Book Review: The Drowning by Rachel Ward

Drowning - Ward

The Drowning

By Rachel Ward

My Rating: 3 Stars

I was given this book as an ARC from Scholastic via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Carl almost died in the lake. But he doesn’t remember what happened. When he wakes up he sees his brother Rob being zipped up in a body bag and there is a girl. A girl who is terrified of him. But he doesn’t know why. He can’t remember anything before waking up. His mother is assured that he’ll remember. But does Carl want to remember? Will the truth set him free or drown him like the water of the lake that drowned his brother? As Carl tries to go back to his life and find out who he was, what he was doing at the lake that day, and how his brother drowned, he starts to hear Rob. And then he sees Rob. Rob wants something and he’s angry with Carl. He wants the girl and he wants Carl to bring her to him. But that can’t be, Rob is dead. It has to be just missing his brother that’s causing these terrifying visions. And Carl keeps trying to convince himself of this even when he starts to see Rob in the puddles, in the rain as it falls from the sky, in the mist from the shower. It can’t be Rob could it? But Rob hasn’t gone away. He wants to finish what he started that day at the lake and he’ll destroy the person that stopped him.

This book had great promise…right up until the very end. I was fully prepared to give this book five stars but then I finished it and was left saying “Uhhh what happened?” Sometimes you can end a book and this will be ok, but not with this story. There wasn’t any real explanation of what happened at the end. The big ending comes and then sadly fizzles out. I gave it three stars for the great build-up but couldn’t give it more because of the big let down at the end. I would have liked some sort of explanation as to why the events stopped happening. What Carl did didn’t seem to be enough to stop Rob. Where did Rob go? Why did he stop haunting them? Why wasn’t his anger driving him to finish what he started?

I will give Ward credit for her unique plot. Hauntings by ghosts are nothing new, but being haunted through water when it’s everywhere is a terrifying idea. You can’t get away from it, it’s everywhere. I love scary movies and books. This one gave me the chills. So in that sense, it totally delivered. If only the ending had been move developed then I could have fully loved this book. Check this book out for it’s unique haunting/ghost story. And definitely recommend it to YA reluctant readers.


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