Drowning Is Inevitable

Drowning Is Inevitable Book Cover Drowning Is Inevitable
Shalanda Stanley
Juvenile Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
September 8, 2015

After seventeen-year-old Olivia and her friend Jamie accidentally kill Jamie's abusive father, two other friends, Max and Maggie, join them in running away from St. Francisville, Louisiana, to hide out in New Orleans while they try to figure out what to do next.




“Drowning is Inevitable” is a book that is written in the Southern Gothic tradition.  Do not expect to be at all happy when you finish, as that is not the book’s intent.

The story of Olivia and Jamie begins with the troubles in their respective home lives.  Olivia’s mother committed suicide when she was only three days old, and Jamie has an alcoholic and violent father.  I don’t want to give away any of the plot, but things go horribly wrong and keep getting worse by the page.  The plot has a lot of potential, and I’m sure many will appreciate its melancholy nature.

The problem I had with it is that it was extremely melodramatic.  This probably would not have bothered me so much if I felt for the characters.  They are sad and suffered, but they are not well-developed enough for me to shed tears or be too emotionally invested in their plight.  In fact, the one character that evoked the most feelings was the place itself.  The feeling of being stifled, and yet loved, by a small southern town was captured perfectly.

“Drowning is Inevitable” is a book that just wasn’t for me.  It was a promising plot that fell flat.  If you do think it is something you may enjoy, give it a try.  This may very well be a case of “it’s not you book, it’s me.”

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence, Underage Drug and Alcohol Use, Domestic Violence

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