Title: The Girl On The Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Age group: 17 + | Adult Fiction
Not to be compared to Gone Girl or The Dragon Tattoo series, The Girl On The Train is clearly running on it’s own track with an innovative plot.
Though in all honesty, parts of The Girl On The Train were a bit of a train wreck for me. Particularly the main character. It is an action/thriller/mystery filled with many uncertainties. The book was narrated by three different women; which if you aren’t careful in paying attention, you’ll forget who is telling the story.
The main narrator, Rachel, seemed to be flighty and untrustworthy as a character. She is overweight, unemployed, divorced, depressed, and paranoid. She actually got on my nerves in several scenes, mostly because she is drunk. Her life is full of lies and made up fantasies that would make any reader ask themselves questions and wonder why? Why does she behave the why she does.
Rachel even pretends she still works in her London PR job and sticks to her commuting schedule despite having been fired. She lurks and stalks her ex-husband, Tom, and his new family with Anna, who is our second narrator. Rachel’s life is so messed up that she even makes up a life for Tom and Anna’s neighbor, Megan and Scott, which their home conveniently runs by the train stop that Rachel takes.
Rachel doesn’t even remember what happens to her when she is loaded on alcohol, especially on one particular night that Megan (the third narrator) disappears. I had a very difficult time having sympathy for Rachel. In a few scenes, she was just over-the-top annoying. Until finally towards the end when she takes action.
The ending will grip you. It’s what a thriller ending is suppose to do right? It’s very addictive to keep reading. I found myself staying up until 1am in the morning just to finish up the last four chapters. I was even tempted to skip to the last chapter to find out what happened just so I could end my misery.
Overall, my review of the book was mixed. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride. I found myself wanting to get off, but stuck through it until the end because of curiosity. The plot was carefully constructed and smartly written. Don’t let the character flaws detract you from the plot because you will definitely feel the frustration.
I read The Girl On The Train has been optioned and will be made into a movie. I’m not surprised. It had all the makings of a movie. Debut novelist Paula Hawkins did a great job creating Rachel’s world and maneuvering every character into the right place for the big reveal at the conclusion. It’s not easy for a writer to create a likable character, but Paula Hawkins somehow succeeded this towards the very end.
out of a total of 5 stars.