4 star

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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…

I know I’m pretty late to the game on this one, as there’s a movie out for it and everything already. However, if you haven’t read it already, I can definitely recommend it! It’s been on my TBR for so long and I’m glad to have finally gotten around to it. It didn’t disappoint! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I enjoyed this one.

The Girl on the Train revolves around a few of the characters in the thriller. A lot of it takes place in Rachel’s POV who is probably the closest thing to our protagonist, though I struggle to really say that she is. Nevertheless we mostly follow her storyline as she watches a house day by day on her commute on the train; longing after a life she once had as she watches a couple from the train every day.

The characters in this book were all so frustratingly imperfect. Each time I wish they would make some good decisions, but they wouldn’t. I think all in all that speaks to the author’s prowess at creating these characters that you can’t help but root for, or at least wish the best, and then have that all crumbling down around you all the time. It truly made for a frustrating yet impressive experience of impending dread.

The plot was overall pretty good. The suspense was definitely excellent (paired with the dread) and I certainly found the elements to be engaging and intriguing. While most of the elements were nothing very surprising, I felt that the devices that were used to be executed well. Classic tropes and tricks used in the thriller genre were used well, and there’s nothing I can fault about that! It’s well written in that sense.

The ending was not the most impressive but neither was it a let down. I felt that it was an appropriate culmination of all that had happened, and felt that everything was spun together well and it all made sense. Overall it was quite a thrilling read and I do recommend it. Just don’t read it thinking there are some crazy twists and turns throwing you off your chair. If you’re looking for a somewhat creepy thriller full of paranoia, then this is the one for you!

Overall Recommendations

The Girl on the Train revolves mostly around our protagonist, Rachel, who isn’t the most reliable in her memory. Every day on the train she passes by a couple who she has named in her head, and is envious of their seemingly idyllic life. Having her own dark past, she longs for what she no longer has. This thriller doesn’t have the most twists and turns, but it will certainly keep you at the edge of the seat with dread and paranoia, if you haven’t read it or watched the movie already!


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