Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Drowning Instinct Paperback – January 1, 2013
|New from||Used from|
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Fresh out of a four month stint in a psych hospital, Jenna starts a new school under the watchful eyes of her parents and school officials. When her chemistry teacher, Mr. Anderson takes in interest in her welfare, she fights off a crush on the attractive, popular teacher and coach.
Jenna is an unreliable narrator, but just how unreliable I'm still not certain after finishing DROWNING INSTINCT. Readers are left to determine the extent of Jenna's disturbance, how accurately she perceives the world around her. She's an intriguing, multilayered character, figuratively drowning beneath her father's controlling rage and her mother's alcoholism. Guarded, yet vulnerable, I could easily understand why Jenna was drawn to Mr Anderson, an adult who paid attention and bolstered her esteem. She was easy to sympathize with and root for. Since I only knew the characters through Jenna's distorted views, the minor characters seemed fairly one dimensional, particularly her parents. I didn't know how predatorily Mr Anderson acted. He certainly displayed inappropriate boundaries from the very beginning.
Ilsa J. Bick gave Jenna an authentic, raw voice. DROWNING INSTINCT is fast paced, drawing me in from the first page, leaving me thinking after the last. I feel frustrated that the ending was fairly open and a bit of a let down. I prefer more definitive wrap-ups, which kept me from giving five stars.
Themes: mental illness, self injury, alcoholism, abuse, high school, teachers
DROWING INSTINCT is a fairly dark novel co-starring a slew of adults who let a fragile sixteen year old down.
I really don't want to give the story away, you need to start it without knowing anything, so I'll talk about the writers amazing style, prose, and characters. This is the first book I've ever read from Ilsa J. Bick and I knew after finishing that this was an author I know I'll look to again and again. Her characters were believable, relatable, and cause the reader to sympathize with without actually having gone through the same events that they have. I was particularly impressed with the character development of Mr. Anderson.
Jenna, with a seemingly ordinary name is no ordinary character herself, and even though the ending leaves our main character in a situation that would leave anyone irreparably broken, you're left with the feeling that she's going to be just fine. She's a very strong character and that's admirable in a book. The writing is impeccable and an easy attention grabber and is great for a novice reader AND a long term book worm, such as myself. If you are reading this review and wondering if Drowning Instinct is the book for you, definitely give it a chance. I highly recommend. The ending alone is sure to stick with you for a very long time.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but after reading "Ashes", I'll pretty much read anything Bick writes. "Drowning Instinct" is, in all honesty, a story about a group of broken characters. And in this one, there are no happy endings.
Since there are a lot of shocking revelations throughout this novel, I'm going to do my best to avoid spoilers. I will say this, in most stories, there is that happy ending. There is a time when the hell the characters go through begins to seize, and eventually, everything is okay. And really, in life, things don't always work out that way. Bick manages to convey this wonderfully as she explores the personal demons Jenna, her parents, her teacher, and even her school mates are battling.
Jenna's life is far from perfect - she's falling apart, all while watching everyone that she cares about fall right along with her. Her family is falling apart. She can't stop thinking about the feel of a blade pressed against her skin. And the fire. And Matt. She's created this fantasy, because she knows that if she accepts the truth, she won't be able to take it. But when Mitch comes along, eager to help her, eager to fix her...Jenna opens up. She allows the fantasy to fall, to face reality, but reality isn't much better.
The characters are each facing their own struggles. They all want to ignore the truth that's staring them in the face, because they are fearful of what will become of it. But everyone has a breaking point, and they all manage to reach theirs. It isn't a happy story. No, in fact, it's far from a happy story. But I couldn't put this one down.
I will say this, I will continue to read anything that Bick puts out.
Here's a quote from "Drowning Instinct" that I think sums up the story rather well:
"Everybody breaks sooner or later, Bob. Anyone can drown. Sometimes you see it. Most often, you don't because the body protects and the skin hides, so drowning doesn't look like drowning and some people scar so nicely.
Take it from an expert."
Most recent customer reviews
"Drowning Instinct" is about a girl named Jenna who has been through a lot.Read more