Book Review: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins Published: 2015 Publisher: Riverhead Books Number of Pages: 323 My Rating: 4 Summary from GoodReads.com: 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?
I know, I know- this book is all the rage right now and of course I would jump on the bandwagon and start singing its praises… You better believe it! Do not let the mainstream attention sway you away from this one; it is worth every random friend’s Facebook post you see.
I was drawn to this book because of the idea of it being a suspenseful read (not because of the popularity, I swear). Ever since Gone Girl I have been searching to no avail for a heart-pounding thriller that left me guessing until the bitter end. This was definitely what I was looking for. The characters are dishonest, twisted, unreliable, and generally just hot messes. I loved that the main character, Rachel, started off by basically talking about how drunk she gets all the time and she sometimes can’t remember the things she does. From the very beginning I was often questioning what she was telling me and had a suspicion that things may not have been what they seemed. I love this quality from an author because that makes you even more curious about the plot and what is happening.
I also enjoyed that this book was told from multiple points of view during present-day as well as from a year before. This was another fun twist that made me question how much I trusted a certain character when the other one was saying something totally opposite. The three women narrators all have their own issues and it is up to you to decide who to believe.
I have heard a lot of people say they didn’t like it because all of the people in the story were completely horrible and you didn’t really like any single one of them. That didn’t make me like it either, it made me LOVE it. I absolutely loved that all of the characters were so jaded and it proved to be an excellent study of the human psyche and how different situations have the chance to just utterly screw you up. Overall, this was exactly what I wanted it to be- a fast thriller that kept me guessing until the very end. You will pick this up and not be able to put it down. You will ignore the dishes, laundry, and people until you figure out just what happens to the girl on the train. And you will hate-love every second of it. -Busy Brunette