Review: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Still Waters
By Emma Carlson Berne
212 Pages
Published by Simon Pulse

Hannah can’t wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget.

But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a bit…off. They can’t find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone’s been living there, even though it’s been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety.

Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

So…Still Waters. I had some issues with this one, beginning with Hannah herself. I didn’t understand her propensity for lying, and I didn’t understand her kind of infantalized treatment by her mother. For someone who had graduated from high school it struck me as kind of odd that she’d have to beg and plead to be allowed to go out of town FOR WORK (which, granted, was a lie…but still). Maybe my parents were just more easygoing than I thought?  While it was nice to see some actual parenting in a YA book, this one just seemed to go crazy far in the opposite direction. While so many YA book parents are disinterested at best and neglectful at worst, Hannah’s mom seemed to be almost insanely hovering. And Hanna herself was kind of fussy. So meh, I already was struggling before the book really picked up.

In terms of the action in the book, I did find it to be tense. Not scary, but tense at times. I found the situation with Colin to be kind of convoluted and I would have liked more answers about what, exactly, happened – both in the present and in the past. It was explained, but not to a degree that I would have liked. And at only 212 pages, I felt like the book could have easily been a bit longer and cleared up a few things.

Still Waters isn’t a bad book, it just didn’t work for me. It suffered from the dreaded “I can’t get over not liking the main character” thing and since I didn’t really like Colin all that much either, that was hard for me to get past. I never found a connection to any of the characters and that kind of kept me at arms length, too detached to really care about the characters.

2.75/5 Stars

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