Title: Dark Water
Author: Laura McNeal
Release Date: September 2010
Published By: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Rating: 3.50 stars
Review: Pearl knows her uncle regularly hires migrant workers to tend to his grove of avocado trees, and she's never paid much attention to them... until Amiel. Dark, mysterious, and unable to speak, he draws her to him, and after finding his makeshift home by the creek, she falls into a precarious friendship and romance with him. Then the wildfires strike. She knows he's trapped in direct line of the fire, and she splits from her family to save him, even though it means risking everything.
As much as we talk about the elements that make a good book, from plot to characters to pacing to avoiding clichés, there's one attribute that's vital to stories, yet sometimes overlooked: the writing itself. Once in a while, I come across the rare book that has writing that simply shines, and luckily, DARK WATER is one of those books.
The gorgeous words flow like a melody twining through the pages, and it's as if the novel is one long poem from the first word to the last. This is the kind of prose that makes you feel hazy in an absolutely good way and gives you the urge to mark every other phrase with a bright yellow post-it note. You can take any random passage and that right there is pure, brilliant poetry.
The one thing that should be noted about this novel is that the plot is very slow-moving. This isn't something that bothers me, but I know that some don't prefer the more atmospheric, drifting-along type of books, and if you're one of those, then DARK WATER most likely isn't for you. The plot is fairly simple here, with the writing driving it to its depth.
All in all, DARK WATER was a beautiful novel with some of the most gorgeous writing I've ever read and a story that moved at a lovely, slow pace. The ending completely tore me apart, and just for that, I want to read the author's other books so I can have my heart torn into tiny pieces again. This is a book I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys slow-moving but gorgeous stories.