Wednesday, December 9, 2015

REVIEW: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

We are so excited to celebrate the audio release of Restless Waters by Jessica Park! 

Author: Jessica Park
Narrated by Arielle DeLisle
Music by Troy
Release date: November 2015

Goodreads | Amazon

A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.

Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.

With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass.

With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.

Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be Blythe’s biggest challenge ever.

our review

Shel: If you recall, Left Drowning was a very emotional read; the journey of the characters dealing with the aftermath of devastating events was gripping and intense. It felt fairly finished at the end so when I saw that Park wrote a companion, Restless Waters, I was very curious about what more she wanted to explore. Or should I say who? Restless Waters really focuses on Blythe and Sabin, with mentions of Eric and Estella and Chris. Court: While I was in total awe of their friendship and struggles in the first book, I too was reallllllllllly afraid to find out what it could mean if they're having a conflicting relationship now. But....never fear...Jessica is here to bring us a story that digs deeper into these people and their love for one another.

Shel: Where Left Drowning made me feel raw with emotion, Restless Waters was a quieter exploration of the continuing healing process of this family. This wasn't emotional whiplash, it was furthering our insight into how far reaching and damaging childhood trauma can go and the steps this family takes to try to heal. We felt the warmth and comfort of family time in Maine--a feeling of being settled and content, then a sense of longing when Sabin relocates, a growing sense of unease when everyone reunites which turns into dysfunctional holiday time (been there, done that), all leading us to some uncomfortable conversations and potential relationship ending conversations. I honestly didn't see how they were all going to make it out unscathed, but cooler heads prevailed and we end with a HFN (fingers permanently crossed that it's HEA). Court: We never do, but I think Jessica has this ability to draw us in with her characters and then she strengthens the plot to the point that we cannot look away from her words. Every book I have read from her has been this way, and even when we were afraid to know what might come next for these people too (I can't even begin tell you what I THOUGHT was going to happen! Gah) so it was again a nice surprise to dive back into these characters who became beloved in Left Drowning (when I thought I would drown in the heaviness of that one) and travel with them into a new place, learning new things about them and ourselves.

Shel: I'm not sure if Park has any plans to explore the relationships of the younger siblings--it'd be interesting to see how they viewed their upbringings--but if this is the last we see of them, having Restless Waters continue their story was interesting and felt very true to these characters. Court: Indeed. I mean, check out the teaser below. And as this one is a celebration of the release of the audiobook, I am very interested in listening to it...because, hello music. Jessica Park gripped my attention and made me pay attention just with the opening lyrics. Check this one out, and check out the first book too, because they are deserving of all of our attention. 

From Author Jessica Park

Gah! I am so excited for the release of the Restless Waters audiobook! It’s always exciting when a book I’ve written comes to life in a new form, but this project snowballed into something more beautiful than I could have imagined. I wasn’t sure I was even going to do an audiobook, but then I reconnected with my fabulous Left Drowning narrator, Arielle DeLisle. Once she was on board, my enthusiasm for creating this version of my book soared. She understands my characters as well as I do, and she’s the only person in the world I would entrust to deliver their voices.

So, as thrilled as I was to have her attached to this project, there was one idea I had to present, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over with her...

Restless Waters includes lyrics from my friend and phenomenally talented musician, Troy. Beyond that, he actually wrote a song for me! Er, well, for the book. “Coward” is the powerful single he created, and everything about it reaches into my heart. More music from the book is available on his recently released EP, When The Lights Came, and he’ll also be releasing more music from the book soon!

So, I couldn’t imagine having these lyrics narrated... I mean, it’s one thing to read the lyrics in the context of the book, because it’s sort of the equivalent of poetry, but I felt sure something would really be lost if they were read aloud. More than that, we had an opportunity to do something incredibly unique and dynamic.

Because Arielle is a sassy rule breaker and a rebel, like I am, she agreed: We would ask Troy to record acoustic versions of his music to incorporate into the audiobook.

And then Troy agreed.

And then suddenly the three of us were working together seamlessly on this production! An indie trifecta, each of us bringing something different to this work, and all of us supporting and cheering on the other. It was an extraordinary experience.

Troy and I have been trying to work together for years (his former band, In Like Lions, is mentioned in Flat-Out Love!), and we finally got our chance. Troy is, without a doubt, the voice of Sabin. Nobody sings with Troy’s level of passion, emotion, depth, soul, and beauty. It was an honor to use his lyrics in the text of the book, but hearing his voice as Sabin’s in the audiobook is phenomenally moving, and I am so grateful for all the work he put in. Troy also narrates the chapter titles and opening lyrics, and I think it’s just perfect having him as Sabin doing those introductory pieces.

As far as the three of us know, an audiobook that incorporates music as the Restless Waters one does hasn’t been done before, so that’s another thrill for us! Listeners not only get to savor Arielle’s perfect narration (Man, does she capture these characters and all the ups and downs of the story!), but they get to hear what it would be like to be right there with Sabin as he sings and plays guitar.

We are so proud of this audiobook and terribly excited for fans of the Left Drowning series to take a listen!

From narrator Arielle DeLisle

Restless Waters was a project I held very close to my heart. The timing of how it came together for me -- as a narrator and collaborator and fan of the prequel I'd recorded 2 years ago -- was truly a beautiful experience for me. It's one of my favorite projects I've worked on, ever. To say this was an intense recording experience would be an understatement! Not only was this thick with emotion and depth, which required a lot from me as a narrator, a challenge I absolutely loved, but it also is an exceptionally unique multimedia audiobook. I could not imagine a better suited team, all of us with our own personal connections to the work, and all driven toward the end-product being as great as we could make it. 

Working with Troy and his producer, Dante, to get just the right feel and timing to allow the story to unfold around and on top of the music was a beautiful enhancement to this already moving story. I have a background in commercial production and was able to facilitate this collaboration, and Jessica and I were on the same page -- if we break the rules of how audiobooks are produced, it has to have meaning and it has to be perfect. The script informs the narration, introducing the music adds dimension to the tone, and the blend of narration and music work together to create an atmosphere that you just don't get when it's only one piece or the other. I love what we've done and couldn't be happier with how it all came together.

Read Restless Waters, Chapters 1-2



3 winners will receive Left Drowning (ebook) via Amazon

About Jessica Park

Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Please visit her at and on Facebook at and Twitter @JessicaPark24

Connect with Troy

Instagram (@iamtroymusic):
Twitter: (@iamtroymusic)

Post a Comment

Comments are bloggy food.

Feed our blog...

© Must Read Books or Die. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.