> Skip to content

Article  •  23 November 2023


Real readers review: Water

What do NZ fans really think of John Boyne's latest novel?

We sent out early reading copies of Water to some of our instagram followers to see what they thought about John Boyne's latest novel. Take a look at what they thought below!


"I went into this book knowing nothing but was quickly hooked... Colour me intrigued. Over the next 160ish pages Boyne slowly and skilfully reveals what lies behind Vanessa’s actions. I was kept interested, eager to discover what had happened, without feeling that I was being manipulated by information being artificially withheld. In other words the pacing was spot on..."

@serendipitysbooks (full review here)



"...Boyne is a great storyteller, who brings characters to life. Despite the heavy subject matter, Boyne’s accessible writing (and at times, humour) makes this story easy to get immersed in and hard to put down..." 

@books_coffees_wines (full review here)



"...The woman at Water’s centre has a lot of spark. It was fun to see her grow, develop and stand up for herself. I think it helps that this is a short novel so despite the grim subject matter, it trots along at a great pace. I’ll be thinking about this one for quite some time."

@books.cheese.wine (full review here)



"...Having read quite a few from his backlist I found the protagonist voice and structure of the story a bit similar to his other books, but still enjoyed it nonetheless. If you're new to John Boyne though, Water is a great taster of his work at just under 200 pages. I flew through this in just a couple of days."

@_nevernotreading (full review here)



"... I would recommend Water to anyone who likes a subtle plot with a bit of atmosphere and is looking to try something a bit different. Or if you’re just looking for a quick, engaging read for a long weekend away or a quiet weekend at home, this book might be for you!"

@theliteraryshelf (full review here)

Feature Title

From internationally bestselling author John Boyne, a masterfully reflective story about one woman coming to terms with the demons of her past and finding a new path forward.
Read more

More features

See all
Staff Reviews: Weekend Reads

Are you after a book for this weekend? Why not try one of these staff recommendations!

Staff Reviews: Go As A River

The world is loving Go As A River, so we asked some of our staff what they thought

Staff review: Are You Happy Now?

Are You Happy Now manages to be both extremely zeitgeisty but also timeless. It’s the story of four people, all of whom attend the same wedding in New York, all of whom see one of the guests sit down and refuse to get back up, seemingly entering a catatonic...

Look inside Blank Spaces

Sneak a peek into the unofficial Taylor Swift fan journal.

Our Favourite Literary Relationships

From trad-romance to machine love, here's a rundown of some of our favourite romances, relationships and couplings in literature.

Real Readers Review: The Book of Doors

What do fans really think of The Book of Doors?

Ali Abdaal’s best tips for goal-setting in 2024

We caught up with productivity expert Ali Abdaal to get his best advice for smashing our 2024 goals, overcoming challenges and enjoying each step of the process.

What you should read in February and why

Thrills, romance, fantasy and a novel collaboratively written by a collection of literary legends; check out our top reads for February!

A series guide to Orphan X

Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He’s also a man with a dangerous past. If you're searching for your next thriller obsession, and you haven't checked out the Orphan X series, read on!

Books to read after Atomic Habits

Love Atomic Habits but don’t know what to read next? Never fear, we’ve got the perfect guide for you.

4 books that will immerse you in the world of Willy Wonka

Four books featuring the master chocolatier to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Get ready to meet a whole new side of Willy Wonka

Everything you need to know about the new Willy Wonka movie and book.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles