Drowning Instinct

Drowning Instinct

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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An emotionally damaged sixteen-year-old girl begins a relationship with a deeply troubled older man.
Publisher: Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Lab, c2012.
ISBN: 9780761377528
Branch Call Number: BICK
Characteristics: 346 p. ; 20 cm.

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Yoo_hoo5
Mar 31, 2016

I don't really care much for books that create a lot of suspense, only to leave you hanging in the end.
The pluses of this book are the intrigue, the prodding of finding out what really happened, etc.
The minuses are not really being able to definitively answer.

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dlh1
Aug 22, 2015

I picked this up at one of the front bookshelves at my library (where popular books are displayed). I'm in my 50's and was hooked after reading the first few pages (I think this may be intended for a younger audience). The rest of the book didn't disappoint, as it was very well written and had very believable characters.

yvettemuniz Feb 23, 2015

Wow! Once I began to read this book, I couldn't put it down. It had my attention from beginning to end. I was so sad to have it end. Nevertheless, it's definitely a book worth reading. Ilsa J. Bick did a great job.

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beachcat2
Mar 24, 2013

What a gripping book - I could not put it down and read it all in one sitting. Not an easy read , as other people have commented, because of all the difficult subjects it tackles. Really makes you think.

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Lotte_
Oct 13, 2012

amazing book! real page turner, one of a kind. Must read for all teens.

c
cassyhigh
Aug 09, 2012

A teenage girl with a troubled past engages in a dangerous relationship with her chemistry teacher.

KileyP Jul 15, 2012

This is a book of monsters. While some might say that there is only one true monster in the book (and I can almost guarantee it isn’t who you think), I have a feeling that Ms. Bick wrote this book to point out that people are not inherently good or evil. We’re all just people making good or bad choices. But still, this is a book of monsters, if only in the way of choices and situations that rear their ugly heads and come crashing back down to destroy whatever lays in their path.

I’m not normally a reader of contemporary fiction – reading is an escape for me, and that means magic, gadgets, creatures, outer space and more. But I put this on hold at the library because I loved Ms. Bick’s Ashes – it scared me half to death. And a few days after reading it, I was still unsettled. Without mentioning zombies, vampires, werewolves or ghosts, Drowning Instinct once again unsettled me.

Written as a narrative as Jenna tells her story to a police officer, we follow her through the twists and decisions that have led her to where we first meet her (dripping wet and freezing cold in an interrogation room). Her story is unfortunately one that probably isn’t far from many teenagers truths, and noting the triggers for actions and reactions is something Ms. Bick points out to us oh so subtly, in ways many writers cannot. Is it a happy story? Almost. Love is an overwhelming power house here – but it is love as a teenager feels it for the first time: all-conquering. But the layers of fear and secrecy woven throughout (as well as disdain, which I think you can feel from Jenna’s rhetoric as she lays the story out for Bob – mostly in her cutting way of reminding him that no, Bob, I’m not giving you all the nitty gritty details) add a depth and mystery that can be missing from more upbeat contemporary fiction. In the end we’re left with resolution, but more questions. We’re left to decide the truth for ourselves, depending on where our allegiance lies (FYI, mine actually lies with Bob).

A great surprise for me – a contemporary fiction novel that I didn’t need to relate with to enjoy (although sadly, there are some aspects that I can relate to), characters that pushed the limits of tolerance for the reader (you want to love/like/hate almost everyone at some point) and an author who can breathe life into a simple, stunning, and sad teenage narrative.

sukeedog Jun 29, 2012

I decided to read this because I really liked Bick's apocalyptic YA novel, Ashes. This one isn't dystopian or fantastical in any way, just a straight-up story about adolescence and self-loathing and desperation and love - but I enjoyed it just as much. The story isn't an easy one. It encompasses abuse, self-mutilation, incest, suicide, rape, abortion, and an affair between a teacher and a teenage student (which the author treats respectfully and without judgment, which I'm sure not everyone will be okay with). So it's complicated and pretty dark, but also just so incredibly honest. The main character, Jenna, felt completely authentic to me (at least emotionally - circumstantially the story was a bit out of control, as I doubt many teenagers go through *quite* this much hell). So, in short, if you're okay with relentlessly heartbreaking stories, I highly recommend this one.

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analisareyes
Jun 12, 2012

This book was very gritty and emotional, from beginning to end. You finally understand the whole scenario that took place when you get to the last page, last line, and that's what I love about this book. I recommend it too all who find it at least a little intriguing!

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Lotte_
Oct 13, 2012

Lotte_ thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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