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Search tags: Paula-Hawkins
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review 2018-08-05 09:48
Into The Water - Paula Hawkins

Book Blurb:  Just days before her sister plunged to her death, Jules ignored her call. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules must return to her sister’s house to care for her daughter, and to face the mystery of Nel’s death. But Jules is afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of this small town that is drowning in secrecy…

 

What I thought: Entertaining enough, but it didn’t have me turning pages and enthralled as Hawkins’s debut book. The story line is slow in the first half of the book, but picks the pace up in the second half.  I found Jules character’s wallowing in self-pity in the beginning overwhelming and there is too much anger in other characters. The ending was frustrating to me because Hawkins allows loose ends remain loose – as a reader I don’t particular like it. With the rest of the characters, I felt like the author placed dust sheets over their stories to wrap them up quickly. Overall, give it a go: it’s a quick summer read, but not for must-keep-in-my-library category.

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review 2018-03-03 03:53
Into the Water
Into The Water - Paula Hawkins,Laura Aikman,Sophie Aldred,Rachel Bavidge

So, there is a swimming hole know as "the drowning pool."  In the 1600s, teenage girls and women accused of witchcraft were drowned there.  Since then, it's been a place of a string of other mysterious deaths--suicides, murders, undetermined.  The most recent woman to be found dead in the pool is Nel Abbott, who had been working on a manuscript about the women and girls who had died in it over the years, and this on the tail of 15-year-old Katie Whittaker's suicide.  These deaths are one-two punch for Lena Abbott, Nel's daughter and Katie's best friend.  And suddenly Jules, Nel's estranged sister and Katie's last remaining family member, arrives to look after the niece she has never known.

 

This book ended up leaving me kind of cold.  It is told from the multiple perspectives of a large cast, some narrated in first person, while others are in a more detached third.  The "Jules" sections are often dominated by Jules addressing as "you" her dead sister.  Not my favorite device.  Also interspersed are several excerpts from Nel's manuscript, The Drowning Pool. Although I mostly listened to the audio version, I quickly picked up the hardcover, when I realized that early on I was fairly lost as to who the characters were.  Reading the early chapters in print helped pull everything into place, but even once I was used to the cast, I sometimes found myself needing to think a moment to remember who some of the characters were and how they were connected to other characters.

 

I did find myself interested in following through to the resolution, but I didn't find the resolution satisfying.

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review 2018-01-31 20:49
Best book
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

had me at the edge of my seat

 

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review 2018-01-23 14:50
Last Year's News & Ella's Pet Peeves in Book Marketing
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Seems stupid to write a review of a book that everyone and their mother has read, but I'ma do it anyway.

 

This really could all be summed up with the note I wrote to myself privately on Goodreads:

DO NOT EVER BUY ANOTHER PRE-RELEASE UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THE AUTHOR'S WORK!

Let's do it anyway:

 

I bought this early on the strength of a review and a really good marketing plan, read half then apparently forgot to finish it. My local library's reading challenge for January includes reading a book made into a movie, and I was a bit shocked to see this one in my Kindle, so I started again from the beginning, having no clue what I'd read before, and I finished it in a couple days.

 

Turns out, The Girl on the Train wasn't half bad. It's not the best I've ever read, best I bought in 2015 or even the best I've read this month. Nonetheless, it's a decent mystery with a nice fake-out or two, and I love an unreliable narrator. I usually love a character that everyone in the book hates, unless she makes me indifferent to her, which sort of happened here. If I could've rooted more for Rachel, I might have been more invested. Oh well.

 

Now my two quibbles pet peeves: For all the women in it, it sure doesn't pass the Bechdel or any other feminist test I'm aware of. In fact, the women in this book are universally jealous, petty and horrid to each other -- even the so-called friends and especially where men are concerned. Hell, even the policewoman isn't very nice to other women. Grown women being so angry at each other for a man's infidelity or lack of trust, argh -- that time needs to pass from books right now. I'm tired of watching or reading about these women. I don't know women like this anymore, and I don't like them in books either. It's immature at best, pathetic and gross at most.

 

Quibble Pet Peeve number two is the word "literature" used to market this one. That word is supposed to mean something, and it's not about topping the best seller lists for a year. Popularity is great, but it's not the same as literary. Everyone expects a certain originality and quality to the writing that will make it stand the test of time when something is marketed as "literary fiction." (Though maybe more people will try the literary word if they think it's all like this?) Anyway, genre fiction can be literature. There are some wonderful works of literary fiction that are psychological thrillers or fantasy, mystery, western, horror, whatever. This isn't one of them. It's an indulgence, a treat, fun and relaxing read with real suspense at times. I'll make a bet The Girl on the Train will not end up part of any lasting literary canon.

 

 

picture of Amazon listings

 

Literature means "writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest" or "written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit." As it was explained to me when I kept saying "I like this kind of book" and didn't know how to find more, literature has a way of exploring how we relate to the world, rather than a story told about the world. I'm not sure this little treat fits there. No new or lasting views are found here beyond a good story, and that's fine. Again, I point out that I'd read half of this two years ago and remembered zilch about it. Not a lasting effect. If my Kindle hadn't had a bookmark and a "last place" marker, I would've sworn I didn't 1) own the book and 2) never opened it. Just don't sell me a book under false pretenses! I buy plenty of mystery books that are far from literary or even good, actually.

 

Despite these "quibbles," it was good entertainment. I'm not upset I took the time to read it.

 

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review 2018-01-05 00:17
The Girl On The Train
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

I did really enjoy reading this book and found it very hard to put down. I enjoyed the concept of each character telling the story but I was getting confused with going backwards and forwards with the dates. I did also like the fact that I was able to picture in my head how I imagined the characters to be like. 

I was a bit disappointed with the ending of the book as once I knew what the big twist was the rest of the book was a bit deflated. 

 

I would definitely recommend this book.

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