Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Genre: Contemporary/Social YA
Publication Date: January 28th, 2012
"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
Drowning Instinct had me thinking for quite awhile after I finished reading it. I don’t normally read a lot of books that are in the Contemporary, or Social YA genre, but I did enjoy this book.
This book breaches the subject of teacher and student relationships; nowadays the issue doesn’t seem to be as much of a taboo subject as it used to be. I don’t mean to belittle the issue in any way, but since it’s become a somewhat common occurrence in real life and personally when I see a news story about a student and a teacher I’m not all that shocked (sad I know).
I thought Jenna’s character was well developed and I like her narrators voice throughout the book, she had a bit of a sarcastic tone but I like that when it’s done well. That said I did think her parents characters could have used a bit more development, I didn’t really understand why Jenna referred to her dad as “Psycho-Dad” I mean yeah you could tell he wasn’t the greatest guy but I wish I could have seen more to back up the reference. One other thing that bothered me was the unanswered questions at the end, I think that if they had been answered it would have wrapped up the story a bit better and you wouldn’t be left guessing and slightly confused.
This story was definitely an emotional ride as it hits on a lot of social issues found in real life, and I think the emotion and the writing itself are what really pulled me into the story and kept me engaged throughout the whole thing. Drowning Instinct is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bick, but I’ve heard great things about her other books and after reading this one I’ll definitely be picking up more books by this author.