BOOK REVIEW: The Girl On The Train – by Paula Hawkins

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Title: The Girl On The Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: January 13th 2015 
Finished reading: August 28th 2015
Pages: 336
Rating 3,5qqq

“It’s ridiculous, when I think about it. How did I find myself here? I wonder where it started, my decline; I wonder at what point I could have halted it. Where did I take the wrong turn?”

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There has been a mayor hype around this book ever since it was published back in January and it already broke all kinds of records. I normally prefer to stay away from overhyped books, mostly because they tend to disappoint me. I was told to start reading The Girl On The Train with low expectations, and that is probably why I was able to enjoy it a lot better than I initially thought. I don’t think it’s actually worth the huge hype around it, but it is still quite an entertaining read. Paula Hawkins uses an unreliable narrator to tell the story and has you guessing for a long time what really happened to Megan. I like the idea of an unreliable narrator, but like with Gone Girl, I didn’t actually like the main characters and I just couldn’t connect to them. The prose is quite easy to read and the many plot twists make you want to continue reading to find out what really happened that day, but I found especially the whole Anna-Rachel scenes really annoying and repetitive. If you like the genre and enjoyed Gone Girl, you will probably love The Girl On The Train as well. Just remember not to set your expectations too high…

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Rachel’s husband left her for another woman after she became depressed and started drinking. To make things worse, the new woman Anna was pregnant; something Rachel has been wanting for years. Her drinking problem is getting out of hand, and she is not sure how long she can go on… Rachel was fired months ago, but still takes the same commuter train every morning to make her flatmate think she goes to work. Every day she travels past the neighborhood she used to live. The train stops at the signal that allows her to see both her old house and that of a couple that seems to have the perfect life. Rachel never met them, but she starts to believe she really knows them. And then she sees something shocking. Even worse, the woman she ‘knows’ as Jess disappears the next day… Rachel wants to tell the cops what she has seen, but will they believe a drunk? And can she truly trust her own memories?

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I had Gone Girl flashbacks while reading The Girl On The Train. For me both books have suffered from the huge hype around them and I don’t think they actually lived up to expectations. I do like the fact that the story has an unreliable narrator, but I wasn’t a fan of the main characters and some of their actions where annoying and repetitive. Rachel has a drinking problem and there is quite a lot of domestic violence included in the story; it’s not exactly a light read. Still, The Girl On The Train is quite a fast read with a lot of plot twists and entertaining enough if you forget about the hype.

WWW Wednesdays #56 – September 9th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Wait, only one book?! It’s been a while since I haven’t started more than one book at a time… But I really want to enjoy Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas without reading other stories in between. So far I’m loving it!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Six finished books since last week, which is quite a decent number.
The first is a travel memoir; Five Weeks In The Amazon by Sean Michael Hayes. I enjoyed the setting and it was nice to learn more about the Ayahuasca ritual. It was a fast read as well, although I did have some problems with it.
I read I Was Here by Gayle Forman next, which was my previous TBR jar pick. It was an interesting read, although I’ve read better books with the same suicide theme.
I continued with Legend by Marie Lu, a series I have been wanting to read for ages. I really enjoyed reading it and I will probably read both sequels soon as well. Still, I felt something was missing to turn it into something mindblowing.
The next book None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio was just as good as people kept promising me. A very interesting topic and beautifully written; definitely recommended!
I then read End Of Days by Susan Ee. I’m still not sure I have been waiting this long to finish this series! I really enjoyed it, although it wasn’t as good as the first two.
The last book on this list is Breakfast At Cannibal Joe’s by Jay Spencer Green, an ARC that was sent to me last week.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The Kill Order by James Dashner is still high on my list, although I will probably try to read Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer first. I was actually going to start it last weekend, but I got my hands on a copy of End Of Days and Queen Of Shadows and I just HAD to read those first. My newest TBR jar pick is The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski; a series I have been looking forward to start, but I’m not sure I will actually be able to read it before I leave…