The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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 goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
After watching the trailer for the movie and hearing “the book that shocked the world” or whatever they say, I expected more. I expected so much more than what was given. If it shocked the world, surely what I read can’t be all there is? Really? That’s it? Well, I didn’t find it all that shocking. It was actually a rather generic thriller in my opinion. Nothing so super crazy shocking that I just can’t believe it or have to go on and on about how amazed I am. Nope. Very disappointed.
I am not a fan of books with chapters that start with dates. It drives me crazy because I have to remember every date and try to remember the date of the incident (which I wish I would have written down for reference). Maybe people with really good memories don’t mind this, but I’m not one of those people. I would rather it say something like “one year later,” “the night of,” etc. Especially if I’m reading an eBook, which I am quite often, because I can’t simply flip back to a different chapter to reference the date.
Characters are not likable. The only likable character in my opinion is Anna, and she’s not a main character in the beginning. And then once she starts to have a bigger part in the novel, we find out that she has some very unlikable qualities as well and I end up not liking her very much either. Rachel is an alcoholic who is a bit crazy and just can’t let go of the past. Megan is a cheater and a liar and also can’t let go of the past and just be happy with her current life. They’re kind of downer characters. Ugh.
Having said all of the above, I discovered that this is the author’s first thriller. So, for a first thriller it was good. It was well-written and well laid out. It just wasn’t shocking as promised and it was just like every other thriller. I probably wouldn’t be quite as disappointed if the movie trailer hadn’t made it sound sooo good and different.
Best Aspect: Captivity/Writing
Worst Aspect: Characters