Into the Water by Paula Hawkins Review

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins was on my to be read list for quite a while. I picked it up a couple of times and then put it down as I found the first few chapters hard to get into. But eventually I ended up getting through it during a long car trip and it was a book that got better as it went along.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
This follow-up book from the author of The Girl on the Train was probably never going to measure up to its predecessor’s success so I went into reading this without huge expectations.

Set in a small English town, it starts with the death of Nel Abbott, a single mother of a teenage daughter, Lena. Nel was obsessed with documenting the many drowning deaths of women in the local body of water called the Drowning Pool. Following Nel’s death, her sister Jules comes to town to take care of her niece and to try to reconcile her complicated feelings for Nel. They were not speaking when Nel died.

As the local police investigate Nel’s death, there is debate over whether this was a suicide or something more sinister. It’s the latest in a string of deaths that took place in the Drowning Pool stretching back many years and everyone in the small town has a theory or something to hide.

One thing I found overly complicated about this book was the amount of characters and viewpoints. Usually you will read a book from a few characters’ point-of-view but this had a huge amount of characters. I often got confused about which character’s point-of-view I was reading. Also, none of the characters are particularly likeable so I didn’t exactly care what happened to any of them.

But I am glad that I persevered with Into the Water because once I had sorted out all the characters and different strands of the plot it did start to get interesting. I think you need to be in the right frame of mind to read this book. If you are wanting your next read to be easy, light and a page turner then this isn’t the book for you.

Verdict: A book that is a hard slog at first but worth getting to the end of.

What’s a book you read that was hard to get into but was worth finishing?

16 thoughts on “Into the Water by Paula Hawkins Review

  1. Stephanie Suh January 18, 2018 / 8:21 am

    It happened to me as well while I was reading Billy Budd by Herman Melville. The book was full of digressions and old-fashioned words, which made me nonplussed. I was almost tempted to stop reading it, but then perseverance prevailed at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads January 18, 2018 / 9:52 am

      Oh that sounds like a painful read. It must have felt so good to get there in the end! I am having trouble with old fashioned and digressions at the moment reading Lincoln in the Bardo. It’s a hard read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanie Suh January 18, 2018 / 9:57 am

        Thank you for agreeing with me… It’s double hard for me when I run into that kind of book because English is not my first language… But your comment is quite encouraging. Many thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Janereads January 18, 2018 / 10:18 am

          What is your first language? I think it’s awesome that you can tackle difficult books in English. How clever! ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          • Stephanie Suh January 18, 2018 / 10:23 am

            Thank you! My first language is Korea, which says that there is a world of differences between the two languages…. I appreciate your kind words!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Janereads January 18, 2018 / 10:28 am

            Oh wow! I lived in Korea for 3 years and taught English. My Korean is terrible. ๐Ÿ˜€

            Liked by 1 person

          • Stephanie Suh January 18, 2018 / 11:11 am

            Hope your experience in Korea was pleasant ๐Ÿ™‚ Since I have been in the States over 15 years, my Korean is getting bad. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Like

          • Janereads January 18, 2018 / 11:23 am

            I love Korea like a second home which is why I lived there 3 different times. But it was so hard to learn Korean because everyone wanted to talk English to me for practice. ๐Ÿ˜‚

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Saturday Nite Reader January 18, 2018 / 9:09 am

    Agreed. Way too many characters in the beginning that it was hard to get into any one of their stories. I donโ€™t regret reading, it was good but I hated that ending ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads January 18, 2018 / 9:16 am

      So happy I am not the only one that struggled with this. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jackie Paulson January 19, 2018 / 12:27 am

    I am going to order this book for sure! I love crime and thriller. Outstanding review: “As the local police investigate Nelโ€™s death, there is debate over whether this was a suicide or something more sinister. Itโ€™s the latest in a string of deaths that took place in the Drowning Pool stretching back many years and everyone in the small town has a theory or something to hide.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads January 19, 2018 / 5:00 am

      Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy reading this book!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Welly Chick January 25, 2018 / 4:32 am

    I just finished reading this book yesterday. I actually found it less of a struggle than girl on a train. Girl on a train took me awhile to really get into. I think it would make a good movie if done well. I can’t wait for her next book to come out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads January 25, 2018 / 4:35 am

      Oh that’s interesting! I remember Girl on the Train was a page turner for me but I really didn’t like any of the characters. It will be interesting to read her next book.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Carly Cooper February 7, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    It’s interesting that you had to pick this up a few times before you finally made it through! I picked this up from my library when it was released but put it down very quickly. This review made it sound promising so I may try again with Into the Water!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads February 7, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      It definitely gets better if you persevere. It’s interesting that you also put it aside.

      Like

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