Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick: Audio Review

Posted November 28, 2012 by Emily in book review / 3 Comments

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick: Audio ReviewDrowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Published by Brilliance Audio on January 1, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Adolescence, Family, General, Depression & Mental Illness
Pages: 346
Format: Audio
Source: Brilliance Audio

I received this book for free from Brilliance Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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An emotionally damaged sixteen-year-old girl begins a relationship with a deeply troubled older man.

audio review: Kathleen McInerney’s narration fits so well with Jenna’s character. I hate to say that Jenna is a weak character because she’s not, really. Perhaps beaten down is a better word. Anyway, it would be easy to give Jenna a very soft voice to match that, but I also appreciated the depth of feeling in McInerney’s narration.

review: This book is not for the faint of heart. I thought I’d mention up front that there is language, sexuality, and a lot of mature themes in this book. It’s a tough book to read (or in my case, listen to). However, like the other titles by Ilsa J. Bick that I’ve read, Drowning Instinct is very genuine. So, even though it has content that I’m normally not all that into, I’ll recommend it to more mature readers.

The story that Jenna tells in Drowning Instinct is like a horrible car accident that you just can’t look away from. Jenna makes some incredibly poor decisions, as does Mr. Anderson (Mitch). But, honestly, it’s not like she’s had many great examples in her life, or even someone that she can go to for support. So, when she begins her relationship with Mitch, you simultaneously want to rip her away from him and root for the relationship to work. Yeah, talk about conflicted. None of the characters are really good or bad, and Jenna’s narration makes that distinction even more fuzzy.

There isn’t a happy ending. Well, it’s the standard ending that I’ve come to expect from Bick, which is ambiguity. And I wanted a happy ending for Jenna so much. But, like the rest of the book, the ending is real. There isn’t a moral or a teaching moment, it just plays out like it is supposed to. Does this drive me crazy? Yes, it does. But, I think that if I had it my way, the story would lose the authenticity that makes her stories just so compelling.

In short, if you’re looking for an intense read that will leave you feeling emotionally bankrupt for a few days, check this title out. Even though it’s hard to read, it’s one that will stretch you just a bit and leave you with some serious issues to mull over.


3 responses to “Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick: Audio Review

  1. This book hasn't been on my radar. There are just so many that I want to read already. This year I've started listening to more audiobooks. This may just be one that I will have to check out. You review has convinced me that I should definitely check it out. I like messy, conflicting books.

    I'm currently listening to Delirium and have Pandemonium up next. I've already read both of these, but I'm getting ready for the release of Requiem. I'm adding Drowning Instinct to the TBR audiobook list for sure.

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