Book Reviews, To My Reader

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

23347055Published: January 15th 2015 by Doubleday.

Format: Paperback, 316 pg.

Goodreads Summary:  EVERYDAY THE SAME. 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.

UNTIL TODAY. 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. 

Thoughts: The Girl on the Train has been on the New York Times best seller list for the better part of a year and continues to take the world by storm. This crime mystery was recently named, “Goodreads Best Book of the Year 2015” in the mystery thriller category. As an avid reader I wasn’t going to end the year without reading this one. Unfortunately, I found myself extremely disappointed. I was told this book was similar to another popular work of fiction, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I’m not sure what I was thinking considering I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and read that one. Anyway, I had higher hopes for Paula Hawkins.

The story follows a woman named Rachel who has lost everything she loved and this misfortune has driven her to drown her sorrows in alcohol. Regardless of how poorly she’s been treated by her ex husband Tom, Rachel still finds herself drawn to him. I felt bad for her as she watched her ex love another woman and have the child she always hoped would be hers. But as the story went on I couldn’t stand her disgusting drinking habits that seemed to get her into more trouble then it was worth. The only joy left in this woman’s life is fantasizing about Jess and Janson’s perfect marriage. It wasn’t long before this dream shattered too.

“I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.”

Easily the most intriguing part of the novel was the writing. Paula Hawkins has an uncanny way of forming her sentences. She is able to create such vivid pictures and her descriptions will get you to keep reading. The book is structured using a three person point of view. Through the perspective of the novel’s three women, the mystery begins to unfold. I also enjoyed reading through the eyes of narrators that I personally found to be unreliable, each in their own special way.

The Girl on the Train is a thriller that captivates the reader entirely through its characters, and although the plot falls flat for me I enjoyed the writing a lot. The author is able to handle topics of infidelity, addiction, and, death with ease. However, I fail to see why this novel became so popular in the first place. It’s definitely worth the read, but the plot itself is predictable.

Let me know what you think. Happy New Year everyone!

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