Restless Waters by Jessica Park
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm continually intrigued by Jessica Park's books in a way I'm not with others. I can't quite explain it, as I'm compelled just as much by the stories as much as her success first as an independent author and now using some of the more mainstream outlets. Restless Waters is a sequel to Left Drowning, a book I enjoyed even though it felt a little fanservicey, and this continuation of the story feels different while still having the same sort of soul to it.
The sort of family of broken pieces is broken apart yet again, but the story really feels more like a reunion as Blythe and Chris visit Sabin in his new digs across the country. What starts as an excuse for the holidays becomes one of real soul-searching and figuring out how to survive independently while still relying on each other.
It's a complicated situation with a love triangle of sorts that both is and isn't your standard fare. The story works for feeling kind of unique, but the already-credulity-stretching romance between Blythe and Chris (complete with their similar sexual exploits) almost hits a breaking point with the Sabin storyline. It's realistic in a sense, and given the ages of the characters in the story, reasonable, but I spent a lot of time thinking "oh, come on at some of the stuff that could have been more easily resolved with a simple conversation. It may be a little nitpicky, but it almost feels like we need everything to be extreme in order to buy into the already-existing extremes, and it doesn't always work.
I wouldn't not recommend this, especially if you enjoyed Left Drowning. But this is ultimately closer to a 3.5 because of the melodrama, and I'm just more intrigued by what's next more than anything.
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