What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

Wow, that certainly was a rollercoaster of emotions! So much was going on and I really enjoyed that there wasn't a dull moment at all.
I don't have a massive amount of things I want to say about this book because I'll just be gushing over and over about the same things, I'll keep it short and sweet!

First off, I want to start by saying thank you to Jessica Park for not giving the characters any of those silly names that you usually get in these kind of books. They're names that are actual names and don't make you cringe everytime you read them. Christopher, James, Estelle, Eric, Blythe. I, for one, was very pleased about that going into the book.
I also want to mention how amazing each of these characters actually were too. Even though they had their faults, I felt sympathy and an attachment to all of them. The author had enough backstory and character development for us to really get into who these people are and what they really went through, and the results are quite devastating.

And that goes into our next part which is the story. Christopher. His history with his father, the beatings and the stamina-building was heartbreaking. The things you do for those that you love. He went out of his way to make sure their abusive father never touched his siblings by taking all of the punishment, and although he endured all that pain, they were hurt emotionally and were sadly still affected. I feel that Jessica Park really wrote this very well with the issue of child abuse and the after math. I can't relate to it but I think she touched on the subject very well.
But what Chris went through for his brothers and sister were so devastating, the book does go into detail but it's enough for you to get the point and capture the emotion without it being too bad.
Luckily we got a happy ending but it was a long and grueling recovery for them all. They each had their own issues to get through and it was admirable to see them overcome their troubles

Speaking of the family, they were very sweet. Their loving family relationship was an admirable one

I hate to say this though but the twist at the end I actually guessed long before the main characters clicked to it, I was quite disappointed with that but maybe it's because I've read so many NA and YA books that I'm just used to these stories! But it is a great story, it all fits together and we actually get to switch POV a few times which I enjoyed and there's always something new emerging into the plot that makes you really intrigued. It's never a dull moment!

I liked the romance a lot, the connection between the characters, Chris and Blythe, was easy to understand and you can't not cheer them on because they're very well matched. Although a large portion of the book was sex, I found the love scenes were well-written and actually quite steamy. I was surprised! My impressions were wrong about this book but not in a bad way.
Of course there's that part of the book when one character pushes the other away but you get that with NA books, I understood his reasoning but I guess I did get annoyed with it after a while. Unnecessary drama is one of my top book pet peeves...

Overall, an enjoyable read. A story that's gripping and filled with twists and turns, emotions that run sky-high that were both sad and happy. Family, strength, love and anger are main elements of this book, it was written very well and I'd definitely pick up another book written by the lovely Jessica Park.

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