Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
Published on 1 February 2012
Lerner Publishing Group
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.)
Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules. (goodreads)
Where to begin with this book! I devoured it is one sitting it was just that mesmerizing.
Jenna is a broken girl. She has been institutionalized for cutting. Her father is a controlling, temper-tantrum throwing god-complex kinda guy. Her mother is an alcoholic. Her brother has left the family against their parents wishes, to be a Marine. Jenna is alone and now she is in a new house, community and school. She is already feeling stressed and vulnerable (and ready to cut again) before she walks through her new school early on the first day of the year to see a demigod standing in the Chemistry classroom by the name of Mitch Anderson.
From the moment we are introduced to Mitch Anderson, hot Chemistry teacher, it is udder confusion. I like him, he seems caring, and invested in making all the kids in his classes feel valued and talented. At the same time the red flag for creepy stalker guy pops up in my mind. There are so many things that don't sit right with me as I read about him, but as Jenna tells her story, we care just carried along with her enamored view of Mitch and almost see justification in the relationship they form. It left me feeling conflicted! Believe me, this is not the first time I will have conflicted thoughts while reading this book.
Jenna becomes infatuated with Mitch. Mitch is Jenna's salvation. Can something like this be okay? Who is the bad guy/girl in this story? Is there a bad guy/girl in this story? It is truly an emotional roller coaster that had me in its grips through out the whole book.
I loved how this gripping story is retold by Jenna after a tragic event. We literally go back to the beginning and get snippets of their story unfolding before us. More tragedy is revealed from both Jenna and Mitch's lives. The ending is a shocker and left me feeling raw. A very profound book from beginning to end. It was wonderfully written and tackles a hard topic rarely written about in YA. Emotionally gripping and real. READ THIS BOOK! 4.5 STARS!