Audiobook Release Event + Giveaway: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

Restless Waters Audio Event

I’m so excited to celebrate the audio release of Restless Waters by Jessica Park! I’m almost finished listening to this and I’m loving it so much!

From author Jessica Park

Gah! I am so excited for the release of the Restless Waters audiobook! It’s always exciting when a book I’ve written comes to life in a new form, but this project snowballed into something more beautiful than I could have imagined. I wasn’t sure I was even going to do an audiobook, but then I reconnected with my fabulous Left Drowning narrator, Arielle DeLisle. Once she was on board, my enthusiasm for creating this version of my book soared. She understands my characters as well as I do, and she’s the only person in the world I would entrust to deliver their voices.

So, as thrilled as I was to have her attached to this project, there was one idea I had to present, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over with her…

Restless Waters includes lyrics from my friend and phenomenally talented musician, Troy. Beyond that, he actually wrote a song for me! Er, well, for the book. “Coward” is the powerful single he created, and everything about it reaches into my heart. More music from the book is available on his recently released EP, When The Lights Came, and he’ll also be releasing more music from the book soon!

So, I couldn’t imagine having these lyrics narrated… I mean, it’s one thing to read the lyrics in the context of the book, because it’s sort of the equivalent of poetry, but I felt sure something would really be lost if they were read aloud. More than that, we had an opportunity to do something incredibly unique and dynamic.

Because Arielle is a sassy rule breaker and a rebel, like I am, she agreed: We would ask Troy to record acoustic versions of his music to incorporate into the audiobook.

And then Troy agreed.

And then suddenly the three of us were working together seamlessly on this production! An indie trifecta, each of us bringing something different to this work, and all of us supporting and cheering on the other. It was an extraordinary experience.

Troy and I have been trying to work together for years (his former band, In Like Lions, is mentioned in Flat-Out Love!), and we finally got our chance. Troy is, without a doubt, the voice of Sabin. Nobody sings with Troy’s level of passion, emotion, depth, soul, and beauty. It was an honor to use his lyrics in the text of the book, but hearing his voice as Sabin’s in the audiobook is phenomenally moving, and I am so grateful for all the work he put in. Troy also narrates the chapter titles and opening lyrics, and I think it’s just perfect having him as Sabin doing those introductory pieces.

As far as the three of us know, an audiobook that incorporates music as the Restless Waters one does hasn’t been done before, so that’s another thrill for us! Listeners not only get to savor Arielle’s perfect narration (Man, does she capture these characters and all the ups and downs of the story!), but they get to hear what it would be like to be right there with Sabin as he sings and plays guitar.

We are so proud of this audiobook and terribly excited for fans of the Left Drowning series to take a listen!

Restless Waters audiobook by Jessica Park

Restless Waters by Jessica Park
Series: Left Drowning #2 (full reading order below)
Audiobook Publication Date: December 8th 2015
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A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.

Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.

With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass.

With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.

Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be Blythe’s biggest challenge ever.

Purchase the Audiobook:
Amazon

Here’s a sample from the audiobook with a scene that features Blythe and Sabin… and also an exclusive first listen to Sabin (well, Troy!) singing “City Lights.” Enjoy!

From narrator Arielle DeLisle

Restless Waters was a project I held very close to my heart. The timing of how it came together for me — as a narrator and collaborator and fan of the prequel I’d recorded 2 years ago — was truly a beautiful experience for me. It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve worked on, ever. To say this was an intense recording experience would be an understatement! Not only was this thick with emotion and depth, which required a lot from me as a narrator, a challenge I absolutely loved, but it also is an exceptionally unique multimedia audiobook. I could not imagine a better suited team, all of us with our own personal connections to the work, and all driven toward the end-product being as great as we could make it.

Working with Troy and his producer, Dante, to get just the right feel and timing to allow the story to unfold around and on top of the music was a beautiful enhancement to this already moving story. I have a background in commercial production and was able to facilitate this collaboration, and Jessica and I were on the same page — if we break the rules of how audiobooks are produced, it has to have meaning and it has to be perfect. The script informs the narration, introducing the music adds dimension to the tone, and the blend of narration and music work together to create an atmosphere that you just don’t get when it’s only one piece or the other. I love what we’ve done and couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.

Reading Order: Left Drowning series

Left Drowning by Jessica Park Restless Waters by Jessica Park

#1 ~ Left Drowning: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Restless Waters: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

about the author button

Jessica ParkJessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Please visit her at jessicapark.me and on Facebook and Twitter @JessicaPark24

Connect with Troy
Website • SoundCloud • Instagram • Spotify • Youtube • Twitter • Facebook

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3 winners will receive Left Drowning (ebook) via Amazon

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Anniversary Celebration + Excerpt & Giveaway: Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning Anniversary banner

Happy One  Year Anniversary to LEFT DROWNING!! This book is phenomenal–I loved it so, so much!! (Here’s my review of Left Drowning.) I highly recommend this book to all romance lovers–Jessica Park’s writing is beautiful and heart-wrenching, and there was nothing I didn’t love about this book!

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Title: Left Drowning
Author: Jessica Park
Print Length: 399 pages
ISBN: 1477817158
ASIN: B00BJQR23C
Publisher: Skyscape (July 16, 2013)
Add to Goodreads

What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

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. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

Note: due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

 Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle • Amazon Paperback • Barnes & Noble

Left Drowning teaser

excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Baseline

I catch my foot on the first step outside of my dorm and fall unceremoniously onto the concrete. I stay where I am for a moment, thinking that the set of keys digging into my hand should probably hurt more. Not to mention my knees, since they just endured a direct blow. “Awesome,” I mumble as I push to a wobbly stand and careen toward the door. I giggle slightly while struggling to fit the key into the lock. The good news here is that if I banged the shit out of myself like I think I just did, I might just feel something tomorrow. It has to be better than feeling nothing, right? How’s that for a goddamn silver lining? I brace myself against the giant door, steadying myself. Wait, what’s less than silver? Iron? Zinc? Could there be a zinc lining?

It takes a few failed attempts at working the lock for me to realize that the key to the house I grew up in near Boston will not, understandably, unlock a dorm in Wisconsin. I finally shove the proper key in the hole and turn the lock. “I’ve opened the door!” I whisper triumphantly to no one. The thick metal door is unbearably heavy and resists opening fully, so I slam my shoulder hard against the door frame as I try to slither through the narrow opening. Yet another victory! I think hazily. The hangover I’m sure to have tomorrow, plus the injuries from smashing into objects, is definitely going to hurt. So continues my endless search for physical feeling, sensation. Anything. Still, even in my decidedly inebriated state, I know that the bruises from a drunken night can hardly be equated with any sort of positive emotional step forward. At least it will be something, though. Something other than numbness. It will be a distraction, and distractions are always welcome.

The stairwell is flooded with hideous fluorescent light. It’s empty, although at this time of night, I realize one of my drunken peers might stagger past me with a one-night stand in tow at any minute. I really don’t understand how people ever get laid on campus. Anyone who looks even vaguely attractive in a normal setting becomes drastically less appealing on the way back to a dorm room. Beer goggles are no match for atrocious lighting. I lean against the wall on the second-story landing and yank my phone from my pocket. My reflection in the small black screen confirms my suspicion. My already messy curls have popped out of my ponytail so there’s a frizzy halo around my head, and even on my dark phone I can see the puffiness under my eyes. I look bananas.

“I look bananas!” I holler, noting the echo of my slurred words. Maybe I always look like this? Not that I care. I don’t spend a lot of time in front of the mirror or concerning myself with my appearance in any way, really. I look however I look, and that is that. In the scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter. And no one is paying attention. However, I do indeed look bananas.

When I get to my room, I practically fall through the unlocked door. Luckily, I don’t have a roommate who might complain about my noisy entrance. She moved out a few days before—presumably to go live with someone less catatonic—so the double is now all mine. I don’t blame the poor girl. If you’re going to be trapped on a relatively small campus outside of Madison, Wisconsin, it’s best to surround yourself with cheerful people.

I walk through the dark room, stub my toe on what I’m pretty sure is an anthropology textbook, and collapse onto the futon. Oh, the irony of my having replaced the dorm-provided single bed with a full-size futon. Anyone seeing it might imagine I was the type to bring home boys.

But I am a failure in that area. Add it to the fucking list, I tell myself. I’ve lost track of the guys on campus that I’ve drunkenly led on and then pushed away before anything could happen. The thought of anyone else’s hands on my body makes me want to retch. This is not normal; I understand that. Which is why I always have that moment when I’m drunk and the idea of fun, no-strings sex seems like a bright idea. For God’s sake, if I could ever go through with it, I’d be in good company. Plenty of other twenty-one-year-olds were making walks of shame home in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve heard those supposedly shameful nights retold with plenty of laughs and sordid details.

I can lure a guy in when I want to. Alcohol gives me that. And boys respond, although I have no idea why. It’s natural to want to connect with other people, I guess. Except I don’t want to. Not really. Which must be why I don’t have any real friends. But I drink and play the role, holding out hope that self-fulfilling prophecies exist, and that I might make a connection and feel whole again if I pretend long enough. The act is fun for me initially, yet it leaves me even worse off by the end of the night, when reality hits and my intolerable loneliness engulfs me.

I know it’s not especially smart to lead guys on and then bolt the minute they try to touch me. But I have my strategies. I often mumble something about being a virgin, a revelation that effectively puts a damper on most guys’ interest. Discovering this did sort of amuse me. I’d have thought guys would like the idea of being a girl’s first. No pressure to perform acrobatic-style maneuvers and whatnot since I wouldn’t know any better. But it seems that the generally smart, decent guys at this small liberal college in the middle of Wisconsin’s snow tundra don’t want the responsibility of deflowering a drunken coed. Go figure. Either way, I make sure nothing physical ever happens, despite my fervent desire to find an escape, however temporary. God knows it wouldn’t be fun for me anyway, considering I have the arousal level of a rock.

So I add frigid to the list. To that stupid mental inventory I try so hard not to keep. An increasingly large list of all of my flaws. My inadequacies. My failures.

There has to be a list of my successes, too, doesn’t there? Or at least my. . . adequacies? I try to focus. All the fucking liquor makes it hard, but I try. This is important.

I’m a not-terrible student. 

I shower regularly. 

I know a lot about tides. 

I will eat nearly anything, except for raisins. 

Christ. I refocus. I may be drunk, but I can do better.

I have mastered the art of melancholy. 

I have my doubts about whether this can even vaguely be considered a “success.” I think again, determined to find something I’ve done that is worth recognition.

I lived. 

The laugh that escapes my lips is awful. The bitter sound echoes throughout my sparse room. “I’m a regular fucking Harry Potter!” I shriek. “Fuck!”

I sit up and kick off my shoes. My phone is still in my hand, and I look dizzily at it.

I never give up on my brother. That at least should go on the “success” list. Without thinking about or planning what to say, I grab my phone and call him.

“Jesus Christ, Blythe. What do you want?” James grumbles.

“Sorry. I woke you, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you woke me up. It’s three in the morning.”

“Is it that late? Well, you’re in college, too. Thought you’d just be getting home.” I wait, but he says nothing. “How’s school? How’s the leg? I bet you’re getting stronger every day still.”

“School is fine, and knock it off with the leg questions, all right? You bring it up every time I talk to you. Enough. It’s as good as it’s going to get, which is shitty. Stop asking.” My brother yawns. “Seriously, just go to bed.” The clear irritation, the disgust, in his voice sears through me.

“James, please. I’m sorry.” Damn it. I can’t disguise the drunken edge to my voice. “We never talk. I wanted to hear your voice. See if you’re okay.”

He sighs. “Yes. I’m as fine as I can be. You sound like a disaster, though.”

“Gee, that’s nice.”

“Well, you do.” James pauses. “Mom and Dad wouldn’t like this crap. You know that. Can you just… Can we do this another time?”

“I’m so sorry for everything. I need you to know that. To really know that. Things can be better for you. I want—”

“Don’t. Not now. Not again. We’re not having this fucking conversation again.”

“Okay.” I stare out the window into the dark. It’s late September in the wee hours, and I know what is coming. Nothing good. The same as it is every year. “Sure thing, James.” The ridiculous attempt at conveying a cheerful, nonchalant tone makes my voice crack. “We’ll talk soon. Take care, James.”

So that went well. Not that I should have expected better. Inebriated middle-of-the-night calls are sort of destined to fail. I know because I’ve made them before. What’s tragic is that after each dumb call to my brother, I resolve that the next one will go more smoothly. What sucks is that sober calls during the day aren’t any better; they always result in exchanges that are stilted and uncomfortable.

I sigh heavily, then turn on the flashlight app on my phone. I love that not only does it make normal white light, but it lets me select whatever damn color I want. I set the phone down on my bed, and it illuminates part of the room with haunting blue electronic light.

As I stand and shuffle to the small sink, my body feels drained of all its alcohol-fueled energy. It takes a few tries, but I eventually shove my long, messy hair into a knot on the top of my head. A few curls fall from the tie and hang by my face. I can’t look at myself because I cannot stomach looking at a girl who has so little hope left, who is inexcusably weak. I am humiliated by my own inability to do better. I vow to spend at least the next twenty-four hours booze-free.

The water that comes from the tap is ice cold. Minute after minute goes by as I collect handfuls of water and toss them over my face. I don’t stop until there are no more hot tears to wash away.

Check out the Left Drowning book trailer!

about the author

Jessica ParkJessica is the author of New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE, RELATIVELY FAMOUS, and the NA novel, LEFT DROWNING. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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5 ebook copies of Left Drowning

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordsmith Publicity

Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

We were introduced to Celeste in Flat-Out Love and readers wanted more! Well, more they shall have! Look at this amazing cover and take a peek inside FLAT-OUT CELESTE!

COMING SOON!

Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park
Series: Flat-Out Love #2 (full reading order below)
Add to Goodreads

Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and—very much so— this is a story about first love.. 

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.

Now here’s an excerpt from Flat-Out Celeste! ❤

excerpt

There was a knock at the door and Matt leaned in, swinging a brown paper bag in her direction. “I heard Mom made stuffed peppers tonight. Last time she made those, I nearly died from flatulence. I assume she stuffed them with her usual repulsive ground chicken, quinoa, Brussels sprouts, and pomegranate seed mix?”

Just the sound of Matt’s voice made Celeste relax. She smiled at him. “Based on the smell, I believe you’re right.”

“So you didn’t eat then? I was right!” Matt flopped onto her bed and lay down, his long body scrunching up the neat white comforter that she spent ten minutes arranging before she’d gone to school this morning. “I thought I’d take a break from studying and bring you something edible.”

“It smells like a burger from Mr. Bartley’s,” she said as she got up and took a seat next to Matt. “Hand it over, thoughtful brother.”

He tightened a hand around the top of the bag. “You have to guess which kind I brought you first.”

“How am I supposed to know?”

“Close your eyes.”

She did as instructed and felt him move the bag under her nose. Sweet, spicy… a bit garlicky. “Aha! Boursin cheese and bacon! The Mark Zuckerberg burger!”

“And sweet potato fries and a bottle of iced tea, but you win. A burger named after ‘the richest geek in America,’ as the restaurant calls him.”

“You will be the richest geek in America after you finish your Ph.D. Program,” Celeste said through a mouthful of fries.

“If M.I.T. doesn’t land me in a psych unit first.”

“You only have this year left to endure. And you will hardly find yourself in need of psychiatric care, Matthew. You are doing stupendously.”

“I’m scraping by.” Matt reached into the bag and grabbed a handful of fries and opened her iced tea.

“You are not ‘scraping by.’ You are assistant teaching classes, excelling in your own, and in all ways performing to standards that exceed even the high ones our mother set for you.” She frowned as he chewed on the fries. “Did you not eat?”

“I did. A Big Papi burger and a Fiscal Cliff. But you can never have enough sweet potato fries.”

“I have a finite amount of my own from which you are stealing. But I shall not complain because this was very kind of you.”

Matt chewed and studied her. “Are you okay?”

“Why do you ask?”

“No contractions. When you’re stressed out, they disappear.”

“I know. But most days I do not care to use them. If it is an effort, then I do not push.”

“Okay. I get it.” He chewed for a minute. “I heard your presentation went well. Did your friends like it?”

“It went marvelously. My friend Dallas took me aside to share quite the flow of compliments.”

“That’s great, Celeste.” He was downing half her iced tea.

“And then I bitch slapped her.”

Matt choked on the drink and desperately tried to clear his airway. “I’m sorry. You did what?”

She cocked her head. “I bitch slapped her.”

“That… that can’t be right,” he sputtered. “I mean, I hope it’s not.”

“I slapped my hand against her hand. Up in the air.” She looked at Matt blankly. “Is that not the right term?”

“Thank God, no, it’s not. I think you mean a high-five.”

“If you say so. Well, either way, it happened. You know I have trouble with colloquialisms, so I resent your shocked reaction.”

“I do know that about you, and I apologize.”

“Since we are on the subject, there is something else I would like for you to clarify.”

“Shoot.”

“What is meant by ‘nut bag’? Is that a testicular reference or merely the identification of a satchel of cashews or pecans?”

Matt groaned. “This conversation has gotten really weird. Could we just talk about— Wait a minute. Why are you asking me this? Did someone say that to you?” He looked angry.

Celeste picked at her fry. “No. Certainly not. I heard the term and had a natural curiosity.”

“Okay then…” Her brother crumpled up the paper bag and then smoothed it out in his hands. Then crumpled it again. “It’s the same as ‘nuts.’ You know, crazy.”

“Thank you for the definition.” She took the last bite of her burger and wiped her hands on one of the paper napkins. It shouldn’t matter what her classmates thought of her. Celeste would just be strong about this. She would move on.

Reading Order: Flat-Out Love series

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

#1 ~ Flat-Out Love: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Flat-Out Matt: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Flat-Out Celeste: Goodreads

about the author

Jessica ParkJessica is the author of New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE, RELATIVELY FAMOUS, and the NA novel, LEFT DROWNING. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

Wordsmith Publicity

Promo Event + Giveaway: Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning Promo

I’m so happy to be a part of the Left Drowning promotional event! This book is phenomenal–I loved it so, so much!! (Here’s my review of Left Drowning.) I highly recommend this book to all romance lovers–there was nothing I didn’t love about it!

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Title: Left Drowning
Author: Jessica Park
Print Length: 399 pages
ISBN: 1477817158
ASIN: B00BJQR23C
Publisher: Skyscape (July 16, 2013)
Add to Goodreads

What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

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. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

Note: due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

 Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Left Drowning teaser

Check out the Left Drowning book trailer!

about the author

Jessica ParkJessica is the author of New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE, RELATIVELY FAMOUS, and the NA novel, LEFT DROWNING. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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1 signed paperback of Left Drowning, 1 winner-ebook Flat Out Love, Flat Out Matt and Left Drowning

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordsmith Publicity

Blog Tour + Review & Giveaway: Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning Tour Banner

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Left Drowning by Jessica Park!

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning by Jessica Park
Series: Left Drowning #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 16th 2013
Add to Goodreads

What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

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. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content, and is recommended for Ages 17+

 Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Book Depository

review button

I’ve just finished reading Left Drowning, and I… I can’t even form coherent thoughts right now! What. a. book! It was a thrill to read Left Drowning. It was beautiful, heart-wrenching, gutting, and every other feels word that exists. Because truly, you feel everything as you’re reading this book. As soon as I read the first page, I was hooked. And I couldn’t put the book down–I finished in a freaking day!

Bless this book. Left Drowning is beyond words! It’s gorgeously written, and its got the best, snarkiest heroine ever. And I love snarky heroines. They make everything better, more fun, and more hilarious. Blythe (which is such a pretty name!) is a senior at Matthews College, and she is not a happy person at the beginning of the book. At first, I thought, Oh god, it’s another broken heroine with a tragic past, but then as I kept reading, Left Drowning gets to be so much more than that. It becomes a story of family and love and healing and acceptance. And I truly loved reading this beautiful, captivating story.

“What’s a little risk now and then, huh?” … “It makes you feel alive. It brings you crashing into the here and now. Keeps you alert and grounded.”

Blythe has no social life, and nor does she want one. She’s been stuck in depression for years after her parents died, and the only family member she has is a little brother who resents her. She can’t get out of this never-ending cycle of drinking and feeling like crap in the morning, until she meets one of the Shepherd siblings, Sabin. He’s hilarious, sweet, obnoxious, and goofy, the perfect counterpart to Blythe’s dark, depressing humor. And with the lovable Sabin comes his three other siblings: Christopher, and the twins Estelle and Eric.

When Blythe meets Chris, they have this visceral connection with each other. It could be lust, which is definitely there, or it could be something deeper, but Blythe knows that it’s real and it’s there. But Blythe and Chris don’t act on their lust, and instead, become friends. Jessica Park does an incredible job writing this all-encompassing, heartfelt friendship Chris and Blythe form. They grow to lean on each other, when neither of them has ever relied on another person, and they love each other… but only as friends. Right?

Well, yeah there’s that awesome, tingling sexual tension between the two, but the friendship is where they start. And Blythe becomes friends with all the Shepherd siblings, becoming part of their family. I absolutely adored the Shepherd family dynamic. They all love each other so, so much, and they’d do anything for each other. And they are so freaking hilarious! I don’t know how many times I laughed, mostly because of Sabin, but it was a lot.

The romance in Left Drowning is just as important as the family and love the Shepherds and Blythe have for each other, which I love. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean the romance is any less. Chris is so, so incredible and sweet. He’s the perfect guy, except for the fact that Blythe knows that he has a past that scarred him. But still, as Chris and Blythe spend more time together, they can’t not be together, and when they do–wow, it’s explosive.

“Stop looking at me. It’s annoying.”
“I can’t.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
Chris takes an eternity to respond. “I can’t stop thinking about you, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

Eep, Chris makes me swoon so hard!

But Chris and Blythe both have their own problems they haven’t faced yet, pasts that continue to haunt them everyday. And because of this, they can’t form a relationship. They know that it’ll be a dysfunctional one, and they remain friends, or at least try to. And here is where the heartbreak begins. AH! My heart was hurting so much for Blythe and Chris, because they belong together! They fit each other so well, and Blythe has such a wonderful relationship with the entire family. But as truths come out, things also start taking a more devastating, darker tone. Because Chris’s past is so incredibly painful and heart-wrenching, and my heart went out to him.

Left Drowning will make you feel sad, depressed, and horrified. But it also will make you laugh and giggle and smile. So read this book. It will leave you gutted, in the best way possible. If you want a book that makes you feel, Left Drowning is perfect. And can I just say, it’s got one of the best endings I’ve ever read. I loved everything about this book!

And, the quote that I think perfectly embodies this beautiful book:

“This is all sorts of fucked up.”
“I know, baby. I know. But the best kind of fucked up.”

5 hearts
lacey

Reading Order: Left Drowning series

Left Drowning by Jessica Park Restless Waters by Jessica Park

#1 ~ Left Drowning: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Restless Waters: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Check out the Left Drowning book trailer!

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Jessica ParkJessica is the author of New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE, RELATIVELY FAMOUS, and the NA novel, LEFT DROWNING. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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