Sometimes I don’t want to read YA as I get sick of the same storylines… Boy meets girl, girl loses boy, boy has realisation, boy and girl make up… blah blah blah. If you really look around on the market and like to read YA books you can also find, YA mystery novels, crime, action and pretty much anything you may fancy. It just means looking though. My book review today is for a book I read last week which is still playing on my mind even now.
Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
Firstly I would ‘love’ to say I loved this book and I did – although it makes me feel like a twisted psycho for saying it! This book is deep, dark, twisted and in places just damn right nasty. This quote from part of the synopsis sums it up really well….
‘There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)‘
Its hard to describe what this books about without giving away vital information. The book opens with Jenna in hospital after an ‘accident’, although no details are really given to you as to why she is there . A detective is trying to get her to talk about what’s happened. In order to open up, he offers her a tape recorder to tell her side of the events as best she can. When the Detective leaves the room we are then taken through all the events that led to Jenna being in hospital.
The story is told from Jenna’s point of view as she talks to the Detective through the tape recorder working through each event. They are told in order so there’s no real confusion there – although don’t expect your mind to try and NOT work out whats going on. In fact each new character we met I was thinking mean, nasty thoughts about them and what they could have done to lead Jenna to be in hospital.
What I liked about this dark story was how it was told; we were told things, but not too much. We were shown things and left to work out our own conclusions and let our minds show us twisted scenarios that the author planted there. This book covers many dark topics (abuse, mental health issues, death, grieving, sex, adult relationships) but it does so in a ‘cringy’ way without giving too much away.
If I’m to be honest at times I liked Jenna as a character and other times want to throttle her for being so stupid. Yet I can also understand her decisions and her narrative voice due to the clever way Ilsa whote Drowning Instinct.
This book is not sweetness and light, I would not let my daughters read it till they were at least 16 – maybe I’m being a little harsh and protective, but due to the ‘fragile’ subject matter this book is not for young teens and more older ones. However it is extremely well written and a book I would recommend to others.
I gave the book 4 out of 5, the reason being was although I had ‘some’ answers I wanted more. I wanted to know what happened to people in Jenna’s life and also what happened when the book said ‘the end’. There was closure but not enough. Also it felt a little ‘blunt’ and rushed towards the end considering how much detail was put in everywhere else. But this book deserves every part of its 4 out of 5 stars!
Lots of Love,