THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN | Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

 

I’d been seeing raves about The Girl On The Train on my Goodreads feed lately and since some reviews said that this book is comparable to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl ( a favorite read last year), I decided to pocure a copy. I also bullied some friends to read along with me, and thankfully, they readily agreed (I guess my persuasion powers were working that time, hee). We aimed to finish the book in not more than 3 days and I was able to comply. The speed-reading didn’t bother me because the plot was engaging and the mystery kept me reading late into the night.

The premise of this book is that a girl, Rachel, takes the train to commute to and from work. During her routine commute, the train would stop at a particular spot where she would see a couple outside their house having breakfast. She would imagine their lives from afar, she even gave them names, and the story she built about them is so perfect, so utterly different from her own. But then one day, Rachel sees something that would shatter her image of the couple and she eventually became embroiled in a crime that might ruin her own life.

The narratives were written in the first person but relates to 3 different characters. Initially, the timeline and shifting POVs confused me and it was really a chore going back from one chapter to another so that I can catch up with the dates. It was only on the latter parts that I eventually caught up. For the first part of the story, I was instantly curious about Rachel and her life. She was a miserable woman with a drinking problem. Her past was a mystery that kept me going. Megan, the second narrator, was a discontented soul, and she evoked wrongness. The third character in the narrative was a surprise but she was an interesting one, too. All of the women in this story where disturbed individuals who were tangled in a messy life and it just goes to show how different real lives were from what appears on the surface, and in this case, from what appears from the vantage point of a train window.

I was really pulled in by the suspense and it was easy to breeze through the pages. The big reveal, however, did not prove to be so ‘big’ as there was no shock factor anymore. Or maybe I’ve read a lot of mystery/thrillers like this one that my shock senses have somewhat dulled. I was also expecting more action towards the end (actually, I wanted a more severe ending to the antagonist) but all I got was lousy confrontations that were anticlimactic.

The Girl On The Train had a good premise but I would have loved a more powerful ending. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and I didn’t regret those late night readings because a good suspense is a good suspense. Just don’t compare it with Gone Girl, please.

“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts. Who was it that said that following your heart is a good thing? It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.”

 

***

My Rating: 3/5 stars.

Reading buddies: Meliza and Gwaxa

 

 

 

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