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Drowning Instinct

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  4,250 ratings  ·  759 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Lerner Publishing Group
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,250 ratings  ·  759 reviews


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karen
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
this is a karen-four, and maybe not-four-everyone four.

it is dense and intense. it is like 5 YA books in one. it is like HELLO I AM A BOOK AND I AM ABOUT A GIRL WHO NEARLY DIED IN A FIRE AS A YOUNG CHILD AND IS COVERED WITH HORRIFIC BURNS AND HOW THESE COMPLICATE HER LIFE. OH AND SHE IS ALSO A CUTTER. OH AND ALSO, HER FAMILY IS COMPLETELY MESSED UP WITH THE ALCOHOLISM AND THE SCREWING AROUND AND THE INABILITY TO COMMUNICATE AND WHATNOT. OH, AND SHE WAS INSTITUTIONALIZED. OH, AND ALSO ALSO SHE CO
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Giselle
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ebook
Insane! This is the best word to describe Drowning Instinct. Insanely good; insanely terrifying; i-n-s-a-n-e! Ever since I cracked the cover, I can't stop thinking about this book. First, to analyze it, now, to figure out what the heck I've just read. It's the type of book that you just plow through because it makes you so restless that you must keep reading and reading, all the while knowing, just knowing, that the storm is coming. So close it could be right on the next page. Really, it's freak ...more
L A i N E Y
That pain moves when you move; it mutters between every breath; it spikes your ears; it rips. You think pain can’t be any more horrible than that.

Until you discover that the well is bottomless. There’s always more

I swear that quote isn't some slogan for chonic pain. Which was a travesty - it really should have been.


Drowning Instinct:

Boring.
Shady.
Illegal.
Inappropriate.
Weird.
Dull 'mystery'.
Nice narrator for audiobook though.
And really beautiful cover.
That's everything.
Yup.



rating: ★



...more
Reynje
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
“In my experience, the truly evil are few and good people, with the very best intentions, often make very bad decisions and get in way over their heads before they know it. People drown, quietly before our eyes, all the time.” - (Ilsa J Bick in the Acknowledgements of Drowning Instinct)

I can never resist a compelling, unreliable narrator.

There are few literary techniques I find more engaging than a strong, distinct voice – especially one I’m not sure I can trust. And in sixteen-year-old Jenna
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it

“Everybody breaks sooner or later…Anyone can drown. Sometimes you see it. Most often you don’t because the body protects and the skin hides, so drowning doesn’t look like drowning and some people scar so nicely.”

No, this isn’t indeed your typical YA contemporary. I should have believed the blurb. Right now I am so tempted to tell you what kind or rather kinds of story this book has in store for you, but I wouldn’t because it’s very important that you find it out yourself and then you’ll und
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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
You can read my review at badassbookreviews.com (tomorrow) or below...

If you are reading my review, let me first start off with a small disclaimer, I seem to be the only one in the entire book universe that disliked this book. In fact, most reviews speak of how much they loved Drowning Instinct. I encourage everyone to read those reviews before you make any decisions on whether this book is right for you.

I had so many issues with this book. But I am going to attempt to keep them down to a minim
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Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Isamlq
3.5 stars. Deciding whether to round up or down was an extremely hard decision and I'm still not sure why.
I don't want to tell this story and you know why? Because this is a fairy tale with teeth and claws.

Have you ever finished a book and found yourself unsure of what to think? I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what I just read. Part of me was intrigued by this story, while part of me is sitting here thinking...wait, what?

"Jenna, please. Please, look at me."
I did - and that's
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Wynne Katherine
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: E V E R Y B O D YYYYYYYYYYYYYY
description

WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ENDING?

ILSA J.BICK, I COMMAND YOU WITH EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY IN THIS WORLD TO MAKE A SEQUEL FOR THIS BOOK.

I. WANT. MORE.

YOU CANNOT LEAVE ME WITH THAT ENDING noooooo

description

Like goddamn.

This book is GOOD. This book is motherfucking GOOD . Like. Like.

I cannot even pinpoint just what it is about this book that had me glued to every single page and every single word. But it sucked me in without problem and I was addicted.

Needless to say, this woman can write. I just.

Man. Let me
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Jennifer Kyle
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 Stars

This is an extremely well written book. However the ending, though interesting, was a bit perplexing.

description
Penny
Actual Rating 2.5 stars.

It's ok , I liked it just fine, did't love it.

My big problem with this book is that it got tiresome at times (actually, many times).

There are 3 main reason why I found the book tedious sometimes:

1 - There is a lot of pointless information and endless ramblings I wasn't interested in. Too many unnecessary detailed mundane information I have no patience for. Therefore, I skipped some paragraphs from time to time, made the book more fluid and bearable that way.

2 - It takes
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Wendy Darling
3.5 stars This is a compelling read, and I appreciate the complexity/moral ambiguity that the author was trying to portray.

I felt very detached from these characters overall, however, and it doesn't help that I found the story to be predictable up until the very end. I can see why this one has stirred up quite a bit of shock, especially with its more titillating elements. I can't help but feel that though the details of the two stories are different, Drowning Instinct has many of the same melod
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Scarlet
Review posted on Way Too Hot Books

This book just blew me away!

description

This book has stolen my attention right from its very first line.
Its stunning, scary, unpredictable and beautiful.
This book is a definite MUST HAVE!

An older man and a teenage girl. Bittersweet romance. Your first thought must be Lolita? High school teacher and troubled student. Sounds like a recipe for disaster or at least some jail time. But, although situations like this would ordinarily cause me to cringe because Im a school teach
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JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
I'm sitting here like a retard wondering if the authors brilliant or really cruel....I DON'T KNOW!!!!

Here's a mini summary of the book..

...... I'm not kidding .

I need to think about this....
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Whoa. What an incredibly dark and well-done novel. I have absolutely no doubt that Ilsa J. Bick will come to be recognized alongside authors like Laurie Halse Anderson. She clearly has no problem plumbing the darkest and most terrifying of human emotions. Like Anderson, she also focuses on teens, on the bad stuff - not the shiny vampires and the sweet first loves.

Reading this book...it's going to hurt. Jenna is incredibly messed up. You learn this up front. She's spent a year in an institution,
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Nina
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My brain is short-circuiting.

This is the kind of novel that makes you wonder whether the author is a normal human being or someone - something - with preternatural abilities of cognition and expression.
You think I'm exaggerating? You think this is hyperbole? Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not, and it isn't.

This book is FUCKING INSANE.

And believe me, you will be shocked, terrified, horrified, thrilled and amazed.
No matter how realistically absurd the things you expect are, what you'll find is going
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Myvampfiction
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Sue

*Warning: possible spoilers ahead.*

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what this book was about when I requested it from NetGalley. I knew how I felt about the author’s book, Ashes, so I automatically requested it out of the need to read more of her writing. It wasn’t really even until about 70 pages in that I got the “uh-0h” vibe from Jenna’s teacher, Mr. Anderson that I even went I read the book info. To say the book drew me in is an understatement, because one of the things I
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Katherine
”This is a fairy tale with teeth and claws and here’s what completely sucks: you’re going to want black and white, right and wrong. I’m not sure I can give that to you. That’s the problem with the truth. Sometimes the truth is ambiguous, or a really bad cliché.”

Wow. WOW. I was NOT expecting this story to pack as much punch to it as it did, and have it be so effective as well.

Jenna Lord’s life is like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game gone horribly wrong. Her dad’s verbally abusive, her mothe
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Kooloo
I can't even
That was just
I'm speechless
Ashley
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick - Take down the walls

BookNook — Young Adult book reviews

4.5 stars

Holy crap, Drowning Instinct was AMAZING! It was so intense and wrong and heartbreaking all in one. This book definitely would have been great to listen to as an audiobook; I kind of regret that I didn't. Basically, the story starts off with Jenna being brought to the hospital soaking wet, then a detective hands her a tape recorder and encourages her to tell her tale. So the whole story is what she says into the tape recorder, which is why I think
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Keertana
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Keertana by: Leanne
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I've been wanting to read Drowning Instinct ever since I first laid eyes on its cover. Admit it: it's powerful. Unfortunately, the story Bick regales is more insane than powerful. Granted, I appreciate the moral ambiguity of the characters Bick has sketched, not to mention the complexity of their situations, but ultimately, this novel lacked a little something. Hope? Heart? Or maybe just purpose...

Drowning Instinct's first few pages are a dream, an intrusion into an original for
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Soplada
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Second Time Reading Edit :
Now we have the fifth star blank place filled and that will maybe explains why this book is my most favorite book of all the time.
the reasons are tiresome to mention they are like. A lot !


Oh ,I'm disappointed , sad , overwhelmed why has it ended that way what happened next?
Or let me talk to myself "who told you to read this book and why ?"
"the book at all felt right"

I did understand a lot of things due to human behavior , relationships , and Love. I never thought
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 LEAH⇢
2.8 Out Of 5 STARS

๏  Highlights ๏


Taboo Romance
Older YA
Psychological

With Audio Performed by Kathleen McInerney

๏  My Thoughts ๏
 
The cover and the narrator are the only recommendable aspects of this story...everything else is questionable...except maybe the ending.  I found the ending to be almost perfect, everything except for how they got there in the first place...

Overall, for me, the story has believability issues...so many aspects of the story just didn't sit well for me.   I'm surprised I g
...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!
Diversity Rating: 0 – What Diversity?
Racial-Ethnic:
0
QUILTBAG: 0
Disability: o
Intersectionality: o

3.5 stars!

Someone failed to tell me about Drowning Instinct‘s unreliable narrator earlier, which is an act so egregious that it should be criminalized. I love unreliable narrators and I heard a lot was going on at once, which is also a plus. And yet it took four years and the set-up of a TBR Jar system for me to finally read the book. THANK YOU, SERENDIPITY. If
...more
Emily Elizabeth
As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!

Drowning Instinct is one of the most emotional reads that I've read in a while… in fact, it may be one of the most emotional books that I've read ever.

It's mostly the last hundred pages that did me in. The narrator, while she explains her emotions often, seemed emotionless at the same time. It was almost like she was holding in how she felt and forcing herself to be a robot. I noticed this in the first book of Ilsa J. Bick's dystopian series, Ashes as well. I think
...more
Bidisha
Also found on Dreamcatcher's Lair

Drowning Instinct is one of those books that can't exactly be summed up in a review. But there are certain things I can tell you. Like,

--While the book description tells you a few things, it doesn't prepare you with expectations. At least for me, it didn't. Which means, that the experience that Drowning Instinct packs within those pages, may, in plain-speak, blow your mind.

--There's self harm and all kinds of abuse and other twisted things that will take you to d
...more
Inger
'People drown, quietly, before our eyes, all the time.' - Ilsa J. Bick (Acknowledgments in 'Drowning Instinct')

Wow.
It's been long since I read a book that intense and believe me 'intense' is just the word to describe it.
Maybe it's the title? 'Cause when you've finished this book you just want to cry by simply reading this two words.

By telling her story with a tape recorder to the police one feels incredibly near to the narrator, Jenna. And she's not just any main character you have in random b
...more
Isamlq
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the storyteller, forbidden, pieces of us
No matter how well intentioned someone is, the same doesn’t stop them from deciding a certain thing and acting a particular way. You come away from this knowing full well that there really are no stereotypical predators or victims. Predators don’t go around all skeevy and scary announcing to the world who they are and what they want. Neither do victims. And she was definitely one, time and again… so this is me again: torn.

DROWNING INSTINCT enthralled me. Rare is the book that would get me to us
...more
Tamara
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
New and incredibly sad.

Love comes from all kinds of things. A shattered home, lost family, and a ruined self, yet love finds you unpredictably.

Mitch may not have been the ideal person, but his love was strong and pure, I only wish Jenna was able to express her feelings to him the way he expressed his. He was a lovable kind of man, he did anything to help repair lives, for his past mistakes and his past despair.

Jenna is trying to live life day by day, Mitch showed her love is more powerful than
...more
Jude
May 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 04-audiobooks
Serious mixed feelings on this one... I'll probably make a video review in a few weeks. Meanwhile I'll go try and do something with my thoughts, really over the place with this book
Donna
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've been sitting on reviewing DROWNING INSTINCT for about two months now, doing the Homer Simpson "I wanna" dance waiting for Carolrhoda Lab's special week so I can finally put it up. And now I'm faced with what to say. What can I say other than Ilsa's done it yet again? She's ripped my heart out, stomped on it, sewed it back together and gently placed it back in my chest. I cried like a freaking baby at the end of DROWNING INSTINCT. It's hard to see such a sad character lose a rare piece of ha ...more
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Questions about Mitch (SPOILERS) 13 275 Apr 10, 2016 10:56AM  
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BookSpark: Win an ARC of Drowning Instinct by Ilsa Bick 6 35 Mar 19, 2012 07:01AM  
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1,518 followers
Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I'm supposed to write things like, "Ilsa J. Bick is ." Except I hate writing about myself in the third person like I'm not in the room. Helloooo, I'm right here . . . So let's just say that I'm a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right)as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe (meaning I did an internship in surgery an ...more
“This is a fairy tale with teeth and claws.” 41 likes
“They call it the drowning instinct. It's when drowning doesn't look like drowning. (pg. 241)” 40 likes
More quotes…