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Book Review: The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins

Title: The Girl On The Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Date Published: January 13th, 2015
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Source: Audible
Length: 336 pages, 10 hours and 59 minutes on audiobook
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Goodreads | Shelfari | Audible


A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.


 My Thoughts:
This was a decent read, I think.  It was a murder mystery, it had some suspenseful moments, it was certainly interesting.  The plot twist wasn't too surprising but was still pretty good, and there seemed to be a whole lot of depth and complexity to the characters.
But...
I really didn't like the characters.  Any of them.  The only one I had an inkling of sympathy for was Kamal Abdic.  I can never fully enjoy books with extremely flawed characters.  And these characters are very, very flawed.  It's a little too pessimistic for me, and I ended up not caring what happened to anyone.  I just wanted the mystery resolved so I could finish it.
I won't deny that the book was reasonably well-written, but I couldn't love it.  I need to like some of the characters in a story, and if I can't like anyone, I have to at least enjoy some positive aspect of the plot.  This story was dark, negative, and sad, with depressing plot points and protagonists that keep on making frustrating mistakes.  I can't say that I hated it; it doesn't deserve a low rating because there really are some very good elements to the story.  But it's like watching movies like 12 Years A Slave: it was a good film but you feel miserable afterwards!

So, after some thinking I would say my rating is:
★ ★ ★

If you like dark stories, or your preferred genre is mystery/thriller, then you'll probably like this one.  For me, however, it didn't really hit the spot.

Comments

  1. I didn't like any of the characters either. I didn't hate them as much as the ones in Gone Girl though. Here's my review of it. http://heysaidrenee.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/the-girl-on-train-by-paula-hawkins.html

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