Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

61OLegHQzvL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017

Page Count: 400 (Hardcover)

From the Jacket:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Like every other literate human on the planet Earth, I had my first taste of Paula Hawkins reading The Girl on the Train. I told myself I wouldn’t compare the two, but I found myself unable to help it. Where the former takes the reader on a psychological thrill ride, the latter finds the reader watching the characters take one. After experiencing both, I think I have more fun being taken on the ride, however, Hawkins is truly masterful from both perspectives.

Into the Water, starts slow, building up the history of the river from the multiple points of view of the women who make up its story. I saw several critiques before I began reading, lamenting this fact. The other readers were confused and frustrated, and had a hard time keeping track of all of the characters being introduced. I did not find this to be a problem, but perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that I went in expecting to be, and thus paid extra attention to detail. Also helpful, was the fact that the version I read had the name of the narrating character printed at the top of every other page.

The first half was slow but engaging, making it a more relaxing reading experience than most of the thrillers I have read. This changed rather abruptly for me about halfway through, and I found myself unable to put it down. I brought it with me everywhere I went in the hopes that I could squeeze a few pages in. Library due dates are also a very powerful motivator when even a great plot cannot combat the sleep deprivation that only having a tiny newborn at home can bring.

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Final Thoughts: I went into this one with high expectations, and I think it lived up to the hype. This was a different kind of thriller; one full of unique and memorable personalities, deep history, an atmospheric setting, and a slow burn leading up to a fast paced ending that was (at least for me) truly a surprise.

Rating: Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 11.10.19 PM

Favorite Characters: Lena

Memorable Quotes:

No one liked to think about the fact that the water in that river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women; they drank it every day

Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.

January 2017 Wrap-Up

January was my best month of reading in a long time. I read a total of 15 books, 10 print and 5 audio. My favorites in print were Scythe and The Woman in Cabin 10. For audio, Shadowshaper and the first two books of the Firebird series were really great. I had really high hopes for both Blankets and Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday, but both were underwhelming.

 

 

Sand – 4 crowns

Bad Feminist – 4 crowns

Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday – 3 crowns

Eleven Hours – 4 crowns

Blankets – 3 crowns

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line – 5 crowns

Shadowshaper – 4 crowns

Mr. Kiss and Tell – 5 crowns

What She Knew – 5 crowns

Scythe – 5 crowns

The Diabolic – 4 crowns

The Woman in Cabin 10 – 5 crowns

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird Book 1)- 4 crowns

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird Book 2) – 5 crowns

The Hypnotists Love Story – 5 crowns

 

I’m currently reading The Nix by Nathan Hill and listening to The Raven Boys on audio, and absolutely LOVING them both!! What is everyone reading?

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

51w68MUG7mLPublisher: Crown
Publication Date: July 26th, 2016

From the jacket:

“Are you happy with your life?” 

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a heart stopping, brain bending, expertly plotted, roller coaster of a scifi thriller. It blew my mind at every turn, and made me stop on multiple occasions to reflect upon my attitude about my own life and choices that define it. I inhaled it in a single sitting, all adult responsibilities and sleep be damned, while whispering unintelligible exclamations to myself as I pressed on, captivated, well into the wee hours of the morning.

This book is everything and Blake Crouch is a freaking genius. It’s impossible to say much more without spoiling plot points.

I’ve had Dark Matter for a few months now, sitting innocuously on my nightstand. I went in knowing nothing about it, unsure of what to expect, and came out cursing myself for waiting so long to read it! Now when I look over at it, I can almost see it thrumming with energy, trying to contain the unbelievable story inside.

It satisfied all of the nerdiest parts of me, with fascinating explanations of quantum mechanics and a multiverse 4th dimension that humans have thus far not figured out how to tap into (that we know of). It also got me right in my heart parts, with a powerful love story at the core of it.

What would you do if you could go back and make a different defining choice for your life? And if you could, would you really want to know the outcome?

Final Thoughts: If you love scifi, and you can only read one book this year, make it THIS book. I want to yell from the rooftops about how much I love this book. If you’ve been within a 1 foot radius from me within the last few days, chances are I’ve shouted incomprehensibly to you about it. Hands down, Dark Matter is my favorite book of 2016. It comes out on July 26th, so do yourself a favor and pre order it 5 minutes ago.  I’ve already scoped out everything else that Blake Crouch has written, and added them to my Amazon wish list. You can read more about the author here.

Rating: Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.58.06 PM

Favorite Characters: Jason, Daniela,

Memorable Quotes: I read this one at breakneck speed, not even pausing for a moment to make note of quotes or passages that stood out to me.

I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.