Book Review: The Girl On The Train By Paula Hawkins

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When I first heard about this book, it was on a list of things worth reading by my beloved Stephen King. A friend of mine read it based on the same list and she wasn’t impressed, but for some reason (the original cover art to be honest) made me want to read it anyway. I didn’t know much about the plot or any of that, but I saw it was going to be hitting movie theaters soon. That pushed me into grabbing it as soon as possible. Do not misunderstand…I didn’t want to read it first so I could then see the movie. I am an avid believer that in 95% of cases, you should run as far as you can from movie adaptations.

I didn’t know much about the plot or any of that, but I saw it was going to be hitting movie theaters soon. That pushed me into grabbing it as soon as possible. Do not misunderstand…I didn’t want to read it first so I could then see the movie. I am an avid supporter that in 95% of cases, you should run as far as you can from movie adaptations.

Anywho, I got the book (with the damned movie cover) and read the whole thing in a day. I freaking loved it.

Going to start by saying that this book has been compared to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I disagree. I hated that book with the fires I save primarily for the Twilight series…that particular hatred I don’t often like to share with any other books.

The Girl On The Train starts with the girl on the train, literally, called Rachel. She has some issues. She’s a drunk, she’s heartbroken, she lives somewhat in a fantasy world of her own. This is a mystery and I absolutely do not want to give anything away, so I’ll be vague here. Rachel needs a purpose in her life and in trying to find that purpose, or create it, she puts herself in the middle of not only her fantasy world, but into police matters and worse as the story unfolds.

There was so much of Rachel that resonated with me. If you’ve read this, you’re probably thinking that I’m an alcoholic neurotic, but that’s not what I mean. Again I will be vague, but I have lived most of her heartbreak…ok, all of it and though I’m not an alcoholic (I developed acute anxiety problems and became further obsessive compulsive), I can see how someone would turn toward substance abuse to escape. Faults and all, I really loved Rachel.

The story is told from the point of view of three women in a kind of mental diary sort of fashion where they account for the goings on of their morning and evening of given days. These snippets into these women’s lives and thoughts are what carries the reader along and I think it worked beautifully. You get to see the “character flaws” if you will of these women that you wouldn’t see if the author had chosen another approach. The self-criticism made these characters relatable to me even though I don’t share all their feelings and experiences.

Some reviews I have seen have said this back and forth between characters is what made the development weak and the characters feel distant. Only the reader can decide and no two readers are alike in their appreciation to reading, so all due respect to all differing opinions. I, however, thought it worked and the style kept me turning the pages till one o’clock in the morning.

Have you read this book yet? Thoughts? Did the author’s style work for you and why or why not? I am always fascinated to hear others opinions on books I have enjoyed or didn’t enjoy so much.