Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

3.5 of 5 stars

Book Details:

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them.

Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough.

Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train...

Book Review: 

Psychological thrillers are my current favorite genre, and have been for a while now. The Girl on the Train is a new addition to my list of books I like in this category.
I kept seeing the movie in my suggestions on Netflix, and I always try to read the book before I watch the movie. I genuinely do prefer the book to the movie most times, and it's true even for this one.

It is quite unputdownable, so to speak, but the story doesn't stay with you. When I read the book, it was very interesting and drew me in. I finished this book in a matter of days. The two different timelines were quite interesting, which is a theme I've been seeing a lot of lately, like in Dark Places and The Girl Before. Coincidentally, those were the first two books I reviewed on my podcast, but I digress.

It's been highly lauded and appreciated, but it didn't feel that way to me. I still do like the book, but it isn't superlative. Certainly not Gillian Flynn levels. The story in itself is interesting. Our alcoholic unreliable narrator is often unaware of what has transpired, and a good part of the present day narrative is her trying to figure out what is true and what she's imagining. She hits a few dead ends, encounters a few misleading clues, and combats her alcohol dependency. At the end, of course, Rachel does figure it out, but people do tend to make it difficult for her to do her covert research, and most people don't even believe the things she says or discovers.

She rises above it all, and discovers a new side to herself in the process. It is in enjoyable book, but not an unforgettable one. Good for a one-time read.