The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins has been one of the most talked about books since it was released. I initially requested the audiobook through the library when the book first came out. I began listening to it, but, due to the changing POVs, I found it difficult to follow as an audiobook. So, I sent it back. A year goes by and I finally requested the hardcover of the book through the library. But, I had several other books out at the time, as well as reviews due on my blog, so I didn’t get the chance to read it before it was due. Since then, my aunt and my sister-in-law both said they loved it and I had to read it. My sister-in-law gave me her copy to read, and I finally buckled down and started reading it.
Rachel is just a girl on a train. She is an alcoholic, and, as she rides the train each day, she makes up stories about the lives of a couple that lives along the train tracks. She calls them Jason and Jess, and believes they have the perfect life. Until one day, she sees something that changes everything about her perception…and has her telling the police what she saw. What follows is the story, told in varying viewpoints, sometimes current and sometimes in the past.
I wanted to be blown away by this book. I wanted to have that incredible angst that kept me up past my bedtime, needing to know what happened. I found the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the book sort of difficult to get into. (This happened to me with Gone Girl as well.) There wasn’t anything that reached out and grabbed me. The story was sad but interesting and I kept reading. The characters are hard to like, which makes it hard to feel something for them.
About 2/3 of the way through the book, something finally clicked. I thought I had figured it out, but I hadn’t. It was at this point that I really zoomed through the book, anxious to see how the story played out. The book felt grittier for the last third of it and it held my attention. I feel like I would have liked the story more, and rated it higher, if I hadn’t just read a phenomenal psychological thriller: Behind Closed Doors. That book absolutely blew my mind and really set the bar for psychological thrillers for me. Maybe if I had read The Girl on the Train when it first came out, I would have enjoyed it a bit more. However, 3 stars isn’t a bad rating. I’m glad I read the book and I am looking forward to the movie adaptation.
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