Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? (Summary from

They called it the next Gone Girl. To be honest, I haven't read Gone Girl yet. Someone spoiled the ending for me, so it seemed pretty pointless to read it after that. It's still on my TBR (to be read) list, but I'm not really in any hurry to be reading it. Either way, I went into this book expecting a great suspense story, one that would blow me away with it's radical plot twist and take me by surprise. Unfortunately, I expected too much.

I'm not saying that I didn't like it. The Girl on the Train is a good story, a good mystery that I honestly couldn't put down because I desperately wanted to know what had happened to Megan (Jess in Rachel's imagination) and how Rachel was involved in it all. I also wanted to know how Rachel ended up so screwed up as she continued down her path of self-destruction.

But it wasn't great. The book starts slowly and is pretty hard to get into. Once the big disappearance occurs, the story starts to pick up, but you're already at least a quarter way through the book. And the characters aren't very likable. There are several times where you can't decide whether you want to slap Rachel upside the head for her stupidity or hug her because she seriously needs some love and kindness in her life. I mean her old school mate takes her in and provides a shelter over her head, but other than that there's really no one giving her any sort of care or guidance and good God, she needs guidance. She really just needed a good friend - someone who could dry her out, give her advice, and help her realize get over her past and move on.

Once the big reveal hits (no spoilers - I promise), you understand why she doesn't have friends, why she's an alcoholic, and why she could use some continued therapy. I wish I could say that I was surprised by the big plot twist, but I suspected it at the beginning. There are hints all through the slow start of the book that readers probably miss because they're so anxious to get to the good stuff, but it's there if you pay attention.

I did like the way the book ended and that justice prevailed. That always makes me happy. So I would definitely recommend it! It's a good mystery story, and a quick read once you get into it. Just don't expect the biggest, craziest plot twist the world has ever seen.

1 comment:

  1. I feel quite the opposite actually! I loved the book up to the ending, which I hated. I felt it built up to a whole load of nothing which was incredibly frustrating! And isn't it just the worst when people spoil the ending of a book for you? I was lucky enough to read Gone Girl before it was spoiled and the twist got me big time, so I think it's awful when people don't get to have the same great experience I did.


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