Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Audio Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins book cover and review
If you require characters that you can love, then The Girl on the Train is not the book for you. The characters are all pretty much despicable. And if you can't handle cheating, then stay away from this one. Other than that, The Girl on the Train is a great read.

Rachel is The Girl on the Train. She rides the train to work every day, passing by the house she used to live in with her husband, Tom. He still lives there with his new wife, Anna, who he dumped Rachel for. And they have a new baby. Talk about painful. Rachel deals with this pain by drinking. A lot.

Rachel becomes interested in a house just down the road from her old house where another young couple lives. She names them "Jess and Jason." And they seem to have the most perfect, loving relationship. "Jess," whose real name is Megan, takes care of Anna's child. Megan does not have the perfect life, as Rachel thinks. Megan has lost the art gallery she used to run and now has nothing to do with her days except mope around.

Rachel sees something shocking from the train and after someone disappears, she goes to the police with the information. But she's been drunk so many times, she can't even be sure of what she's telling the police, and they don't believe much of what she says.

Hawkins weaves an intricate web around these five people. They become intertwined, unwillingly, in unexpected ways. These characters are awful. The more we learn about them, the more we loath. I get that they are unhappy for different reasons, in different ways. But jees. Do something for yourselves instead of complaining. I think the story takes a while to get going, but when I'm listening I tend to be more patient with a slow-building plot.

I did suspect (not right away) who the bad person was (well, they were all bad, but I mean the perpetrator.) That didn't take away from the fascination I felt while watching this all play out. The Girl on the Train has been compared to Gone Girl, and while it did have the contemptible characters, it's a different story.

If you are a fan of the twisted who-done-it, (as long as you can handle the characterizations and subject matter) then you should definitely pick up The Girl on the Train. Teens should like this one too.

Published by Riverhead Books, January 13, 2015
Audiobook obtained from the library
336 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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  1. I agree -- the characters are not at all likable. Still, I loved the psychological suspense of this one. I was never quite sure what was real and not -- I enjoyed the mind-twist. Glad you did as well.

  2. As you know I had the complete opposite reaction to this book. It's definitely not have been in my favorites of this year. I didn't feel like I was in suspense and I guessed what happened pretty early on. I'm glad you enjoyed it though.


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