so powerful and so touching you know from the very beginning that it is going to pull you in and keep you there until the very end? It will keep a piece of you when you are finished with it? You will never forget the characters, their strengths, weaknesses, faults, triumphs, and fears? A story that is so real it makes you want to do something greater in your life? One with characters who steal a piece of your heart because their story was so touching? A book that consumed you from the very beginning to the very end and you know that you will never forget the words you read from page 1 until the acknowledgments?

Left Drowning is by far hands down the greatest book I have read this year, maybe even ever! Blythe, Christopher (Chris), Sabin, Estelle, Eric, Zach, and James those characters will never be forgotten in my mind. I can clearly close my eyes and picture them and who they are inside. Jessica Park wrote such a beautiful and consuming story line you can’t help but fall in love with all of them. They aren’t perfect characters, they all have their demons, their insecurities, their fears but that’s what makes them real. They are all so very beautiful even in their imperfections in life. Their story may not be roses and sunshine but it’s their story and to me it’s beautiful because it’s real.

-They, and mostly Chris, are saving me. Or teaching me to save myself. He is my port in the storm, and that’s why I feel comfortable with what I’m going to do. Chris is going to have to be strong, but I have hope that the story I’m about to tell him will help me, free me even. He is the one person with whom I will remember what I have forgotten. – Left Drowning

Blythe and Chris are the main characters in this story. You will learn the all the ugly that happened in Blythe’s life and all the beautiful that occurred too. For everything she went through and had to endure I was surprised at how well she survived. She is still missing something, someone and fate will step in and give her what she needs. But what happens when Blythe learns to truth about everything, is it something she can forgive and bounce back from? Or will the past and the truth leave her drowning in depression and loneliness?

Chris has seen his fair share of the ugly in the world, growing up without a mother and having to basically take care of his 3 younger siblings, didn’t leave him with much time to enjoy his childhood. Growing up he learned to survive the bitterness and the abuse that was placed upon him, but he is only surviving, he isn’t living. He lives to take care of Sabin, Estelle, and Eric and will do anything for them to make sure that they have the best life they could have. A chance meeting with Blythe will forever change Chris and the connection between the two is something so strong it can’t be explained. When Blythe lets her guard down towards Chris and shows him her demons will he stick by her side and start living or will it prove too much for him to handle and send him running in the opposite direction?

“Why does it still hurt so much?” he asks. “Why can’t we just move on and deal?”

–There is no set pattern to grief, despite what every stupid psych text has told me. There is no time frame that dictates when and how you’ll feel and what you feel. You get to deal with hell however, and whenever, it hits you. – Left Drowning

Aside from Blythe’s and Chris’ story and accepting and moving on from their pass you will meet the other Shepherd siblings. Estelle is the younger sister of Chris and is a beautiful and free spirited character. She is a believer, when everyone around her has given up any type of faith in God or fate or destiny she holds true to her faith. For me it was almost like her security blanket. Sometimes I felt like she didn’t believe in herself so she wanted to hold onto what she did believe in whether everyone else around her thought she was crazy or not.

After meeting Blythe you will meet Sabin next. He is a character, honest to a fault, crazy country boy who loves to have fun and loves women! Deep down is a kindhearted and deep soul. Sabin will do whatever he can to put a smile on your face and was such an easy character to fall in love with. Deep down though he is damaged with what he saw growing up and he never learned how to channel those feelings leaving them bottled up inside him until he snaps. Out of all the characters he was like a teddy bear for me, someone I would run to if I had a problem – almost like a big brother!

You will also meet James, Blythe’s little brother, who attends a different school than Blythe and they don’t see much of each other. They have a very complicated and broken relationship due to their past. Guilt and blame is passed between the two and they have never been able to overcome their pasts and have a better relationship. Hopefully over time when secrets are revealed these two can find their way back to each other as brother and sister and be a family again.

Eric the other shepherd is Estelle’s twin and is such a sweet, shy, and quiet character. He doesn’t say much but when he does everyone listens to what he has to say. He is strong and determined. You will be introduced to his boyfriend Zach and the love Zach has for Eric is contagious! They truly are a beautiful couple.

The whole Shepherd clan is such a tight knit family! They all attend the same college so they can look after one another and make sure everyone is happy. After learning what they went through as a family growing up they showed me how strong siblings need to be and how you need to stick beside your brothers and sisters no matter what and help them through anything. This is what they do from the very beginning of the story until the very end. They cheer for each other, they suffer heartaches with each other, they love each other with every ounce of their beings and no matter what at the end of the day they only have each other so they don’t take anything for granted.

“You are the great love of my life that I’m never going to have.”

Okay I want to get back to Chris and Blythe because I will never forget this couple. Everything that they went through before and after they met touched my heart. I was rooting for them from the very beginning. I laughed and I cried. Things went just the way I wanted them to and some things, not so much. There were times when I wanted to hold Blythe’s hand and cry with her and then there were times when I wanted to celebrate with her. All anybody ever wants is to be loved but sometimes that type of love can be scary and in some cases it’s easier for someone to push that love away instead of embracing it and having it consume them.

“You said something last night that was completely wrong. I could never touch anyone the way that I touch you. And I will never regret falling in love with you. Don’t forget that.”

And that is how we say good-bye.

Jessica Park will have you learning new things about Blythe and Chris until the very end. Their story continues to unravel throughout the entire book. Little by little you will hear their story and learn how one person can endure so much, you will too fall in love with these characters and want them all to get their happily every after. Left Drowning is hands down the best novel I have read this year if not to date. It gave me everything I was wanting in a story. It made me feel and fall in love with the characters and their story. It was deep and meaningful and so different than what I usually read and that was a breath of fresh air. Left Drowning is the first book that I have ever read of Jessica Park and if this is the type of story she is capable of giving us well than I am an instant fan. I don’t want to do this book injustice and rate it by stars because for me there aren’t enough stars in the sky to give this book and what it meant to me. I read a lot of books and sadly even the ones I enjoyed overtime I tend to forget sometimes the characters names and their story but with this one I don’t think I ever will forget the story of Blythe, Chris, Sabin, Estelle, Eric, James, or Zach because their story touched my heart and warmed my soul.

“I will always be in love with you, even though you’ll never love me back. You have been my sanctuary this year. You saved me. Do you know that? You saved me. And I wish that you would let me save you.”