Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Still Waters  by Emma Carlson Berne was published by Simon Pulse on December 20, 2012 and is 212 pages in paperback format. You can purchase it at Amazon and Indie Bound among other fine book retailers.

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.

 Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne wasn’t quite what I was expecting and not really my cuppa. The entire book revolved around Hannah, who just finished her junior year in High School and her boyfriend Colin who will be leaving for college on early acceptance the following weekend. The main characters are weak and I found very little to admire in either of them. Their personalities felt a bit banal and boring to me, I didn't feel any real love connection between the two of them. Colin only cares about photography-PERIOD and that's what most of their dates revolve around. Hannah is perfectly content to trot along happily behind him, in full glory over the fact that Colin chose her-plain little Hannah!  Poor Hannah is a bit co-dependent when it comes to Colin's first love - his cameras. The plot is a bit confusing yet mostly predictable; the unpredictable parts are the parts that just didn’t make much sense to me.

Hannah decides at the last minute to ‘surprise’ Colin with a trip to his family’s cottage that nobody has been to for years. She bases this decision on a picture and a crudely drawn map she finds while she and Colin are up in his attic taking photos. Hannah is naive and a tad immature while Colin, to me, was a bit off his rocker before they even headed to the cottage but hey, that’s just my opinion. Colin treats his parents like something nasty you’d scrape off your shoe all because his older brother died and he thinks they don’t want him around although the dialogue between Colin and his parents does not indicate that in any way. Basically, it just shows Colin being a twerp to his parents.

Hannah is incapable of telling Colin ‘I love you’ and she thinks if they just get away to this cottage that nobody has been to in a coons age that just maybe, she’ll be able to squeak those three little words out. I mean, she doesn’t want him going off to college and meeting some hottie there and she can’t even spit out those three important little words. The Faery is now going: Knock, knock, knock on her forehead, Hannah! Hannah? Are you in there? Wake up! If those words don’t come naturally then you probably don’t love him! Sheesh! Must the Faery get so up close and personal to deliver such an obvious message?

Hannah makes this plan with Colin but tells him she’s taking him on a surprise trip but not where, the only person who knows where she is is her best friend whose been sworn to secrecy. As they drive, the more Colin clues in on where they're going and to say he behaves a tad bizarrely is probably an understatement. Did I mention that Creeptastic Cottage is on the other side of the state; once they get close, none of the roads and landmarks on the map are there, there isn't any town to speak of but they do eventually find the cottage in all it's broken down glory yet it's still habitable. This is when Colin starts to wig out a little bit more. In a short amount of time, we have the 'Two Sides of Colin', the good Colin and the evil Colin, what happens from there is a bit like watching a bad B movie. The ending is extremely confusing, this may be a bit SPOILERISH so don't read if you plan on reading this book! The reason it's so confusing is that Colin starts to act strange before they're even half way to the cottage, really strange but what happens at the end doesn't make sense because the 'entity' wouldn't have had that far of a reach and also, it was never quite clear to me if there was indeed an entity to begin with? I know that's a bit confusing to you, the reader of this review but trust me it was confusing to me, the reader of the book!

That’s all I’m going to say! I finished the book but truly, it was a bit of a disappointment for me. I really didn’t feel as if there were any surprise elements, you know the kind where you say “Holy Pixie Stix! I didn't see that coming!" I like at least a few surprises in my books especially ones that actually make sense. I didn't feel a sense of closure, either and as this is a stand alone book and it wasn't a cliffie, I'm left with that feeling of 'Faery Farts! No clean ending?" Don't get me wrong, the book feels it had a clean ending-I didn't. I came close to not finishing it but that's not really my style, I like to at least give a book a chance to redeem itself but unfortunately that never happened.


Thanks to ATWT and the publisher for allowing me to view this ARC in return for my honest opinion


  1. Nice job on the review Kristi! It's a shame you didn't like it though...the cover and title caught my eye at the start of your post, but wow...looks like some of the depth was missing maybe? Curious...oh well, better luck next read. Thanks for an honest look behind the cover!

    1. It's just my opinion, after my review I went and checked out other reviews on GR and I saw a lot of 1 and 2 stars plus a lot of DNF's.

      I also saw a lot of 4 & 5 stars, so I guess it's up to the reader to decide.

      To me it was just shallow, quick and completely not thought out. But again, that's just my opinion.

      I hate to give less than good reviews, I really do and I usually don't because I pick and choose which ARC's/Books I want to read but this ARC was for ATWT blog tours and I had to review it.

      To be anything but honest is not my style, I felt I was respectful in my review.

      Oh, the cover? It really has NADA to do with the book!

  2. I do not want confusion in a book so sadly, my wings do not go for this one

    1. LOL, Blodeuedd! I really don't think you'd like this one!

      Trust your wings, Chica! They're never wrong!

  3. LOL I loved the part where you wanted to knock on her head to see if her brain was there. :) I know I'd feel the same way. I can deal with no surprise elements, but I don't like confusion that sticks. It has to make sense in some way for me to enjoy it. Oh don't think this one is for me. Too bad, the cover rocks. :)

    1. I know, right!!! Gads, Melissa, there were so many times I wanted to throw this book at the wall (I refuse to call it a wall banger :o] ) but the stupidity of Hannah was just to much for me and then there's Colin.... What in the world did this girl see in him?

      Oh well, to each their own, right? Some loved it, some didn't! I just fell into the 'some didn't' category!

  4. Bum deal, Kristi. I mean, the whole reason we read is to be able to exclaim "Holy Pixie Stix!" Right?

    It's always such a disappointment to me when a book doesn't quite live up to it's gorgeous cover, but I appreciate your honest thoughts, especially since you've not got me wondering if faery farts smell like febreeze.

    1. Exactly! If I can't say "Holy Pixie Stix" at least once in a book then it's usually a pooper!

      Faery Farts are an absolute delight, My Chica! When I send you your Catnip and Bulgarian Lavender, I'll bottle up a Faery Fart for you!

      They're like Ambrosia for the nose!

  5. I'm sorry to hear you didn't love this one but I totally understand your compliants. Thanks for the honest review!

    1. I am always honest about my reviews but I will never be snarky.

      I know the "Knock, knock..." comment seemed a bit snarky but it really wasn't. It was just pointing out that if a young girl has trouble saying 'I Love You' after a significant time of dating and the boy is saying it to her and she literally CHOKES then the chances are she probably doesn't love him. You'd have to read the book, Hannah's consistantly saying how she can't believe he chose her! So, to me it seemed like maybe she was only with him because she never thought a boy like that would chose her and then there's the fact that she seemed to only take a real interest in photograpy because that's what he likes to do.

      I don't like to see any woman but especially young girls forgo their own needs/wants and change them for a guy. I have a friend who would suddenly develop an interest in whatever interest the guy she was dating had, i.e. NASCAR (GO KYLE!!!), Skiing, Golfing, Skate Boarding, Art, Music Style... and it wasn't as if she were trying new things either-she'd do them if she absolutely hated them. Sometimes I'd be like "Okay, which Kimmy am I talking to today?" (name changed to protect the innocent) :o]

      I think you should always be yourself and if your guy you start dating loves to bungie jump and it scares the Faery Farts out of you, then go watch him-be supportive but don't ask your doctor for a ton of xanax so you can do it to be just like him! Always be honest with yourself and everybody you're with!

  6. I've read a few other reviews that I already had me thinking this one wasn't for me but your review has confirmed it. I definitely think it's just too weird for me.