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A Reader of Fictions: My Immortal - Evanescence

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Immortal - Evanescence

Drowning Instinct

Ilsa J. Bick
Pages: 352
ARC Acquired from: Carolrhoda Lab via NetGalley
Brief Summary:

Jenna Lord has just awakened in the hospital, having nearly died for a third time. Her life has been an incredibly difficult one, with an overbearing father, a drunken mother, the only person she's really close to, her brother, in Iraq, and herself recovering (?) from psychological issues. The detective investigating her case gives her a digital recorder and asks her to explain how she got to this hospital. The story is her transcription.

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, put there after it was discovered that she'd been cutting. So yeah, going into it you know her family's a mess and that she is too, but you don't know the full extent of it. The awfulness just keeps on rolling; I only wish that there were not people out there who have likely actually lived lives like Jenna's.

The main plot is about Jenna's relationship with an older man, her science teacher Mr. Anderson. Obviously, this too is a completely dark and forbidden thing. At the outset, you don't know what's going on exactly, but you definitely have your suspicions and you're pretty sure it's bad. Bick does an amazing job of highlighting the difficulties of understanding such a case.

Nothing in this book is black and white. For one thing, Jenna is not an especially reliable narrator. It's hard to know how much of what she believes to be true is actually true. Such realizations can be just as mind-blowing as reading through the book itself is. I got completely sucked into her story and to seeing from her point of view. Then, when I would step back and think about it, I had to face the fact that things may not be what they seem at all.

Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson or Patricia McCormick will love undoubtedly love this book. Do not read it without due preparation: i.e. tissues and/or something super sappy and happy to help you recover afterwards.

Rating: 5/5

"These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've really wanted to read Drowning Instinct for a while now, but your review has made me even more excited and jittery for it! While I DO like reading my more lighthearted, happy books I also love 'dark' novels as well (if they're well-written). They really put you through the ringer emotionally and although sometimes after reading them, you feel really depressed and a little empty inside (or is that just me?), it's only because it was such a great, well-written book. Anyway, a great review!

April 8, 2012 at 2:02 AM  
Blogger Lori L. Clark Art said...

I love Ilsa J. Bick. I really enjoyed this book. Great review!

December 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM  

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