You all know my gripe with authors who have a smashing mega success with their first book, and then a total and utter flop with their second. I’m talking about Mary Kubica, Shari Lapena, Ruth Ware, and now I’m adding another author to this list — Paula Hawkins. Why does this keep happening? And why do we continue to assume that these authors with mind-blowing first novels will be able to duplicate the success with their second novel?
I don’t even know where to start with why I disliked Into the Water. Note: no spoilers will be in this post.
WHY I DISLIKED INTO THE WATER
1. SO MANY CHARACTERS
Oh my god. I believe there were twelve main characters, which is insane. Think about that for a moment… think about having to keep up and remember twelve different characters. When has that ever worked out well? It was so hard to follow who was related to who, what they did for a living, how they were connected to each other, etc. It felt like work, I was constantly flipping back to reread to make sure I knew who characters were. It was exhausting.
2. NO LIKABLE CHARACTERS
OK so you’d think that if a book has twelve main characters, you’d like or be able to relate to at least one of them, right? Nope. Everyone was awful. I’m wondering if Hawkins did that on purpose? I hated every single one of those characters. It’s so hard for me to connect with a book when I don’t enjoy anyone in it. Everyone in this book was terrible and I didn’t care what happened to them.
3. SO CONFUSING
I believe many people agreed that the plot felt a mile wide and spread out super thin, it was really difficult to keep track of. Again, because you’re following twelve different story lines that are all supposed to somehow connect. I really think Hawkins could have made this book much better by cutting out nearly half her cast, or at least give them much, much smaller roles.
4. SLOWLY PACED
Because we were introduced to so many characters, it took for-f*cking-ever for the book to feel like it was going somewhere. But even then, it was a snooze fest. Because I didn’t care for any of the characters, or the storyline, or anything about this book, it seemed to drag on for me.
5. NOT SUSPENSEFUL
To piggyback off the slow pacing, it wasn’t suspenseful. Sometimes books can have quick, ultra-suspenseful chapters that flip POV’s with each new one — not the case here. Even the scenes where it was supposed to be fast paced and suspenseful fell short. I couldn’t wait for it to end.
Overall, I couldn’t have been more disappointed by Paula Hawkins second novel. I can guarantee that if anyone other that Hawkins tried to pitch this book it would’ve gotten rejected. I honestly can’t believe this got published. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but WOW Paula Hawkins — what happened to your beautiful writing style?