Welcome to Worth the Read?, where I give you my honest opinion on whether you should spend your precious time reading a super-hyped New York Times Bestseller.
Today’s book is:
Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins
On bestsellers list for 7 weeks
Ranked at #4 on Adult Hardback Fiction
Into the Water flew off the shelves as soon as it came out because it’s by Paula Hawkins, author of the bonkers popular book, The Girl on the Train. Since its publication in 2015, approximately 19 million copies of The Girl on the Train have been sold worldwide and the book has made Paula Hawkins one of the highest paid authors in 2016.
Jules Abbott left the small town of Beckford, England as a teen after a traumatic event involving her sister, Nel. She never thought she’d return, but when Nel is found dead in the water of what the locals call the Drowning Pool, Jules has to come back to take care of Nel’s teenage daughter, Lena.
Nel is not the only one who recently died in the seemingly cursed waters. (As the name implies, many people – namely women – have died in the Drowning Pool over the centuries.) A few months earlier, Lena’s best friend was also found drowned. Both deaths appear to be suicides, but not everything is as it seems.
The death and mystery surrounding the Drowning Pool did draw me into the story, but I never fully connected with the characters. The book constantly rotated narrators, which made it hard to grow attached to any of them, and the ones who were better-developed, weren’t particularly likable.
I also found some of the threads of the story unnecessary. Many thrillers and suspense novels have elements of the plot that are red herrings, but some of these storylines just seemed superfluous. All that being said, the main mystery was compelling enough that I kept turning the pages. I was simultaneously surprised and satisfied by the ending.
70% worth it
80% – 100% – the book lives up to the hype. Go read it now!
60% – 79% – the book is good, but there’s no rush to read it
40% – 59% – the book has some degree of merit, but has flaws and probably isn’t worth your time
0% – 39% – the book stinks and isn’t worth the read