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Review: Drowning Instinct (Isla Bick)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA (older YA)
Pages: 352
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (February 1, 2012
ISBN: 9780761377528
Source: ebook from NetGalley                   

Drowning InstinctThere 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.)

Creepy. Thought provoking. Chilly. Amazing... all words to describe Drowning Instinct by Isla Bick.  I really had no idea what to expect from this book going into it. I thought I knew the direction it would take, but I was so, so wrong. I don't even know where to begin...

Starting with the main character seems appropriate. If I had to sum up Jenna in one word,  it would be "damaged." I found it heartbreaking to read her story because I have known so many kids like Jenna. I have spent seven years of my life working with "that" kid. As a teacher, I was very disturbed by the relationship that formed between Jenna and her teacher. Actually, disturbed doesn't even come close to accurately capturing how I felt...

The funny thing about these characters is that they each broke the stereotypes I'm used to seeing. Jenna is damaged-- almost beyond repair, but then...

And then there is Mr. Anderson. WTH. He's a friend, lover, and stalker all rolled into one. AND YET-- oh, there is certainly a "yet"-- you can't pin point exactly what you think of either of them. Is Jenna really a victim? Is Mr. Anderson really the ultimate perv? There is no definite answer. There isn't an answer at all. The relationship between the two was unique. Horrifically, shockingly unique.

I would be out of line if I didn't mention the amazing job that Isla Bick did in capturing the thoughts and emotions of such a damaged person. Jenna was real. Too real at times. My heart aches for the Jennas of the world... Everything about her character was believable. Everything. I could sympathize with her characters. I could relate to her emotions. I felt her pain. Every awful prick.
I find that it's hard to find words that accurately capture my feelings towards this book. All I can promise you is that it will leave you thinking. This is a strong, sometimes emotionally challenging, read. It is not for the light hearted. You will experience life through Jenna's eyes-- and that isn't always something that leaves you with the warm fuzzies.



  1. awesome
    so many books i want /arg
    tnx 4 reviewing

  2. I found this book to be really interesting too. It was such a departure from Ilsa Bick's other writing.

  3. I'm almost scared to read this one. It seems so raw and emotional. Yet very present day. I feel for the Jennas of the world today. Thanks for helping them.


  4. OH needs to read totally zombie mode right now. So anything with the word "chilling" you can count me in!

  5. Heather... this one IS raw and emotional. It's like nothing I've read so far.

    Faye... "chilling" is an understatement. It blurs the lines between evil and victim to where you can't tell who fits in what category.


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Product Details

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Paperback: 192 pages
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Source: My personal book

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