3.5 stars. Deciding whether to round up or down was an extremely hard decision and I'm still not sure why.I don't want to tell this story and you know why? Because this is a fairy tale with teeth and claws.Have you ever finished a book and found yourself unsure of what to think? I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what I just read. Part of me was intrigued by this story, while part of me is sitting here thinking...wait, what?"Jenna, please. Please, look at me."I did - and that's when I realized that eyes really are the window to the soul."Don't go," he whispered.Jenna and Mr. Anderson (Mitch) are a teacher and student who have entered into relationship after realizing that they are the only people who might be able to help one other heal from a broken past. However, each of them happen to be spinning their own web of lies to the point where you start to question what is real and what is not. Is this love real or is there something more sinister at work?I found myself drawn into the story and the mystery surrounding the past lives of these two before before they found each other. There were several predictable moments along the way and even though I mis-guessed on a couple things, it wasn't hard to figure out the main gist of what was going down. Even with that, I didn't find myself frustrated that there weren't enough big gut punches throughout the book - because the way the story ended threw me for a loop. I was expecting something much more wicked from one of the characters than what I was given. As of right now, I'm not sure how I felt about the way everything came to fruition. I've read my fair share of student/teacher stories and this one is not like any other I've read...in both a good way and a bad way. If you're looking for a passionate and all-consuming love affair, you're barking up the wrong tree. So much of what's going on revolves around how screwed up these characters' lives are, that the actual love story was not always the focus, even though it did have a big impact on the outcome."Jenna," he said, and he put everything into that one word. He put in a lifetime.It's not hard to see why some people had issues with the book. My friend Rebecca and I were buddy reading this and as we were discussing, she mentioned a couple of inconsistencies which didn't quite match up. The few complaints I had didn't make me dislike the story, but I can see why some of these things would be a stumbling block for readers who like all of their ducks to line up in a row.My thoughts are a bit twisted, but I will say that the story had me, for better or worse. Okay, so I wasn't initially crazy about the tape-recorder narration, but it worked when everything came to a head. The last sentence of the book changed my feelings about the style of writing. Overall, I think the positives of what was trying to be accomplished in this type of storytelling did outweigh the negatives (although, I would not have complained if the family issues had been limited to one or two things at the most. The problems were a bit too "everything but the kitchen sink" for my liking.). I really was invested in wanting to know what was going to happen.The author's notes at the back are interesting to read. I appreciated that Bick didn't make excuses for the characters she wrote, nor did she try to make the characters out to be better than they were. She explained that not everything in this world is black and white and sometimes the story just is what it is. In her own words : Reality is Complex.Am I going to recommend the book? Yes, I think I might...maybe not quite in an enthusiastic cheer-leading kind of way, but if you're looking for something to shake up your routine, Drowning Instinct is probably going to do the job. This is the type of story which would make for an interesting discussion or book club read.And no one asked questions. No one gave us a second thought. Everyone looked, and no one really saw.End note : If you're looking for a more black and white teacher/student affair book, I'd go with Boy Toy if you want to read about something that shows the consequences of embarking on such a relationship, or Want if you are wanting to engage on a more romanticized version of this type of story.