You Read What? Book Review: Drowning Instinct

Author: Ilsa J. Bick

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

Publishing Date: February 1, 2012

Format: Hardcover Print

Number of Pages: 352

Number of Days It Took Me to Read: 3

Source: Toronto Public Library

ILSA J. BICK has penned many novels including the Ashes trilogy and one of her most recent novels, Drowning Instinct.


Drowning Instinct

I like it. The water dripping from the girls face along with the various hues of blue. It’s nice. Would it stand out? Probably not.


There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain… magnetism.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.


The story is amazing. I’ve been lucky to have been reading great books in the last while. This is a novel about an inappropriate student/teacher relationship that is so wrong but has you asking yourself…is it? I never thought a story like this would have so much twists and turns but I’ve proven wrong on more than one occasion. Bravo *engages in slow applause*


The writing is the very foundation of this story. That may sound silly given that it’s a book and that’s an essential given but hear me out. To tell a story like this and have it not come across as either 50 Shades of Grey or just another mainstream young adult novel takes serious skill. Everything I felt during the story was thanks to Bick’s descriptions and the unique voice of her protagonist, Jenna Lord. The way the story is told also is cool since it’s done through a recording that Jenna is using to record the story she’s telling.


Jenna is someone you want to hug, choke and protect all at the same time. Mr. Anderson is someone you want to report to the police, scold, lust over and feel bad for. I could literally give you all of the ups and downs of majority of characters but – by the end of the day – there really isn’t a bad guy. Bick says it best in her acknowledgements at the end:

Memorable/Forgettable?: Memorable. After a story like this, how can’t it be?

Rating: I give it 5 recorders out of 5

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

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