Contributor Book Review of ‘Into the Water’

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Review by: Noelle Simonson

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

If you’ve read Girl on the Train, you are aware of Paula Hawkins’ writing expertise. She knows how to craft a world and the people within it. However, this book was different. Into the Water, while also a thriller, wasn’t quite as thrilling. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. If I could, I’d probably rate it 3.5 stars because it doesn’t quite hit that 4-star mark.

The world within Into the Water is a complex one. With at least eight different narrators, it is somewhat hard to follow. I was listening to the audiobook on my way to and from work and that made it easier to comprehend because of the different voices for the narrators. It took me until about halfway through to remember who was who and what their background story was. Though I understand the necessity of having this many characters, it might have been better to have longer excerpts from each narration, not as many character jumps, and to tighten up the loose ends. There are still some parts of the story left unanswered and that’s part of the reason for my middle-high rating.

Lena and Jules were mainly the only characters within this novel that I found interesting. Everyone else, except for Erin, fell a little flat. I found the ending to be somewhat predictable and didn’t leave me wanting more. It’s like I already knew what was going to happen before it did. I don’t want to keep comparing this to Girl on the Train, but after such a compelling page-turner, this is not what I had hoped it would be. The writing was just as good but the story was not. The characters were complex and some of them were even horrifyingly bad. As in, most of the people within the town were just not good people. Each of them had their own personal vendetta and seemed guilty of Nel’s death. I wish we could have seen more from Nel’s perspective as it would have been easier to sympathize with her and understand why she did what she did.

Overall, I recommend reading this book. It wasn’t a difficult read by any means and it was definitely enjoyable. Just don’t expect the world.

You can purchase Paula Hawkins’ Into the Water here.

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