The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – Review

The Girl on the Train | Available for Purchase: Amazon.com « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Pages: 325 hardcover
Received Copy: Hardcover, signed copy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

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?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Right before I went to Chicago for ALA Midwinter in 2015, I had seen some buzz about The Girl on the Train, even word that Stephen King had given some praise and as someone who has written some amazing thrillers and horror stories I definitely made sure I wanted to keep my eye out for it. Turns out, Paula Hawkins was signing at ALAMW and I stood in-line for a meet-and-greet and grabbed my signed copy. It then sat on my shelf forever because I’m such a procrastinator when it comes to good buzzed books. I usually know I’ll read it fast so I keep the anticipation higher by setting it aside.

A few weeks ago The Girl on the Train had released a teaser trailer and I thought oh boy, time to read it to avoid spoilers! [currently trying that for Me Before You as well as failing horribly with The Martian aka I saw the film before I even got a quarter through the book] I finally grabbed the book off the shelf and dove straight in. OVERALL, I did enjoy the book–I usually tend to do this thing where I’m fresh-faced after finishing the book and think, that felt like a bit of a masterpiece (this wasn’t but this situation has happened before) and then I start reading comments/reviews on Goodreads after I’ve marked it Read and I start realizing all the plot holes I blew by just to finish it. Whoops. The story was definitely appealing, I can always find a way to sink into a well-written mystery for sure and reading about a murder and having a who-dun-it scenario always keeps me on my toes like the detectives or the accused.

For this story there are so many annoying characters and there are so many suspects that I couldn’t keep track. I think with 100 pages left to the story, there was this one bit of description and dialogue that put things into place and I ended up figuring out a good majority of the reveal. That’s not to say that this book didn’t hold my interest because it did.

The novel has multiple points of view switching every now and again, usually I despise this in a book but it also switched time periods–going a few months and years back, so it wasn’t too bad. The points of view switch end up setting up all of the scenes from different angles–I felt like I could see the picture Paula was trying to paint, so to speak. Also funnily enough this novel is based on irritating main characters so you really never get too attached to any individual. There were some relatable characteristics but in general I was swept away by trying to figure out the mystery and help piece together what main character Rachel was trying to figure out as well.

If you’re looking for a good beach read or just in the mood for a page turner I would definitely recommend it. I think I read somewhere the book is very Gone Girl meets Read Window so I would check it out if that’s your thing👍

Trailer Review:

I wanted to give you a little trailer review as well because that was the whole reason why I finally picked the book off my shelf to read 🙂

  • Really disappointed this story isn’t set in the London suburbs like the plot originally is. We didn’t need an American adaptation. This also, aesthetically doesn’t look right because the houses are close together in a neighborhood close to the train, aiding Rachel to witness Megan and Scott’s lives
  • Emily Blunt also looks nothing like what Rachel is described as: a bit overweight from her binge-drinking and lack of regard for healthy living and the deterioration of her marriage, meanwhile this is not even remotely what Emily looks like
  • This teaser gives A LOT away if you’ve read the story so…spoilers
  • This music also misconstrues what the audience is seeing–but again, if you’ve read it, you can pick up on that