Review: Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

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.

I kept hearing negative reviews (or at least semi-negative) of Still Waters, actually, I take that back. I had seen 3 star and below ratings for it. I didn’t read any reviews, because it seemed to be the sort of book I wouldn’t want spoiled. (As always, this review is spoiler free, so no worries there!) I rarely read reviews before I read a book, but anything thriller or mystery I’m even less inclined to. I’d rather be completely be surprised at the big turn of events than have even the slightest inkling. Despite the low ratings I saw, I was still very intrigued by the cover and the synopsis so I had to give it a try. (Upon looking now, the ratings are actually higher than they were when I was given Still Waters.)

If you have read my reviews for any length of time you know I love being scared and creeped out. I’m one of those freaks who find it kind of fun. I don’t spook easily though, I’ve grown up on horror movies and books.

Still Waters is actually pretty good. The first 3/4s I was actually in love with it and couldn’t believe that anyone wouldn’t love it, too. It’s a bit spooky and action-filled, once it gets going. There are intense moments that kept me I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen. I found myself bouncing between wondering who was crazy and just what was really going on.

The characters were enjoyable enough. I don’t usually connect with characters in this type of book, these weren’t an exception. I kept finding myself wondering why Hannah kept making such stupid mistakes for someone who really did seem to be an intelligent girl. That aside though, she’s a teen girl in love who risks losing her boyfriend. Maybe not immediately, but she does fear it’s possible. I get she’s doing what she’s doing out of desperation.

Like I already said, there are some pretty intense moments. Then the big reveal happens, it was shocking. I kept waiting for the next shoe to drop, because there were several pages left…then it fell flat. It has one of those endings that left me going “what the…”. It wrapped it up to a point. It could’ve ended at the reveal or a little beyond and been perfect in it’s mystery and intrigue. Instead it went a bit further and tried to tie up more loose ends, all that did for me was left me with more questions. I’m not one to tell an author who to write their book. I did enjoy Still Waters a lot. The ending just didn’t do it for me. I know a lot of readers like endings that wrap things up perfectly, I’m not one of those readers. I didn’t hate it, but I’m pretty indifferent to the ending.

If you are looking for something kinda creepy, check out Still Waters  . If you’ve already read it and loved it (or hated it), comment with a link to your review or leave a few thoughts – spoiler-free, please. I’d really like to hear thoughts on this one.

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  1. This sounds like an awesome book! I really love the cover and definitely intrigued with the summary!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Amanda! Great review! ♥

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

  2. I like to read reviews just to get a sense of the book. What people thought but I usually go on synopsis does it appeal to me, does it seam like something I would enjoy.

    When you stopped by my IMM you mentioned liking the cover for Transcendent. If you like I’m almost done with it and could send it to you. Email me your details if you’d like to check it out.

    • Amanda says:

      I read the synopsis first and try to determine if reading a review that might have a spoiler would take away from the book for me.

      Ooohhh, I’ll email you! I’d love to check it out. Thank you!

  3. Giselle says:

    Great review! It’S a shame about the ending. If it had a great twists it could have been an epic thriller book but it just… ended. I still enjoyed the creepy parts enough to give it a 4-star though (and I don’t rate everything 4-5 stars like some haha). So I,m glad you still enjoyed it I felt like the black sheep O_O

    Xpresso Reads

  4. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good creepy book -I love to be scared! I may have to give this one a shot, I hadn’t really seen much at all on it.

    I’m glad to hear that it’s not really predictable, that the big reveal is a total shock.

  5. The Muggle says:

    I’ll have to read this book if I’m in the mood for creepy then!

    The Muggle
    1. US/Can Giveaway of Tempest by Julie Cross
    2. My International Giveaway

  6. Paige Cuccaro says:

    I love the cover of Still Waters (and totally love the title) but after reading the little summary, I’m not sure it would be one for me. I’m one of those people who is frightened enough by normal life, I don’t need books and movies messing with my mind too. LOL This was a great review though! And I LOVE that you don’t read other’s reviews before reading the book. It’s hard not to be influenced even when you honestly try not to be. I admire your commitment to a fair review.

    • Amanda says:

      I usually only read reviews if it’s someone I know that doesn’t do spoilers or if it’s a book I’m not sure about. I hate to find spoilers if it’s something I’ve been anticipating!

  7. FABR Steph says:

    This book has been on my radar for some time. I will have to give it a try when I am looking for an especially tense read. Thanks for the review.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

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