Paula Hawkins is a former journalist who was reporting on business. She turned to writing in 2009, when she wrote a bit of romantic comedy fiction under the pen name Amy Silver. But she got a commercial breakthrough once she turned to darker literature – The Girl on the Train was first published in 2015 and became an instant success. This month a film, starring Emily Blunt, Luke Evans and others, came out just showing that, if a book is successful, the film will happen instantly.
The Girl on the Train is a mystery thriller about Rachel, who has lost her job, her family and her home, all she has is her fantasies about a couple she passes every day on the train. Until one day something shatters her view of these strangers and makes Rachel believe that she has actually played a role in a terrifying event that included Megan and Scott.
First of all I have to say that this book was nothing at all what I expected. Based on the huge popularity of the book, I thought that I will like it, maybe even love it, but it was just a meh for me and I have trouble seeing why people would say that it was amazing.
The characters seemed broken in weird psychological ways, which made it quite impossible to like them (can’t even speak of relating to them). Besides the way they acted very often was not logical at all and seemed like the author took the short way out of a problem or into a problem, because let’s be honest, getting drunk and doing something that will drive the plot forward, is not a very good way to develop the story, especially if it happens more then once and includes some very convenient blackouts. I didn’t like any of the characters and I didn’t like the way story was pushed forward.
The writing didn’t seem to be anything special really. I sometimes noticed bits that I disliked or some repetitiveness, but really, nothing worth pointing out, because it was just fine. Nothing brilliant, but there’s definitely worse work out there. I did however hate the fact that in some parts of the book (like train), it wasn’t clear what exactly is happening and if the author is keeping to her plan (like the direction of the train and exact place where’s Tom’s house and where’s Scott’s house), it seemed jumbled up and besides that I noticed a couple more plot holes there as well.
I find it also hard to believe all the things that were described to happen on the train. I read the the author lives in South London, which generally has a bad train service, which could explain a couple of descriptions… But the protagonist doesn’t live there and my train experiences have been completely different than the one’s described in the book.
I generally like mysteries and thrillers where I can work my mind and think about the one at fault, but I didn’t like this one. It seemed dragged out to me, predictable and with insufficient base to make a story out of. I am disappointed, but at the same time, I want to see the film, because I adore Emily Blunt and perhaps on screen it will all look different to me and I will actually like it.
This book received two stars from me, because it was interesting, but had a lot of things that did not agree with my taste and the length seemed too much for me (although it is a fairly small book). It’s really hard to say to whom I would like to suggest this book, because there doesn’t seem to be any logic in who is liking it and who isn’t. So give it a try and let me know, how and why you liked or disliked the book and/or the film!
Hope you enjoyed my review and as I already mentioned on twitter, I’m going on holiday next Tuesday, so light and easy plane read suggestions are welcome. Cheerio!