STILL WATERS by Emma Carlson Berne


Age Range: 12 & up
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A girl decides to surprise her boyfriend with a weekend trip, but it goes wrong. Could their problems be supernatural—or something else?

Hannah thinks she loves Colin. When she finds a map to an abandoned summer home owned by Colin’s family, she strings together a series of lies that work to get them to the deserted place. Once there, however, they find themselves isolated, without electricity or phone coverage, and Colin seems to respond to the place strangely. Hannah begins to regret her deceptions, and she realizes that she may be in serious danger from her own boyfriend when he disables the car and begins to act as though he were a different person. Berne employs a simple, accessible writing style and uses it to build effective suspense. Readers will wonder what’s going on, and they may suspect that something supernatural is afoot. Is the house possessing Colin, or might something else haunt the boy? Clues do not abound, making this story less a mystery than a suspense tale. The author resolves the problem rather abruptly, seemingly more interested in the explanation than in finding a clever escape for Hannah. However, that explanation brings the book to a realistic conclusion that’s quite welcome amid the current paranormal craze.

Short, simple, appealing. (Psychological thriller. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 20th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2114-1
Page count: 218pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2011


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