Girl on the Train: A Novel, The
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 lifeas she sees itis 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.
Reviewed: 2019-02-06This review may contain a few minor spoilers.
Eeehm... It just wasn't what I expected it to be. The blurb gave me a hitchcock - rear window feeling and I was ready to start the next big mystery thriller book.
However, what I got was nothing like it. The story is filled with miserable people doing even more miserable things.
Rachel takes the train every day and watches the houses she passes. When the woman of her 'favorite couple', Megan, goes missing, she goes to the police with some information only she has.
It sounded interesting enough, but Rachel is not a great MC. She's an alcoholic and I didn't hugely enjoy being in her head.
The story is told from the first person and you follow the perspectives of 3 women, Rachel, Megan and Anna (The new wife of Rachels ex husband Tom). On top of that, you only get bits of the story in the morning and the evening. Also, the timelines of characters aren't always aligned.
I won't give away anything else of the story, since that's really the only reason to finish the book. I will say that nothing really happened up until about the last 15% of the book and then everything happened really fast and.. not really logical when you take in what you know about all the relationships in this book. The 'shocking' thing she witnesses isn't really shocking at all and I thought it was pretty obvious who the killer was.
All in All, I didn't love all the endless misery, the non-action, I didn't like the way the action that was there was done, I wasn't suprised and there were no likeable characters. I think I'm going to keep this one at 2 stars.
Edit 2018: I keep thinking back to this book and how much I hated it. I think I'm changing the rating to 1 star. I normally never do that. But this still remains one of the worst books I've read and I just don't feel it deserves the 2 stars compared to some other 2 star reads.
Reviewed: 2018-12-26This was a pretty intense book.
The protagonist is hard to like and, for me, hard to sympathize with. I am queen of escapism but self destruction is hard for me to understand. There were aspects of her (unable to let go and lost at being alone after she had decided on her future life) that I very much understood. Even with that, I didn't like her.
The story itself is fairly fast. The plot rolls along and the only introspective moments reveal more of what happened so they are ok. I had some trouble putting the book down once it got rolling, so beware!
Reviewed: 2018-06-03I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book. The writing and story were super good, and the characters and their development over the course of the story were top-notch. I highly recommend The Girl on the Train.
Reviewed: 2017-12-07Initial Impressions 10/29/16: After much anticipation, I finally picked up The Girl on the Train! I totally see the Gone Girl comparison but I also liked that the book did go in a very different direction. It was really interesting to see the many unreliable narrators (always a fan) and I was always kept on my toes because I was never quite sure who or what to believe. That does create a problem sometimes because I love these sorts of thrillers so I always start to form some wild accusation in my head, sometimes which I like better than the actual book, but I guess not all books can have endings so wild because otherwise it'd be really played out!
I really couldn't put this book down. I was so interested and hooked and I loved the mystery and suspense of it all. The ending was good and actually not what I expected BUT I also didn't quite love it. I enjoyed that it wasn't what I expected but I felt after that whole book that it lost a little excitement towards the reveal and I really wasn't a fan of the villain speech to reveal it all.
Full review as orginally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 12/9/16: After much anticipation, I finally picked up THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN! I totally see the GONE GIRL comparison but I also liked that the book did go in a very different direction. There are so many thrillers nowadays that compare to big titles and they’re big shoes to fill! I wasn’t as blown away by GONE GIRL as some but I did enjoy the many twists and not knowing what to expect. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN had that same sort of feel but the ending actually felt a bit more predictable.
It was really interesting to see the many unreliable narrators in this book (always a fan) and I was always kept on my toes because I was never quite sure who or what to believe! That does create a problem sometimes because I love these sorts of thrillers so I always start to form some wild accusation in my head, and sometimes I like my theories better than the actual book. Not all books can have endings so wild, though, because otherwise it’d be really played out and we’d all expect twists all the time and be able to guess them all! THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN still had a nice twist at the end, mostly putting all the pieces together, but it wasn’t as twisty as I anticipated. I enjoyed that it wasn’t what I expected but I felt after that whole book that it lost a little excitement towards the reveal and I really wasn’t a fan of the villain speech to reveal it all.
I wasn’t super duper in love with the book and yet I really couldn’t put this book down. I was so interested and hooked and I loved the mystery and suspense of it all. The unreliable narrators were great and I actually really enjoyed the writing style, with different POV switches as well as those POVs taking place at different points in time. It was really interesting to see it all come together in the end and I actually appreciate that the narrators were unreliable but in a very realistic and somewhat relatable way.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a very solid mystery and thriller and I can see why it captivated so many people! It really is a great GONE GIRL comparison and it allows readers to step into a relatable role and still distance themselves from these specific experiences. I’m really glad I finally read it!
Reviewed: 2017-12-01I started reading this book (and stalled) at least three times. The release of the movie with Alison Janney convinced me to finish it. (I love Alison Janney) All in all, it's a good story. I didn't figure out who the evil doer was until at least three quarters of the way through. I'm glad I finally read it. But, it has two main problems.
First is Rachel. She is the lead off main voice of the book. And, she's a drunk who does a lot of stupid, cringeworthy stuff. And, she is probably the root of the reason I couldn't get started with this book. I tend to empathize with the characters. And, I found it hard to put myself in Rachel's shoes. She kept doing stuff that made me need to turn away and not look. Hence, I kept putting the book down.
The second flaw is that it drags on a bit. Did she do it? Didn't she? Rachel does something drunk and stupid and we start to wonder all over again. I think a good 5 or 6 chapters could have been trimmed. Near the end, I just wanted it over with.
Reviewed: 2017-11-02Despite the fact that there wasn't one likable character in this story, it still draws you in. The main character, Rachel, we discover has a lot of problems. She's recently divorced but she was drinking even before that. She's lost her job but because she's living in a room she rents from an old acquaintance, she gets up and takes the train in to London every day as if she's still working.
The one bright spot in her commute is when the train stops each day and she gets a look into her old neighborhood. There's the perfect couple she sees often when the train stops for that short time. She's dubbed them Jason and Jess. They seem so perfect, so in love. Until one day when Rachel sees Jess with another man.
The trouble with Rachel is that her drinking is causing blackouts and she can't remember what she's seen or done during that time. She's prone to apologizing for her unknown behavior before she even knows what she's done. Is there a way she can recall what really happened when Jess goes missing.
A winding and twisting tale to keep you guessing. The ending satisfied me.
Reviewed: 2017-08-29Book Description The #1 New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year, now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. Don't miss Paula Hawkins' new novel, Into the Water, coming May 2017. The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives. "Nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train."--Vanity Fair "The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl. . . . [It] is liable to draw a large, bedazzled readership."--The New York Times "Marries movie noir with novelistic trickery. . . hang on tight. You'll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend."--USA Today "Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages."--The Boston Globe "Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller."--People EVERY DAY THE SAME 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. 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. 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?
Superficial characters. Predictable plot. The author used a template for a commercial novel and tried to recreate Gone Girl. Only finished it because I bought it in hardback.
Reviewed: 2016-06-24I won a copy of this from a Shelf Awareness giveaway, and received my e-ARC from Netgalley. I entered simply because I liked the style of the cover. I had not read the description of the book, and had no idea what I would be reading if I won... but I'm glad that I went for it.
I can definitely see the comparisons drawn between The Girl On The Train and Gone Girl and Before I Go To Sleep now that I've finished. (I haven't yet read The Silent Wife, so I can't talk about that one.) It's almost as if this book is looking up to those others, and I think that TGOTT had a similar feel to them, but in the end was just a little unsure of which one it wanted to be when it grew up.
I can see the comparisons, but I can't say that TGOTT quite reached the levels of either as far as the thriller aspect went. I actually enjoyed the build up of the book much more than the resolution. I had guessed early on about certain aspects, and was right, so in that I found the outcome a little predictable - but GETTING there was enjoyable. I never quite knew who to trust or what I should be looking for, but it came around in the end to where I thought it might, if that makes sense. Though I will say that the ending and resolution did feel a bit rushed, and didn't QUITE fit the build-up and characters as we knew them. Certain conclusions and judgements were
But, I did like reading about the main cast of characters, and I could identify with each of them, in a way. I didn't actually LIKE any of them though. These are messy, chaotic, trainwrecks (see what I did there?) and their lives made me cringe. But, at the same time, I felt like Rachel, our titular girl on the train, because I couldn't help watching and filling in their gaps and thinking about them.
I loved the insight into Rachel's struggles with depression and alcoholism, and felt that this was the most realistic of the 'character issues' depicted in the book - and everyone had some, believe me.
I also liked how this story was told from three different women's perspectives, as well as flashbacks. It seems like it should be confusing, but it wasn't. It just worked.
All in all, I liked this story, though I think that it could use just a tiny bit more polish to make it shine. If this was Hawkins' debut, then I think she's one to watch.
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