- Title: Into the Water
- Author: Paula Hawkins
- Genre: Suspense + Thriller
- Structure: Interlocking stories with first- and third-person narration
- First Line: “Again! Again!”
Disclaimer!: You do not need to read Girl on the Train before this book! There’s been a lot of talk about a sequel and this book is not a sequel! Which can be good or bad news (depending on how much you wanted that sequel). This is another fantastic book that you should absolutely add to your “must read” pile. Anyway, let’s get to it!
- Paula Hawkins is a beautiful writer. One of the first things I noticed was that the way she wrote this book; it’s like reading water. It flows so well! It kept me mystified and engaged the entire time. This book is almost 400 pages and it felt like 150 pages. In fact, I may have read it faster than any other smaller book.
- This is possibly one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. I actually felt physically anxious during some parts of the book because it’s just that good! I hate, hate, hate when I can guess the ending to a mystery or thriller. It sucks all the fun out of it for me. This book does an amazing job at spinning you this way and that with plot twists!
- I have to take a moment to applaud Paula Hawkins for really digging into sexual assault taboo. I won’t talk too much about it because I don’t want to give away any spoilers accidentally, but a serious bravo for going to the ugly places and saying the things that need to be said. Overall, I love the undertone of the book, which points to a broken system we all live in.
- Though I didn’t feel like I could connect to any of the characters on a personal level (I lead a different life), I did feel like I could connect to them on an emotional level. I felt what they were going through instead of just witnessing it, which is powerful.
- I felt like the book had a conclusion. I know, random thing to put down in the good category! But, there are so many books with such crappy, inconclusive endings that I think it’s worth mentioning that you won’t be left in the dark on this. The book goes all the way to the end, to the very, very last sentence. So, no stopping 50 pages out and no needless cliffhangers! (Both serious pet-peeves of mine.)
I’m going to be really nit-picky on this one. Not everyone is going to have this opinion, but I think the character, Nickie Sage, could have been left out of the book completely. I think she sucked up some time and energy that the reader didn’t need. She felt like a deadweight. I think everything she brought to the table were things the other characters would have discovered in their own right.
There’s not much profanity or graphic things in this book, so if you’re sensitive to things of that nature, you’ll probably be just fine!
THE SWEET SPOTS
In this section, I cover some of my deeper, personal thoughts. Books are meant to make you think. I always think the best books are the ones that help you discover pieces of yourself.
- Did this book remind you of anything that has happened to you?: It reminds me conversations I’ve had with women (and men) who are sexual assault and rape survivors. There is one character in the book who has a history of being raped. It’s mentioned in and out of the novel, but it’s a definite undercurrent. Like I said above, I think Hawkins did a beautiful job of addressing the taboo of, “If she was raped, why doesn’t she speak up?” Sadly, too many survivors know the answer to that and I’m glad that Hawkins took the time to put it to paper.
- Did this book give you any new ideas of yourself?: Not necessarily. This book isn’t so much a “discover yourself in the pages” as much as it’s a fun and fantastic read. I did learn that it is absolutely possible for me to read 400 pages in ~24 hours 😉
- What lesson did you learn?: Not all truths will be your truth. Not all truths will be told. “Speak now or forever hold your peace” is real. There will come a point when it’s too late to speak up, so do it while you have the courage and when you know what you have to say. Not every seemingly perfect life is perfect. In fact, the more “perfect” on the outside, the more likely it’s full of heartbreak and sadness.
Easy, easy, easy five out of five star rating from me. I’d re-read this in a heartbeat! If you’re on the hunt for a great summer read, this will definitely keep you busy. Paula Hawkins is a beautiful writer. I am stunned that this book stayed so true to theme (water) right down to how the writing flows. It kept me guessing. It kept me peeking around every corner just to discover what comes next. In a subtle, but powerful way, Hawkins takes the time to address misogyny and sexual assault taboos, leaving nothing unsaid. This book has to be in your “must read” pile ASAP!
GET YOUR COPY HERE!
I received Into the Water from the Book of the Month Club for May 2017. It was so great to receive personalized book recommendations at my doorstep! Honestly, I’m not sure if I would’ve picked up and experienced Into the Water if it wasn’t for BOTM. You can join the club here for under $20 a month!