the girl on the train; a review

The Girl on the Train, By Paul Hawkins. Click on the photo to follow's Instagram!

The Girl on the Train, By Paul Hawkins. Click on the photo to follow’s Instagram!

Book 35 of 2016

I know, I know: I’m so behind the times! I read the The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins before the movie came out, but just before. (Not that it mattered; I still haven’t seen the film!) The reason I waited so long to read to novel was because I had friends tell me that they found the book to be a difficult read because there weren’t any likable characters in it, and I completely understand that perspective after reading it. I had other friends mention that the writing wasn’t great, and I could also see what they were saying, although I tend to enjoy stream of consciousness narratives (that’s probably why my favorite book of all-time is The Catcher in the Rye).

Since you all have probably read review after review of this book, I will keep my own thoughts short and sweet.

Firstly, I listened to this book as an audiobook. (Call me a cheater, call me whatever you want! I was on maternity leave when I read it and was in the car/walking with a sleeping baby a lot of the time!) Listening to this novel made the story eerily realistic: the sounds, the voices, the long pauses. Let’s just say that I became so obsessed with listening to this story come to life that I even had my headphones in my ears while I was washing dishes at night. And while I ended up getting utterly annoyed and ‘creeped out’ with most of the characters, I couldn’t help my listening addiction. Great job, narrators!

Secondly, yes, some of the book dragged on at times. Stream of consciousness writing can do that to a story, and there were a few things that could have been edited out. But overall, I was captivated and entertained. Isn’t that how books are supposed to make you feel?

Lastly, I would recommend this book to fans of thrillers. It is dark, edgy and is a different type of thriller than I am used to reading. How? It’s different because the main character didn’t know if she was innocent or not, which makes me, as a reader, terrified for what I could find out as each chapter continued. I grew frustrated with the protagonist because she often resorted to drinking (it was realistic; she was an alcoholic), and that also kept me on edge. I just wanted to scream, “Think, Rachel, think!” I felt like I was watching a realistic horror story unravel, and my hands were tied because I couldn’t do anything about it, and I didn’t know how it was going to end… until I actually guessed the ending. But don’t worry, guessing didn’t ruin it for me! And I doubt it will for you either.

What did you think of The Girl on the Train? Does the movie compare? Is the film worth watching?

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