Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins
published: Riverhead Books, 2015
pages: 336

Rachel takes the same train everyday and she passes by the same nice suburban houses and families.  She's even given names to some of the people she see regularly.  They remind her of the life she once had.  But what happens when those people become more than just passing glances in her life?  Rachel see something shocking and decides to go to the police with the information.  But in her attempt to do good could she possibly be making things worse not only for them, but for her as well?

One of the reasons this book is so suspenseful is that the narrators are all unreliable.  You never know if what they are telling you is true or how that truth is distorted.  None of them have the whole truth.  The reader gets the whole truth only because we are allowed to draw conclusions from three different points of view.  I loved that you couldn't trust anyone.  That's one of my favorite things about this book.

It was, however, a relatively slow read for me.  I felt like there was a quite a bit of slog before the action really hit.  For about two thirds of the book I was wondering when we would hit the main action of the book.  This was the biggest let down for me.  I would have liked to see the action hit a bit sooner in the story.  I love slow burn novels and tension building but it was almost too slow.  I was hooked just enough to need to finish to find out "who done it".

The characters kept me going.  I really enjoyed the different character perspectives and learning information through their perspectives.  I loved not being told specific characteristics about the characters but rather figuring out aspects of their life based on their actions and interactions with other people.  There's nothing more satisfying when the gears start to click in place and you realize that one of the characters has a problem and another isn't being honest with themselves. (This is really vague because I didn't want to give out specific examples.  That would ruin the fun for others.)

Overall, Paula Hawkins has an incredibly suspenseful novel that will capture the attention of those that love a good psychological thriller.

Stars: 3.5/5


"Like the train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages."
     --The Boston Globe

"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

"Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller."

1 comment:

  1. I just finished this not too long ago and I really enjoyed it.

    You can see my review here: