The Girl On The Train: Book Review

I bought this after hearing a lot of good things about it last year and I thought for £4 why not? If I like it then it’s £4 well spent and if I find it to be lacking then it’s only £4 wasted. Honestly, I didn’t know much about the plot apart from the fact it was a psychological thriller and there was a girl on a train. I actually assumed more stuff happened on the train and although I understand how that was an important part to the story, I feel like it was a little misleading

The way the story jumped from different points of view was an interesting plot device and a little different, although it took longer than I care to admit to realise that the timelines didn’t match up, but it’s not something that I’ve not read before. The main character, Rachel, is quickly portrayed as an unreliable narrator due to her alcoholism. She is noted to have regular black outs from the amount of alcohol she consumes and this is later used as an important facet within the story. We’re left wondering what actually happened on the night of Megan’s disappearance and did Rachel have anything to do with it?

Personally, I found this to be a little too drawn out. I understand it was a necessary for the big reveal at the end of the story but it’s convoluted roundabout way of explaining itself became a little annoying and reminded me of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (another book I had major issues with but that’s a different story).  The author, Paula Hawkins, tries to keep the reader guessing as to what really happened to Megan by adding little snippets of different personality traits along the way. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have worked out as well she may have hoped. A whodunnit story that’s unravelled before even half the book is through tends to become a little less than satisfying as your thoughts are confirmed.

I found it really difficult to get into this book. None of the characters shown held my interest and the main characters were less than endearing, why would I care what happened to any of them when they didn’t seem to care themselves? I found myself wanting Rachel to sort her life out and stop moping over her awful ex-husband, but I didn’t like her. I wanted her to change her ways because she annoyed me, I honestly could not get on with her characterisation. I had little sympathy for her as she didn’t seem to have any self-respect. I mean, seriously, why would you continue to hound an ex who cheated on you two years previously? I get if it had bee more recent but you really need to have a moment of re-evaluation at that length of time.

I think my main problem with the book was that Paula tried too hard to get the readers to second guess their original assumptions of what had done it, and all she managed to achieve, in my eyes, was a set of characters that created no sympathy or empathetic feelings. If it hadn’t been the only book I had on my train journey I’m not sure that I would have even bothered finishing it. It does make me question why so many people seemed to have enjoyed it or why it was optioned for a film. The overall idea behind it was okay but I feel like it could have been played out so much better.

I don’t know if I will go to see the film, but if I decide to I won’t be holding out much hope for it.

Hasta la fuego

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy Watching Jessica Jones

2 Replies to “The Girl On The Train: Book Review”

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