Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Drowning Instinct
by Ilsa J. Bick

Summary: There 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.)
This book was odd, and I think I really loved it? Not sure why that's a question instead of a statement but that's how I felt when I finished it.

The writing style was weird and I still don't know if I liked it or if I liked the book in spite of it. It's told by Jenna talking to a police officer on a tape recorder and sometimes it kind of morphs into more traditional first person storytelling; she describes things in a way that you wouldn't say when talking to someone out loud, so it was kind of jarring when it would snap out of that and go back to her talking to Bob (the police dude). Sometimes it worked but sometimes not so much. And in the end I still wasn't sure if Jenna was a reliable narrator or not, if the way she portrays the other characters is the way they really are.

I don't think there was actually any characters I particularly liked - some were dishonest, some were creepy, some were cruel and selfish, and the main character wasn't too bad but she did frustrate me - and it's weird that that didn't influence my enjoyment of the book. If anything, I think it made me like it more. I didn't like them, and yet I still found myself caring about what happened and wanting to know more than the ending gave (the ending was fine, I just wanted more answers, wanted to know what happened next -- sometimes that's a bad thing to feel at the end of a book but I think it was a good thing in this one).

The whole teacher/student relationship in the book...sometimes there were moments when Mitch would say something or do something and it would be nice and sweet and I'd find myself forgetting the fact that them being together was kind of creepy and that he is kind of creepy but then I'd be reminded of all the reasons their relationship was wrong within a few chapters.

But even at his worst points, her relationship with him was still probably one of the healthiest in her life and that's messed up because it was not a healthy relationship. But, again, was she a reliable narrator? I don't know. Seeing her relationships through her eyes might be painting them in more positive or negative lights than they deserve and I love that I was still questioning that at the end of the book.

...This review sucks, sorry.

Basically, I was pretty much hooked reading about the train wreck that was the lives of these characters and I kind of liked that in the end I was still left unsure of what I thought of them. It kept me turning the pages and entertained from start to finish.

I'll stop with the rambling attempts at reviewing the book now. I'd rate it 3.5 or 4 stars out of 5 stars (closer to 4).


1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting, the cover is captivating and your review was great! I might pick this up!



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