Friday, October 21, 2011

Chick Pick: Still Waters

Still Waters
by Emma Carlson Berne
Simon Pulse
2011
240 pages (page count from Simon & Schuster's author's page)

Available in trade paperback on or about December 20, 2011


Ominous, dark, and creepy, Still Waters is sure to intrique with its compelling cover photo and the words, "He'll never let her go..." teen readers will want to dive right in (pun intended).

Hannah just can't seem to commit--it's only three little words...three little words she just can't bring herself to say. "I love you" means forever, and Hannah is unsure about forever with her boyfriend Colin. It's almost time for Colin to go to college--far away from Hannah. She doesn't want to lose him, but she doesn't know how to keep him either.

Colin and Hannah have a shared interest in photography, and Colin takes Hannah up to the attic where the light from a warped window shows them some eerie shots of the city. When Hannah comes across a folder with some old photos and a map, she is intrigued. The house by the lake in the old photograph seems to beckon to her. When she asks Colin about the house, he says it's his family's old lakehouse but that he hasn't been there in years. That should have been Hannah's first clue...

Thinking that a romantic trip for two to a deserted lakehouse is just the ticket, Hannah makes plans. She lies to her mother saying she has an overnight job that will pay triple her regular salary. She dupes Colin into driving and doesn't tell him where they are headed until they have almost arrived. When Colin finds out the romantic weekend will be spent at his family's old lakehouse, he is furious! That should have been Hannah's second clue...

The creepy and all-but-deserted town and the unhospitable shop keeper should have been her third clue...no cell phone reception should have been her fourth clue...no cars on the road and the overgrown path to the house--should have been...you guessed it, her fifth clue.

When Colin begins to act a little crazy, Hannah keeps hoping for the best. She is vulnerable and naive but finally realizes the danger she is in. The lakehouse brings out the malevolent and dark passions in Colin, and Hannah fears for her life.

Unforgettable and sweet but brooding and twisted, Colin is sure to engage female readers. Enough plot twists and running through the dark woods keep the story moving along. Hannah even mentions that the woods remind her of "The Blair Witch Project"--that should have been her final clue!!!

Recommended grades 9-up. Probably okay for grade 8 readers. Hannah mentions that she and Colin have talked about sex and that they will sleep together at the lakehouse--which they do--sleep, I mean. No mention of the actual event taking place, but the savvy reader will assume Hannah is no longer a virgin. No language.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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