Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Drowning Instinct is about the way a girl named Jenna gets in over her head and is also helped out of the water. Jenna's life is awful; her parents are borderline abusive, her mother is a drunk and her father is a private monster. Her teacher, Mr. Anderson, helps her and makes her feel loved. And oh, how he loves her. He loves her more than anyone else ever has. As her family dissolves farther, Jenna relies more and more heavily on his love, but does she know everything? Is she a victim of a teacher, or a star crossed lover?  This novel forces you to look deeper into what constitutes true love, and who is a monster.

This book is all about the way that relationships are not black and white. The relationship between Mr. Anderson (Mitch) and Jenna is confusingly beautiful, but the love between them shines through every secret she finds out about him. Although he is her teacher, and kind of creepy even aside from that, he is not a classic predator and she is most definitely not a victim. Told in the format of a monologue on a police officer's tape recorder, the prose is impeccable and deliberate. The pain leaks from the book and is something palpable that does not only live on the pages. It will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

Student-teacher relationships and sexual content play a large role in the plot line
Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Exeter, NH USA