[723]: Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water
by Paula Hawkins

If you like unraveling twisted knots and threads, Into the Water is a must read for you. However, if you’re one of those impatient readers like me, you would probably have a hard time resisting the urge to DNF.

One of the things I typically don’t enjoy when I’m reading a book is when it has an overpopulation problem. Meaning, it’s laden with so many points of view that it had become difficult to discern whichever way the author wanted to take the story.

Paula Hawkins became an instant household name after her successful debut, The Girl on the Train. Many have waited upon bated breath for her follow up novel. While I can see the painstaking method to her mad talent, I just can’t see past all the POVs to consider myself a fan.

I’ve just about given up on this one. I grew impatient many a times while reading. It was like trudging through a jungle and having to whack my way past the overgrown vines just to clear a pathway. Eventually, I decided I couldn’t waste the time I’ve already invested in the story. And with due patience, I learned to ignore the white noise and focus on what was going on within the story.

The novel opens with a character casually telling the readers how she was about to die. Some hostile men, it seemed, were set on drowning her. When she came up for air, the man in charged told them to dunk her again until she drew her last breath. After, we’re introduced to Jules Abbott. The sister of the drowned woman that we’ll later know was a water creature all her life. That’s why Jules could not believe that she would kill herself by throwing herself off the river. Even mysterious still, was the number of women who have drowned in the same river.

Despite the 11 narratives featured in this book, the author would have you believe that Nel’s is the focal point of the novel. Let’s say that her story would drudge up some ugly truths, painful past, and mysterious deaths. But because the author withheld a lot of information as a way to build up the mystery, impatience leads the way to boredom and loss of interest.

It was a good story, all told. I just didn’t get it.

  • I’ve never heard of it described like overpopulation so that definitely suits it! I bought this one to read because I loved The Girl on the Train, so a shame to hear that it was kind of frustrating.

  • A shame this wasn’t easy to get into. Sounds like there were unnecessary things going on. Great review Joy!

  • Jazmen Greene

    This sounds interesting but it might have to sit on the maybe or borrow shelf. Not sure if I have the patience for it right now. Thanks for this review, Joy!

  • Couldn’t agree more on the overpopulation problem! Since I read a lot of fantasy novels, multiple POVs are par for the course. But most authors can’t really pull off more than 3, in my opinion. 11 is just waaaaay too many.

  • I recently just bought this… but finding out about the 11 POVs just made me feel iffy about picking it up, lol.

  • Nope, this one is not for me. 11 points of view?! That would make my head explode.

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    YES! I am glad to hear you felt the same way. I really, really struggled with this novel and 11 POVs was just too many. I got about 100 pages into this book and was like, wait…what did I read? I wonder if Girl on the Train is a one-hit wonder?

  • Excuse me 11 POVs?! Um yeah no…that’s an automatic pass for me. I’m really impressed that you were able to make it to the end Joy. Glad you ended up enjoying it somewhat, but hope your next read is much, much better! x

  • Jasprit

    I’m sorry that this book didn’t end up working out for you Joy, I think the 11 narratives would be too much for me too, also I’m not the most patient reader, and I didn’t like Hawkins last book either *runs away*

  • 11 POVs is just crazy! I’m definitely an impatient reader, so I think I’ll avoid this one.

  • I skipped this because the story did not interest me, I can see that I have made a good choice

  • I tried this and quit – I just couldn’t with all the POVs. I don’t mind a book that makes me work a little (I recently read one that was told backwards and I think some authors (Jodi Picoult comes to mind) do the many narrators thing well. But overall I just felt that this one was unnecessarily complicated and all the POV switching made me tired and confused.

  • RO

    YIKES! You’re a trooper because you hung in there as long as you did, and you gave the book some justice. You’re right. I would not have had the patience needed to get through this, despite liking twists and turns in a book. Hugs…

  • Oh boy, your sentence “it’s laden with so many points of view that it had become difficult to discern whichever way the author wanted to take the story” called to me. I can tolerate 2 – maybe 3 if the writing is bomb AF – but I just can’t stand too many POVs. Kinds makes me think it’s a way for authors to get lazy about character development.

  • This book sounds like a hot mess, that is a lot of POV’s and I kind of felt the same way while reading Girl on the Train, too. I’ll probably skip this one. Thanks for the review, Joy!

  • Sara Walker

    11 POVs?!?!? That’s a lot. I don’t mind multiple perspectives, but 11 is excessive. I am curious about this one though. I didn’t mind Girl on the Train- and I am a bit curious about this one. Perhaps I’ll give the audiobook a go.

    I’m sorry this one bored you. Maybe next time.

  • 11? I also think I’m an impatient reader lately so I think that would also be a no for me. Brilly review though!

  • Karen

    I’ll take a pass. I am NOT a patient reader lol

    For What It’s Worth

  • I think most people felt the same way you did about this book. The multiple POV thing seldom works. At some point I’ll probably get around to reading it, but I’m not going to spend money on it – have a feeling it will be popping up in second hand bookstores soon enough!

  • Ah, too many points of view is something which bothers me a lot too when it comes to reading, which may find it difficult for me to enjoy. Although I do love unraveling a mystery… so I’m not sure how to think about this one :/

  • it would be too much for me

  • 11 POV’s?! Wow, you are so much more dedicated than I am. I couldn’t keep that straight to save my life.

  • I’m an impatient reader, too, Joy, so I’m sure I’d be tempted to DNF. I don’t want all the reveals left until the end and so many POV’s makes it hard to connect with any one character. I need that connection, most of the time. I couldn’t get into The Girl On the Train. I never got past the first few chapters. I did watch bits and pieces of the movie because my husband watched it and I had a view from the kitchen while I cooked dinner. Not a happy story for the most part. :/ I won’t be picking this one up. Thanks for the helpful review! 🙂

  • Greg Hill

    Hmm, tough call on this one. I wasn’t crazy about Girl on the Train but the premise of this one had me intrigued, so it’s a toss up. 11 narratives does seem like a lot. I’ll probably wait…

  • Oh no….I actually bought this one. I haven’t read it yet or even The Girl on the Train but I thought it sounded good. I am going to have a hard time keeping 11 points of view straight. Great review!

  • Gosh, that is a lot of point of views o.O Not for me at all, haha. And boring too? Uuugh. I’m sorry this book was pretty awful : But three stars is still pretty good 😉 So I’m glad you didn’t hate it. <3

  • oh this one sounds disappointing especially in the way that author withheld certain information.

  • shootingstarsmag

    I’m not really interested in this one – and wow, that’s a lot of point of views! I thought Girl on the Train was okay but too obvious.


  • Hmm … your review actually makes me more curious. Not sure if I’d read it anytime soon, but it’s a possibility.

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I don’t think I could handle 11 narratives… I tried Hawkin’s Girl on the Train and I couldn’t get into that either, I just found it so slow, so there is no way that I’ll be having any success with this one. Thanks for such an honest and helpful review, Joy! I hope your next read is more satisfactory.

  • Yeah…that movie of the other book was eh so maybe this book is not for me either

  • Nope not for me either I don’t think. Thanks for sharing Joy.