TITLE: The Girl On The Train
AUTHOR: Paula Hawkins
GENRE: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Crime
RATING: 4/5 Stars
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.
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…
What I Liked:
- Hawkins displays a really good writing talent here. As I said I don't normally get into Crime and Thriller books unless they are something really special, and this one definitely made that category. There were so many fantastic plot twists in this story, and it was fast-paced with some great, heart-pounding action to boot. The murder mystery aspect was so much fun too and actually the conclusion was pretty surprising!
- That ending. It was the best part of the book and was shocking in that I didn't figure out what was happening until right before it happened. In a large portion of these books, they can be pretty easy to figure out in terms of 'whodunnit' and what the story is behind that. This was not easy to figure out. I also really loved the build-up to that ending too, Hawkins did a great job with pacing and writing out the dramatic, adrenaline pumping finale.
- I wrote on Goodreads that the characters in this book were the best and worst aspect of it. I'll write why they were so good to begin with, and it's actually pretty simple: they were human. They came with flaws. The book was written from three female POVs, and in some ways they wee each very strong, while in others they were prone to vices and weakness. While I normally like to root for my characters (I wasn't really rooting for these ladies) it was refreshing that they weren't all 'perfect. Hawkins did a pretty good job of studying human nature here and it was interesting to see how the three women viewed each other as well as themselves.
What I Disliked:
- The characters also fall under this category I'm afraid, mostly because I'm used to a much more 'flawless' POV. Rachel, the titular viewpoint was an alcoholic. But beyond that, she was bland, whiny and full of self-loathing that made her chapters frustrating to get through. The two other POVs consisted of a cheating, damaged woman who refused to admit that her husband was a little controlling, and a home-wrecking former estate agent whose paranoia and bitchy attitude wore on my nerves. These are in no way role model characters, but they were real.
Despite the fact that in some ways this book should have made it to five stars, I chose four because in the end, it's down to reading preference. Hawkins was very clever throughout this book in everything: plot, characters, world development, and certainly the ending. But due to me being me and not enjoying viewpoints where the characters are so self-involved, I couldn't give this such a high rating. There were other minor quibbles: at times the plot slowed and I felt like I was asking more questions than getting answers. This is still a fantastic example of it's genre however and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone, especially those that would like to get into this sort of genre.