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?”

myrambles1review

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…

shortsummary1review

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.

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19 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Girl On The Train – by Paula Hawkins

    • Good to hear I wasn’t the only one with similar feelings. I will have to probably reread Gone Girl at some point, because I mostly remember being disappointed by it (too high expectations).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Understandable, though do you think that re-reading it, knowing how it ends, will just make it seem even more underwhelming for you? I only ask because I think that would be my reaction, the impact of everything wouldn’t be the same and if it didn’t wow you initially, I don’t think you’d enjoy it more the second time with the “twists” already revealed?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, you are probably right. The thing with books with many plot twists is that part of the surprise is spoiled when you read it a second time… Maybe I should wait for a while and see if I can forget about the details, who knows? Although I normally start remembering details as soon as I begin reading, even after years.

        Liked by 1 person

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  5. I could not agree with you more! Your review sums up my feelings exactly. It was okay, I was entertained enough to keep reading. But it wasn’t amazing and definitely not worth the hype. I’m glad you still enjoyed it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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