Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday's hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow's promises.
I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.
I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.
This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.
So, let's be honest. This cover has more than one thing going for it. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get on with it.
This is the third in the Element series, but they are all unconnected with no carryover stories or characters.
In the beginning of The Silent Waters, Maggie is a precocious child who drives Brooks crazy. He's tired of her hanging around, and he just wishes she'd stop talking and dancing around so much. After she witnesses a murder and narrowly escapes the killer, Maggie stops talking and becomes too terrified to leave her house. Over the years, Brooks remains her fierce friend, and the story follows their relationship throughout their teen and adult years. They bond intensely over books and music, and this shapes their story (and I promise it isn't as silly as it could so easily be).
The cast of characters in this novel is, for the most part, varied and believable. A few are flat, and some issues with them are over-simplified or too easily solved, but I love how all the relationships grow and change. I especially love Maggie's relationships with Mrs. Boone, the old saucy neighbor, and her stepsister Cheryl.
There was some melodrama in in The Silent Waters that had me worried (also, you just have to suspend your disbelief that somehow no one would actually make Maggie get some therapy), but overall this book is endearing and fun to read. The way time passes is a little bizarre, though. In the last third, time starts passing super quickly and then it's suddenly something like 10 years in the future. If that isn't jarring enough, Maggie's father brings her copies of John Greene books as if they're new or she's never heard of them. She's mute and a recluse, but is also a very internet-savvy book fiend. The time lapse is just unbelievable and not handled very well.
As far as the whodunnit, it becomes clear quite early on who's responsible for the murder and attack in the beginning of the novel, so it becomes this kind of elephant-in-the-book that you're just waiting to get resolved. At first I was irritated that it was so clear, but I think, in the end, the build up is nice. It's another situation, though, that is wrapped up a little too neatly.
In all, I think it's a very ambitious new adult novel that almost delivers on all accounts. It's full of characters begging to be fully fleshed out and story lines almost teased out. Everything ends up falling to the romance plot line, but that's all right, because it's a pretty sweet romance.
Published September 22, 2016
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