I liked the bit of back-story we get in the beginning, but not all of it was important to the story. I felt the author was almost trying too hard to make something of the back-story. I think more character building and a little less camp building (the camp was explained in detail) would have helped.
Once into the story, I did get hooked on Shane. I really enjoyed following his time at camp. He was good at what he did and was a great support to the campers. I liked how realistic he felt. I also liked that he had such strong feelings about the financial and status difference between him and William. That felt real to me. However, the author didn’t really follow through with that. It might have been a great opening into a small drama that could have helped the story. I also liked how Shane overcame his fear and learned to live with his disability. That is an important thing to have in a YA book. It wasn’t always easy for Shane, and it didn’t magically get better at the end of the story. It is something he will always live with and always have to work through. That felt very realistic to me.
William fell flat for me. I wasn’t able to invest in him at all. He was sweet and seemed caring, but he felt like he kept his distance from Shane. He didn’t feel there at the end. I would have loved to see William’s character fleshed out more. Perhaps more conversations between him and Shane might have helped so I could see what Shane saw in him. He had good qualities, but I really felt the story was more about Shane, and not the two of them getting together. I liked the story, and I would recommend it for a light weekend read. I give this story 3 marbles.~Timmy
At the Lake is available at
About At the Lake
Shane Martinelli and William Houghton come from very different backgrounds. They meet at a high-end summer camp in the Adirondacks, where Shane works as a lifeguard to earn some money and begin saving for college. William is one of the guests, and he doesn’t want to be there. As far as William knows, his father only dumped him at the camp so he could spend time with his latest mistress. When Shane figures out William can’t swim, he offers to teach him. William enthusiastically responds, but when an unexpected storm blows in, William is caught in the water and Shane comes to his rescue. They barely reach shore before lightning strikes the dock—close enough to damage Shane’s hearing.
The following summer both boys return to the camp. Shane doesn’t let his use of hearing aids stand in his way. William is now a counselor-in-training. The attraction between them is undeniable, but how can they possibly make it work? Once camp is over, a week at William’s family home in the Hamptons will determine if the love that bloomed at the lake can survive in the real world.