The Girl on the Train – Review

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Goodreads rating: 3.88 stars
My rating: 5 stars

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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 goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

-Spoiler free review-

This is actually the first thriller/mystery book I’ve read (all the way through), and I’m really impressed! I definitely want to read more if I can find anything similar to this. (Recommendations are always appreciated)

There are three sets of POVs, and what’s really interesting is that one of the POVs is from the missing character that the mystery surrounds, but written in the past (before she went missing), and the other two are written in the ‘present’. The stories of all the characters come together at the end, culminating in such a tense ending! The use of different POVs also helps build up character relationships, as everyone is connected.

The characters and relationships were complex and, like I said, interlinked, which gave the novel a satisfying denouement once everything came to an exciting climax. This is quite impressive considering it’s a standalone. All three protagonists were extremely problematic, and yet they embody such relatable human emotions. Jealousy, pride, addiction, desire. Their experiences of these are simply heightened so they seem out of the ordinary, but I still appreciated how somewhat realistic they were… even if I hated two of them and got frustrated at the other.

The storyline was fairly unpredictable, although I suppose since I’m new to this genre it might not have been as unpredictable to others. All of the hints were there, but all sorts of red herrings threw me completely off track, and once the real culprit was revealed, I was shocked to say the least.

I don’t have many complaints about The Girl on the Train, except that it took me a while to get into it, as the beginning was quite slow, but to be fair the scene needed to be set. The writing style wasn’t my favourite either; a little too simplistic for my tastes, but I feel like it suited the storyline and setting fairly well.

Unfortunately I missed seeing the film at the cinema, but I think it comes out on DVD later this month! I’m really excited to see it, especially because it stars Emily Blunt. If anyone has seen the film, is it a true representation of the book?


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