The Compulsive Reader: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Hannah and Colin have been together a long time and have never had any problems. But now that Colin is heading off to college, Hannah knows their relationship is going to be tested. He can't stop telling her how much he loves her, and Hannah is having a hard time saying it back. She's convinced that all they need is some time to enjoy being with each other before school starts. She's elated when she discovers Colin's family's old lake house, and proposes a weekend getaway. But Colin isn't so receptive, and once they arrive he can't stop acting weird. At first, Hannah shakes it off. But as the weekend goes by and Colin's behavior becomes more and more erratic, Hannah begins to fear for her own safety.

Still Waters is a very creepy, very quick read that grabs you from the very beginning. Berne doesn't reveal a lot about any other characters besides Hannah and Colin, but their relationship is intense and their time at the lake house full of tension. It's evident that something is off about the lake house the moment Hannah discovers it: Colin won't talk about it, his dysfunctional parents are checked out, and no one is very forthcoming about it. Hannah is undeterred and goes to great lengths to distract her mother to get away before heading out with Colin, who gets more and more anxious the closer they get. Berne does a wonderful job at building up the suspense and intrigue when the couple arrives at the house, only to find it falling into disrepair, but its everyday contents strewn about and abandoned. Hannah does seem to put up with the creepiness and Colin's bad behavior for longer than she ought to—love is blind in this case. The novel builds up to a taut cat-and-mouse chase with a shocking revelation that, rather than tests Hannah and Colin's relationship, reaffirms it. Berne leaves the reader with some loose ends that will be haunting, and ensures that Still Waters isn't easily forgettable.

Cover Comments: I love this cover--the blues are gorgeous. I like how it makes you wonder: Is the girl just floating, or is she dead? it's the perfect balance of pretty and creepy.

This one will be released on December 20th, 2011!

ARC provided by publisher.


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering how the ending is like. :P I gauge from your review that there is the supernatural theme...?

The Compulsive Reader said...

Nope, this one is purely contemporary!

Alexa S. said...

This book is SO intriguing. Adding it to my TBR because I really want to read it and find out what's going on!

LinWash said...

Hmm. I thought it was supernatural as well. Maybe I'll check it out.

Anonymous said...

This sounds really, really creepy! and the cover is very pretty.

Anonymous said...

Wow, love the sound of this one! Think I should ear-mark it for a Halloween read next year. Very intrigued by you saying that the twist reaffirms their relationship rather than pulls it apart. Hmm...Like it.