ARC Review: Still Waters by Ash Parsons

Title: Still Waters
Author: Ash Parsons
Pages: 320 pages
Published: April 21st, 2015
Genre: YA Dark and Intense Contemporary

A gritty, powerful debut that evokes The Outsiders. You won't be able to look away. 

High school senior Jason knows how to take a punch. Living with an abusive father will teach a kid that. But he's also learned how to hit back, earning a reputation at school that ensures no one will mess with him. Even so, all Jason truly wants is to survive his father long enough to turn eighteen, take his younger sister, Janie, and run away.

Then one day, the leader of the in crowd at school, Michael, offers to pay Jason to hang out with him. Jason figures Michael simply wants to be seen with someone with a tough rep and that the money will add up fast, making Jason's escape plan a reality. Plus, there's Michael's girl. Cyndra, who looks at Jason as if she sees something behind his false smile. As Jason gets drawn deeper into Michael's game, the money keeps flowing, but the stakes grow ever more dangerous. Soon, even Jason's fists and his ability to think on his feet aren't enough to keep his head above water. 

Still Waters is an intense, gritty thriller that pulls no punches- yet leaves you rooting for the tough guy. A powerful, dynamic debut. 

Buy this book!

** I want to thank Penguin for providing me with an early copy of this book **  

I've got a lot to unload for this book. Right now I'm pretty unsettled towards my thoughts and feelings but I have enough to sit down a write a proper review that will either convince you to read or leave you hanging. 

- Unique and completely different ~ Rarely do I ever get the chance to read a book where I'm rooting for the tough guy and where the tough guy always always turns out to be the most exposed and emotional in the end. I loved the change in direction that this book took. I really hope this isn't the end for Ash Parsons' writing. 
- Great morals ~ This book does not only excel at its writing but it makes some great life lessons that can be carried through life. Don't make deals without reading their contracts first. Keep your head above the water, not just below. Don't make deals with the devil. Keep your head in the game and don't lose sight over love. I think those are mostly the predominant ones but there are definitely a lot more!
- Dark YA ~ What makes a book 'dark'? Well to me it's mostly a book that depresses you or it can happen to be the tone of the author. When the tone of the author is painful or very touching, that's when you know you've got a dark book in your hands! Books with dark plots seem to circle around the story of abuse and violence because it's definitely shown here.
- Male Protagonist ~ You definitely notice how much the author wanted to exaggerate how the main protag was a guy. This contributes to the book a lot because the book was embodying the aspects of a guy, really a bit more strong and manly sense there. It made the book interesting and with a twist in the usual routinely reads. 

- A little violent ~ The book features an abusive father that hurts his children and the main protagonist is a just a violent person in general. I liked how although he was violent and a little rough, he had a sweet and lovable side as well. At some points in the book, it was clear that there was too much violence and blood. 
- Abusive Romance? ~ The reason there is a question mark next to this one is because I was really unsure of the romance that occurred between some of the characters. I don't know... I mean.. Did they like being treated that way? LOL It was awkward at times and provocative.
- Cliche High School scenery ~ There is a presence of that cliche high school scenery where the rich boys are the popular ones and they dominate the school with the cheerleaders. The cliche-ness didn't disrupt the book that much, but I wish it took a different route.

Why you'll like Still Waters?Still Waters by Ash Parsons is a quality-written novel with a great theme and headache-inducing characters. We get a flavor of a main protagonist that is tough and doesn't let his head, or feelings get in the way of anything. Yes, there are some cliche romances and it's a little violent, but it's also dark and will take you on a real life-learning ride! It was a beautiful contemporary and now that I think of it, I'd really prefer not to categorize it as contemporary. 


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