Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Title: Still Waters

Author: Emma Carlson Berne

Synopsis: 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.


a.) Characters: 2/5 score.  Hannah was pretty bad.  We are led to believe she is a good girlfriend, a good sister, and a good daughter.  Then in a matter of two or three chapters she steals from her boyfriend, makes her brother stay with the creepy neighbor, and lies to her mother (all in the beginning of the book!).  Colin seems more real than Hannah, and he is definitely an easier character to believe.  

b.) Plot: 2/5 score.  The whole point of this trip- you learn right in the beginning of the book- is to get alone so Hannah can say “I love you” to Colin.  She wants to say this to him before he leaves for college, so she surprises him with a spur-of-the-moment get-away (which is so not like Hannah).  Everything that takes place at Pine Lake was decent.  I didn’t like the quick-fix, the simple ending, or the fact that he was still going to college after all that.  

c.) Writing style: 3/5 score.  Not bad, but nothing extraordinary.  I actually enjoy the author’s descriptions of the forest, the lake, the thunderstorms.  It was engulfing in scenery, but then the characters kind of fell flat in comparison.  It was an interesting read.  

Rating: 7/15 total

I also have problems with the cover.  It is misleading, and I don't see how it fits with the story.  I feel the cover should be a snapshot of the novel, carrying a thousand words yet revealing little to the course of the plot.  I know, it is a lot to ask.  How very rude of me to judge a book by its cover, but get real people.  If you honestly think your book's cover will go unnoticed because your story sounds so alluring, then maybe you should consider what makes a person pick up a book to read it in the first place.  THE COVER!!!

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