Review: Still Photo by Kim Harnes

Still Photo by Kim Harnes
Release Date: March 26, 2014
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Pages: 272
Source: Book provided by the publisher for review

Jess Waterford’s mother is evil. Since she took off seven years ago—just days after Jess’s ninth birthday—without so much as a wave goodbye, Jess has always wondered what happened to her. And despite the end of her mother’s mental and physical abuse, the memories and the scars still remain. Jess conceals the hurt within by practicing her photography, and by spending as much time as her dad will allow with her baseball star boyfriend, Brody Campbell.

Determined to make use of her new camera, Jess dives into photographing everything in sight. But periodically the resulting prints are flawed, ever so slightly: a smudge on a tree trunk; a blemish in the bus window. These imperfections are not as random as they may seem, however, and Brody and Jess soon discover together that each of these pictures combine to form another image—the grisly image of a murder scene, with Jess’s mother as the victim.

As the new photograph takes shape, Jess’s desire to complete it consumes her, and Brody’s health begins to deteriorate. Torn between her quest to reveal her mother’s killer and her continued worry over Brody’s failing health, Jess finally finds the last piece to the puzzle, and the answer sends her world spiraling into depths from which she may never recover.


Review: Still Photo tells the story from two points of view, Jess Waterford and Brody Campbell. I like that you can read the thoughts and feelings of both Jess and her boyfriend, Brody. They are a very playful and humorous couple. Always joking and picking on each other. It is not hard to see how in love they both are despite their young age. Both of them are still in high school, which is where most of the story takes place.

It did not take me long to fall in love with this book. After the first chapter, it was hard to put it down. When I would force myself to stop reading for a little while, I was anxious to start again. This book filled me with emotions from happiness to complete despair. I laughed at the jokes and actions, I cried when the story took an amazing twist and I thought there was no hope for the characters.

The storyline and characters are very realistic and easy to relate to. At first the love came easily and naturally, by the end, both of them were fighting to be together. I never expected the dramatic truth that is revealed in the last quarter of the book. The author, Kim Harnes, really knows how to keep her audience entertained and ready for more. I almost wish that there was a sequel but I loved the ending. I do not thing that Harnes could have written it better. It wraps things up and does not leave any loose ends. I would say this book is a must read for anyone who is interested in contemporary suspense novels.

Favorite Quote: “My mom said girls wear pantyhose to hold the stick in their butt.” – Jess Waterford