Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Best Paige In The Book Review: Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman

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Something In The Water was the first book I read after my law school graduation. To be perfectly honest, graduation was a huge let down. My school pre-recorded videos of the speakers and degree conferrals, and then released each video at a set time. I had technology issues three times throughout the streamed ceremony, my grandparents couldn't come to our house to celebrate due to health risks, and my dad even took a call in the middle of the whole thing. I was incredibly disappointed and was in need of a good book to bury my nose in for a while. Fortunately, Something In The Water was the exact opposite of my graduation; it was engaging, compelling, and ended up being the best book I read through quarantine!

Erin's life could not be going better: her career as a filmmaker is about to take off with a new documentary about high-profile prisoners, she's madly in love with her rich and handsome fiancé, Mark, who is an investment banker, and they are about to get married and start their lives together. Despite a hiccup in Mark's career right before their nuptials, the couple still manages to have a beautiful wedding. While the newlyweds are on their honeymoon in Bora Bora, they decide to go scuba diving. They anticipated seeing fish, coral reefs, and even sharks, but a mysterious "something in the water" leads their lives down an unexpected path. If nobody knows their secret, nobody can get hurt, right? But what if somebody does know? How far will they go to protect themselves, and how far will they stray from the morals they thought they had?

"Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?" That is how this book starts, and it holds your attention in every sentence following. Catherine Steadman takes an otherwise-ordinary character and exposes her to a situation that tests her values and threatens her idyllic vision of what her life could have been. This book is so engaging and the plot twists and turns keep you page flipping until the very end. The whole time the reader gets to think about how they would handle such a situation and what kinds of implications could come from making different choices.

Something In The Water was hands-down the best book I read all through my time in quarantine! I stayed up late three nights in a row just to find out what was going to happen next, and even at 4 AM I wanted to stay up and keep reading! The characters were overall relatable, which I found refreshing after having a bit of a disconnect with the main character and plot in Where The Crawdads Sing (check out my review of that book here). While the story overall wasn't something most people will ever encounter, I felt like the events that made up the plot seemed overall believable. I would have liked a more complete ending, but I think that the loose ends seemed to give the book a haunting touch. I love a good mystery thriller, and this book was the perfect fit!

Rating: ★★★★★
Favorite Quotes:
  • "I’m not deliberately keeping secrets; I just want to wait until the time is right. It’s such big news, I don’t want it tarnished by worry. I want it to be special. Pure."
  • "It seems that the one drawback of having every opportunity in life is that you can never fulfill that level of expectation. You’ll always fall short of your own potential. Any achievement will be the minimum expected of you, considering the circumstances, and any failure will be purely due to character weakness."
  • "Why are bad boys always so attractive? I suppose, at the end of the day, if you’re not good-looking you don’t get away with being a bad boy. You just get called a thug."
  • "I might actually be the world’s most naïve criminal. Completely oblivious. I’m lucky I’m not dead yet."
  • "Mistakes come down to three things: (1) lack of time, (2) lack of initiative, (3) lack of care."

I cannot recommend this book enough! It was engaging from the first page, and I could not put it down until I was done! If you're interested in checking it out, you can buy it from Amazon here. Let me know what you think!

Make today the best page yet,

(All images and text reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House LLC. Something In The Water was published by Ballantine Books in 2019)

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