Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: Restless Waters by Jessica Park


A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters. 

Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings. 

With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass. 

With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy. 

Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be Blythe’s biggest challenge ever. 

Review:  4.25 of 5 stars

I adored Left Drowning and as soon as Restless Waters released it was one clicked.  I have always been a huge fan of Jessica Park and my expectations for this book were extremely high.  It has to be difficult to write a sequel to a book like Left Drowning since it was so emotional and heartbreaking. 

The book begins in Maine with both families together in the home Blythe and James's parents bought before their death.  They are enjoying their last days of Summer and the twins and James are preparing to head back to college, while Blythe, Chris and Sabin have plans to stay in Maine.  It is easy to dissect that Sabin still has demons and can't seem to control his actions at times.  On the night before the other kids are set to leave, Sabin springs a sudden move to San Diego on Blythe and Chris.   He says that he had it planned for a while but didn't want to ruin the Summer.  This leaves Chris and Blythe alone for several months and they have a chance to enjoy each others company and remember how to just spend time alone without their large, boisterous family around.

When the holidays arrive everyone plans a trip to see Sabin in San Diego and vacation there for Christmas and New Year.  Things still don't add up with Sabin and his actions around everyone.  At times he seems his normal self and then he just explodes.  It seems as if he is warring with himself over some thing internally and taking it out on everyone around him.  He is specifically pissed at Chris and seems to want to hate him and love him at the same time.

I was happy that Chris and Blythe are still strong in their relationship and can sense exactly how to help the other.  I always love to see Estelle, Eric and James in the scenes because they have the ability to add a lot to stories, even as secondary characters.

Restless Waters is told entirely from Blythe's perspective even though the focus is Sabin.  I struggled with this aspect of the book and think that if it had been from his POV or alternating the POV I think I would feel more connected to Sabin.  That being said, I still enjoyed the story.  I think that it was very difficult to live up to the expectation set from Left Drowning.  However, I almost think this book is one that opens the door for Sabin to have a book that focuses entirely on him and a love story for him. I would love it if it was told from his POV so we could see the demons in his mind.  We can only get a glimpse of his thoughts when it is what others are seeing.  

If you read and loved Left Drowning, I think you should take the time to read Restless Waters.  It is still an emotional book.  With the history of these two families, there is a lot of healing that still remains.  They will always have scars and issues and that is why I love them.  Nothing is fake about their story.  Nothing is sugarcoated.  It is a story that makes you feel real connections and emotion.  Job well done, Jessica!

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