Saturday, March 07, 2015

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Title: The Girl on the Train  
Author: Paula Hawkins      
Published: January 2015, Riverhead Books  
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages   
Source: Library  

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

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?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

My thoughts: This is another book that I had been hearing a lot about on Twitter and the blogosphere and just knew I had to read it. I've definitely been on a psychological thriller/mystery kick and let me tell you, this book certainly falls into those categories. But, at the same time, because I was waiting for a copy to come in to the library, I didn't get to read it as soon as I would have liked before spoilers started appearing everywhere!

Fortunately, the few spoilers that I inadvertently read via tweets didn't give too much away, but I did go into the book already knowing a few things. My main concern was that did I already know too much? But, as I started reading, I found that those spoilers do come to light very quickly, so I didn't feel as let down as I initially was after reading those tweets. 

This is a crazy book. The characters somehow just call you to, despite the fact that they aren't all completely likeable. Narrated by the three main female characters, we begin to see that nothing is really as it seems. Moving back and forth in time from the present to the past to the day Megan goes missing, we slowly are given clues to each of the women's lives as well as to what really happened that fateful day.

This is a book that is full of secrets. Big secrets and little secrets that, as they come to light, will have you questioning every character you meet in this book. Is there anyone you can trust? There were so many times I thought I had figured it out, only to be given a new twist. And the characters themselves inspire so much feeling - throughout the book I despised, sympathized with, questioned, become frustrated with all of them. 

I'm glad I still picked up this book because I did enjoy it and even though I knew a few things I wished I hadn't going into it, I still found it to be an exciting, thrilling read. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for what comes next from this author!


3 comments:

  1. I read this book, too. I think it's overhyped. Riverhead, the publisher, is doing a great marketing job for this book, right down to its very clever cover. But after all this hype, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN disappointed me because I was expecting too much.

    The main character's opinions about people are often based on nothing and are always wrong. A mystery about alcoholic blackouts and figuring out what really happened doesn't appeal to me. Neither does the way every question is answered in the end.

    Yet, even considering this, it's still a three- or four-star book simply because it kept my attention more than books I've rated lower.

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  2. I too have read lots of snippets about the book though I do not know the story at all. Still interested in getting to it as lots of hype regarding this one.

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  3. It is frustrating when you find out spoilers ahead of time but I'm glad it didn't ruin the book for you. This one is really popular at my library and I may read it eventually though I don't usually like it when main characters are unreliable narrators or difficult to like.

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