Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Still Waters
Emma Carlson Berne
Release Date: December 20th, 2011
by Simon Pulse

Goodreads / Purchase
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 copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*

I've noticed a few people compare this to The Shining. But (and yes you'll think I've been living under a rock… but… it's a very pretty rock!) I've never read or watched The Shining so to me this was all new and extremely creepy. I went into Still Waters expecting a really ominous plot with a not always bright protagonist - like your average horror flick, and that's what I got. Still Waters is fun, freaky and got my adrenalin pumping.

Hannah decides to go on a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, Colin, to his old summer home in the middle of nowhere (don't ask me!?). When they get there things take a very strange turn when Colin starts acting like he's gone mad. This is the type of story I just eat up. I love the mystery, the suspense and simply scaring myself by imagining being in their shoes. I have mixed feelings about Hannah, though. She is a fun protagonist that I was able to connect with, but I also wanted to scream at her for some of her decisions and how she can be really oblivious. I did enjoy her relationship with Colin which is awfully cute. They've already been together for a year so there's none of the drama and angst of a new love, though, there is still romance and plenty of admiration.

From the reviews I have read, it seems like we all agree on one thing - the ending could have been so much more. I had many fun, complex theories that I hoped would be close to how it ended. But the actual ending is very bland and disappointing. Some might even find it has no 'ending' at all; that the book is simply over.

So, after all this, why do I give it a high rating? Well, you know how expectations affect satisfaction? Since I had seen reviews beforehand, I knew what to expect. Even though I agree the ending is a downer, it doesn't turn it into a bad book, it's merely not as exceptional as it had the potential to be had it had a shocking twist. Personally, with the actions scenes so incredibly realistic, I couldn't help but find this book exhilarating. In fact, I was so into it that every noise I heard at home freaked me out. I had to quit reading until daytime. The suspense had me on the edge of my seat, reading like a maniac to find out what would happen next. Being a real thriller nut, it would take more than the lack of a monumental ending to make me say that this is not an extremely fun, creepy book.

4 Hot Espressos
Want to know more about Still Waters?
Drop by for the blog tour stop on January 9th!